MCAD Tech News (#359)

27 Mar, 2014 By: Cadalyst Staff

Gargoyles Take Flight in High School Design Class

One student's foray into modeling with Autodesk Mudbox and 3D printing shows how inspiring it can be to take an idea from drawing to reality.

By Jade Nuber

Gargoyle ImageFrom a fairly young age, I knew I'd be pursuing the arts, and when I entered John Paul II Catholic Secondary School, it was with creative pursuits in mind. I never thought that my artistic path would lead to a technological design class. But during my tenth-grade year, that's exactly what happened.

When I arrived in my Technological Design class the first day, it was not what I was expecting. Using numerous software programs for creative work was a far cry from using my typical, traditional tools such as a pencil and paintbrush. Our tools included Autodesk Mudbox for digital painting and sculpting and Autodesk SketchBook Designer illustration software. It took me a few days and a couple different approaches to get comfortable using these programs, but once I did, it felt natural to come in every day and log into the computer.

It was only the second assignment in the course when our teacher, Michael Santolupo, asked us to take a gargoyle design from concept to physical model using our software and a 3D printer. We were asked to sculpt, texture, and paint in a digital environment —not a realm that I was familiar with. However, the digital sculpting design software enabled my ideas to take shape. Like many of my fellow classmates, I tackled the task with my creativity at hand.

Most people think gargoyles to be noble protectors of churches and cathedrals, but in fact, there is more to the story. The gargoyle originated in the seventh century as a monster that the French bishop St. Romanus defended his country from. Its name was Goji, or Gargouille, and it was said to look so horrific that it scared away demons and other evil spirits. Its fearsome appearance made people consider it an effective talisman against evil, and for our project, we used this original version of the gargoyle as our inspiration. Read more »

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Jade Nuber is a student at John Paul II Catholic Secondary School in London, Ontario, Canada.

Femap Tips and Tricks: Entity ID Contouring for Model Checking in Femap

Verify ID numbering in your model by applying random colors to bands of element IDs.

By Alastair Robertson

Femap has a lot of visualization tools that can be used to verify the model. For example, it's possible to assign colors to entity IDs, allowing a quick visual check of the numbering scheme of the model. The model used in this example has the nodes and elements numbered according to each frame, and we'll see a couple of ways we can verify the ID numbering by assigning colors.

First, we'll make sure we are coloring with element colors, then we'll apply random colors to bands of element IDs. Select the down arrow of the View Style icon, and select Color With and Element Colors. Select the Modify > Color > Element... menu option, Select All the elements, and click OK.

In the Color Palette dialog, select the Random button.

Color Palette

Read more »

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Alastair Robertson is the product marketing manager for Siemens PLM Software Velocity Series CAE solutions, including Femap with NX Nastran and Solid Edge Simulation.


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

3D Scanning for CAD
March 27, 2014
11 a.m. PT
Those who view this RapidWorks webinar will learn how to create usable models for CAD programs such as SolidWorks, Creo, and Inventor. Read more »

modeFRONTIER v4.5: What's New
March 27, 2014
10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET
ESTECO will present this webinar to introduce in detail the key improvements coming with the new release of modeFRONTIER, the multidisciplinary and multiobjective optimization platform. Read more »

SPAR International
April 14–17, 2014
Colorado Springs, Colorado
The 11th annual SPAR International conference will introduce attendees to the latest tools and information for using the newest 3D measurement technologies. Read more »

Zuken Innovation World 2014
April 28–30, 2014
Dearborn, Michigan
This year's Zuken conference theme is Power of Innovation. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What’s New at

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Conduct Usability Studies for CAD/BIM
A/V recordings of hands-on software interactions can help you design better tools for your users. Read more »

Advocate for Internet Access for CAD Tools
Are you battling with your IT department over a necessary resource? As CAD software becomes increasingly Internet-enabled, these conflicts are intensifying — so it's time to start talking. Read more »

Clean Up Your AutoCAD Drawing with the Join Command
The Join command is a great means of converting multiple contiguous objects into one — and now it's easier to use. Watch the video »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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