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Posted in Editorials
January 6, 2015 at 11:02 PM
The Reality of Solid Modeling
*This article is based on the author’s opinions on and experiences with solid modeling.*
I just spent hours making a replica of the Square Stand in ROBLOX. The Square Stand has a very simplistic design, as it is an iPad stand with an integrated card reader. It should have taken me at most an hour to replicate this in ROBLOX Studio, and it did. Creating this stand was simple, but trying to union the parts with solid modeling was not, in every way.
Solid modeling, when it was released, seemed to me like a huge step forward for building on ROBLOX. Being a builder, I was very excited to start using this feature. Today was the first time I really put solid modeling to use, and all I have to say is that I accomplished something that should have taken 15 minutes, in four hours.
Building the stand was easy, as it’s a rounded square with an iPad mounted to it. I used a very helpful arc plugin to do all the rounded corners. Building the stand from scratch took me about 45 minutes. Of course, I built the the stand very large, as I would scale it down when I was done unioning the parts.
I decided to union just the curved corners, as they had quite a few parts to them and gave a choppy look while un-unioned (did I just make up a word?) I unioned the bottom corners of the square with ease, but when I went to union the iPads ‘edges,’ I kept getting an error about the union being unsolvable and that I should offset the parts. I tried pretty much everything, including the offsetting, and the same error kept popping up. At this point, I just scrapped the entire curve and remade it. After I re-cframed the curve, I tried to union it, and it worked. It actually unioned after an hour of Googling and messing around in ROBLOX Studio.
I tried unioning another corner, and it gave me the same error. I deleted everything that was there, remade the corner to what it was exactly before, and, boom, no error. This made no sense, but it worked, so I went on to the next corner. The third corner didn’t work at all. I got the same error code even after I remade it. With this corner, I had to copy over one of the already unioned corners, which ended up being a huge hassle. The fourth corner worked fine with the remaking and unioning.
My next step was to scale the whole thing down. Using the popular model rescale plugin, I had no luck. When I used this plugin, the unions would completely break or they would separate and the parts would become huge but still look small. I went on to try and use an old, traditional script; however, the that way didn’t like the new unions and the script would break and everything was a mess. During the midst of trying to scale my large iPad stand, I came across something I had never seen before in my building tools. I realized there was a scaling function built into Quenty’s qCmdUtl. I gave it a shot and it worked phenomenally, scaling the unions perfectly. I felt stupid to not have seen this before, but so happy to finally be done with this stand, and solid modeling.
Solid modeling is still quite new, though it seems as though the team at ROBLOX hasn’t tried to crank out any bugs or add any features since the initial release in June. They kind of just released solid modeling and forgot about it. The limitations of the feature and the many, many bugs make it also seem like it was rushed by the ROBLOX team. I would have rather waited a couple more months and had a less buggy feature, because in all honesty, it’s not like anybody was really asking for solid modeling to be released sooner than later. Solid modeling just isn’t the big step forward I must have been looking for in ROBLOX.