2. Create 2D sketches and 3D graphs
As we explained in our introduction, Mathematica is a software that can turn mathematical equations into 2D and 3D graphics. Meaning that you can type any equation and the software will make the calculations and give you as an output its graphical representation. In the following paragraphs we will see how you can get both 2D and 3D sketches out of Mathematica.
2.1 Input and Output of an equation
Every Cell works with inputs and outputs. Input is the equation that the user is giving to the software, and output is the result of the calculations of the program.
To see how this works, let’s create a new Cell at the notebook and select ‘Free form input’.
As input, type a mathematical equation. For example, the equation of a circle with radius 2 is: x^2+y^2=2^2.
Press Enter to get the output of this equation. The output is the graph of the circle that looks like this:
You can give as input any mathematical equation and Mathematica will turn it into a graph with just a single click!
2.2 Draw a 2D sketch
If you don’t know or you don’t remember the mathematical equation of a graphic, you can describe it with words. Mathematica can get as input simple descriptions and translate them automatically into graphs.
For example, if you want to draw a circle, type ‘draw circle’ and press the down arrow key.
The output you will get is the graph of a circle:
2.3 Create 3D solid parts
Now let’s hollow this 3D model and apply a uniform wall thickness to it . We do so because hollowing is a very effective way to reduce the maximum volume of your 3D model, and thus reduce your 3D printing price. We recommend you to do it as much as possible on your 3D parts. For more tips about hollowing, you can check out our blogpost about how to reduce your 3D printing price with hollowing.
Now, let’s undo the “drilling” from the previous steps and bring back the part to its solid form. It should look like this:
The outcome you will get looks like this:
Now, let’s create something more complex.
Type ‘plot trefoil’ and press enter.
The result you will get is the 3D shape of a trefoil that looks like this:
2.4 Graphs of complex equations
The more geometrically complex the graph, the more complex its equation. Of course it is difficult to write by yourself mathematical equations of such complexity, but you can download them.
To download complex 3D models go to http://mathworld.wolfram.com/ and type the 3D graph you are looking for. For example, let’s search for the equation of a ‘gyroid’.
Then, download the ‘Wolfram Notebook’. The notebook contains all the functions that you will need to create your input in Mathematica.