For this week's lab, I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to create. I knew I wanted to make something that was a challenge for me, and that also strayed away from being a simple geometric design because I had just done that with my sphericon project. One night I was playing Super Smash Ultimate with my roommates, and after dying first like usual, I noticed that the shape of a Nintendo Switch controller is actually pretty unique, with a lot of shapes that are hard to mold with Rhino.
After doing some quick sketches, I figured out I could get the basic shape of the Nintendo switch controller fairly easily by using some reference images to create a rectangle and using the "Curved Line" and "Split" commands to recreate the general outline. After that it was a matter of using "PlanarSrf" and "ExtrudeSrf" to turn that wire-frame into a 3D shape. Creating the Switch controller also provided me the opportunity to use "FilletEdge," which I had only used once before.
This is where I encountered an error and discovered that the small notches I had taken out of the two right angle corners of the controller to make those edges more rounded was interfering with the "FilletEdge" command. My solution was to wait on adding those tiny rounded edges until I had created the 3D shape with the filleted edges before then using "BooleanDifference" to cut out that small detail. My goal with this controller was to make it has detailed as possible, which turned out to be quite the challenge.
After the basic shape was created, I tackled the biggest challenge I had identified for this project: the triggers on the top of the controller. The first trigger was fairly simply, protruding outwards from the surface of the controller ever so slightly, however, the second trigger was much more difficult. Not only did it extend downwards in a weird shape that was designed to comfortably fit your finger, but underneath the controller too, there's a plastic cover that extends down and over the trigger that has a unique shape of its own.
I took this opportunity to play around with a command that I didn't have much experience with, "CageEdit." After drawing both the trigger and the trigger cover in a 2D plane and extruding them enough to turn them into a solid shape that was the proper thickness, I used "CageEdit" several times to constantly tweak and readjust the curves of the surfaces until I got them just about perfect in my opinion.
After the triggers were done, which took me quite a lot of time, my next big challenge was the side rail that the controller uses to slide into the Nintendo Switch itself. The side rail was fairly geometric and simple in design, but I took the opportunity to go all out with the details, even rounding the edges ever so slightly when the rail slopes downwards and back upwards, just like on the real controller. Although I had the most fun and frustration with creating the triggers, I found the process for creating the side rail to be almost Zen in nature, as everything was so orderly and geometrical, which is how I generally like my art pieces to be as well.
After the side rail was done, it was simply a matter of adding the final buttons and the joystick to the top of the controller, as well as minor details like screw holes to the bottom. I found that throughout the process of creating this controller, I used four commands heavily: "PlanarSrf," "ExtrudeSrf," "BooleanUnion," and "Boolean Difference." These four commands allowed me to create any surface of any shape I wanted and to extrude them before either adding that shape to the controller or removing it to create, for example, the spot where the triggers go, or the hole where the joystick is.
By the time I finished this project, I had recreated every single detail on a Nintendo Switch controller and I was incredibly happy with the finished result. Everything was "BooleanUnion"ed together, but unfortunately it does not count as a valid polysurface. If I wanted to 3D print this controller, I'd have to break it apart into it's separate components because there's no way a 3D printer could capture all the minute gaps and details in this model. This was a challenge for me, and an experiment in seeing what difficult real-life objects I can effectively 3D model.