Feb. 19th, 2011

andygates: (Default)
Musing about toolchains here.  For those of you with lives, a toolchain is, er, a chain of tools that run sequentially to perform what looks like an awesome task.  So for example the chain that builds my Garmin map starts with a download of OSM stuff, then decompresses it, splits it into bite-size chunks, turns those chunks into Garmin-formatted chunks, applies a style, adds some other Garmin material that doesn't come from OSM, compresses it, sends it up to the cloud and tweets about it.  The only creative thing I've done is the style; the rest is all just working out (from wikis and forms and chat) what tools are needed to do what, and getting them to do it. 

I did the Garmin map because I wanted a pretty all-purpose map that showed my edits quickly, and doing it myself was the best way to get that.  A lazy nerd with a clear goal is a good starting point for a toolchain.  ^_^

Now I want to quaff wine from a cup made from my own skull.  Byronic inscription optional.  Clearly my actual skull is busy keeping my tasty tasty brains from getting out (it scrabbles at the fontanel sometimes, like a little think-pudding shoggoth, but I digress).  So, to SCIENCE!  Medical scanners can do what's needed.  The scanners will have their own file formats; I'll either need to export in a standard, or get a converter (over on Thingiverse, there's a skull that passed through Google Sketchup format).  Once it's in a format regular 3D peeps can use, it will need cleanup to remove any scanner artifacts (slices and shadows) and false information (not-bone).  It may need resolution change, much like a high-detail image needs resolution change for desktop printing.  And then it needs to get into a 3D print format, fed to Shapeways and turned out in quaffingstuff.

I know absolutely nothing about 3D modelling, so this could be an adventure!  I should hit this guy up. If any of you have skillz, do let me know!


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