On the Eave of Construction (III)

I’ve been making good progress on the drawing, and have reached a point where I am satisfied with where things are at. That doesn’t mean the drawing is perfect, but I feel I’ve absorbed some good lessons and further work on the drawing is more along the lines of making every last piece of timber aligned and to correct length, perhaps fleshing in the joinery details, etc., none of which would be categorized under ‘new things to learn’ or ‘necessary to complete’, so I’m not feeling compelled to follow through with those aspects at this time.

A look up at the hip corner:


The minoko, which is a drooping verge between the main roof plane and the fascia assembly at the gable end, characteristic of Japanese traditional architecture, was a bit tricky to deal with but I like the shape at this point and the underlying geometry seems correct:


At this stage, there is no box ridge drawn, so the termination of the minoko at the top is not quite as it should be, but I am not feeling compelled to finish that off right now.

There’s more to explore with the minoko aspect for sure, and it’s one of those areas of layout which is very poorly covered in the extant texts, most of which I own, so I am left to devise solutions as best I can given my knowledge of the software at this point. In any case, the drooping verge was something there was really no chance to draw cleanly in Sketchup, so it was exciting for me to be at long last able to render the shape, which is a complex one, without too much fussing about.

Front elevation:


The rear elevation hints at the number of sticks involved – and not all are indicated in this view anyway:


This is a small building, all of 17′ (5.1m) or so between posts.

In recent days I have been exploring a class of tools using in rhino to panel surfaces, as this is an area with rich architectural and furniture design potentials. As part of that study, I thought it would be fun to draw the minoko in this project as composed of a network of flowing hexagonal rings:


Another view – remember, this is just something I did for fun and to test-apply a tool I had just started to use, nothing more:


Speaking of that paneling tool, here are a few other pieces I put together while playing around with it:


These shapes do not take very long to draw, despite their apparent complexity.


There’s so much more to learn yet, and I’m finding the process invigorating yet daunting.

I’ve also been looking at the plug-in which comes included with Rhino % for Mac, namely Grasshopper. This application allows for parametric modeling, which is a type of modeling where a part which has been created, and duplicated in various places in an assembly can be reconfigured, such that reconfiguring one item will cause all the rest to change identically at the same time. It’s a totally different type of application though, and looks a lot more like a flow chart with interchangeable directions and tools, so I kinda stare at it for the moment and go “oh my god, how the hell does that work?”.

I got some time in at the shop yesterday, so look for another post in the near future in the futon storage cabinet build entitled ‘Dark Chocolate and Sponge Cake’. Until then my friends, take care.

3 Replies to “On the Eave of Construction (III)”

  1. Somehow the curve of the Japanese eave reminds me of a flower that faces down, so the petals curve up, like a bell flower.

  2. These are lovely models. I am unlikely to ever get this far into CAD for the work I do but I appreciate the value of it. One small question: the posts as drawn look like they are laminated. Did you have a reason for drawing them that way?

    1. Gary,

      thanks for the comment and glad you like the model as drawn.

      The posts are not intended to be laminated, and the lines you see on them are not seams, but are what are called ‘isocurves’. Whenever you draw a part lines are put on it in alignment to the part, and can even be used as devices for splitting the parts up. In the drawings you see above, the isocurves have been turned off for most of the parts, so they look cleaner, but I didn’t bother to do that with the posts as they are, well, just posts.

      In Rhino when you draw the view of the parts can be quite varied, from wireframe, to shaded, to ghosted, to rendered. ‘Rendered’ in this case would mean the drawing as you see it but the parts given the look of actual wood. I’m still working on learning how to do that effectively, and for the time being my focus is primarily on doing the drawing work and less on rendering, as the drawings are not for anyone but me. If i had to present them to someone who was looking for a photo-realistic depiction of the structure, then i would necessarily have to render the components properly.

Anything to add?

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