*3D trees

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ELISABETH
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3D trees

Postby ELISABETH » 06 Mar 2019 19:43

Hello,
A flat print of an interesting tree (thus with the brothers, the uncles, the spouses… of each branch on 5 generations or more) is rapidly hard to understand on a sheet.
A 3D tree on the screen eases significantly some analyses and understanding of links between the families.
Several genealogic software give this 3D trees feature on the screen (see also this feature avalable since Heredis 12 http://old.heredis.com/produits/heredis-pc/fonctionnalites/partagez-et-echangez.html)
With FH 6.2.7 plugins or with additional FH packs, is there a feature to see on screen some interesting 3D tree who are always hard to analyze on a flat diagram?
(As a 3D tree can be also stick on the ceiling of a room [so always visible for guests in this room...], it could be magic to write later a print pack for FH to print the 3D pieces with a 3D printer and build the tree like a Lego.)
Thank for your help,

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tatewise
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Re: 3D trees

Postby tatewise » 06 Mar 2019 20:11

I am not aware of anything like that in FH, but it is easy to export a GEDCOM file to another product that does offer that feature. The Export Gedcom File Plugin supports export modes dedicated to many products and Heredis is one of them, so if the 3D Trees are available in the free version then it costs you nothing.

A Google search for for 3D Genealogy Tree listed several possibilities, but I have not investigated any yet.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

davidf
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Re: 3D trees

Postby davidf » 06 Mar 2019 20:29

ELISABETH wrote:Hello,
As a 3D tree can be also stick on the ceiling of a room [so always visible for guests in this room...], it could be magic to write later a print pack for FH to print the 3D pieces with a 3D printer and build the tree like a Lego.


You could try doing something with a chemical modelling kit (such as Cochranes of Oxford - other suppliers are available).

Chemical modelling has atoms at every node - so you need to "define" a particular atom as being just a line joint, with other atoms being males and females. Ideally you want to find a supplier that will supply specific bits rather than a "kit" where many pieces won't be used.

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tatewise
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Re: 3D trees

Postby tatewise » 06 Mar 2019 20:37

That is novel idea David, but they look expensive, and how do you label the bits with people's names?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

davidf
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Re: 3D trees

Postby davidf » 06 Mar 2019 21:40

tatewise wrote:That is novel idea David, but they look expensive, and how do you label the bits with people's names?


Agreed, the "sets" are not over expensive (cf say a FH licence), but what you get in them is not all useful - so the cost per useful part is rather high!

It struck me though as a potential interesting way to visualise moderate size "family shrubberies" - and an interesting way to "involve the family" - so it is not just Auntie's or Grandpa's nerdy hobby!

There are other possibilities such as Arkitex (if you can find it) or even Meccano!

A kit gives a certain robustness and consistency to any model (compared to say something made from polystyrene balls and drinking straws)

Labelling I see as very much a second order issue. If the "atom balls" that represent people are a suitable colour, you might just be able to write the names on them. Alternatively you might be able to create "name flags" made from a short length of connector stuck in a spare hole!

3D Printing is an attractive idea - it's a technology that is "almost there" as a consumer product. But how do you make corrections? Melt it all down and start again?

Perhaps there is a market for a bespoke product. So as Dad gives packets of lego™ to the kids, they give packets of tree construction bits to him!

ELISABETH
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Re: 3D trees

Postby ELISABETH » 09 Mar 2019 11:51

Hello,

A lot of good ideas in this discussion, thank.

In fact, I'd like to inherit the whole work done inside FH to minimize the design time to build the different pieces of the 3D tree.
It will be preferable to spend several weekends with my grandchildren to assembly the different 3D pieces in order to build a 10 generations ascendant and descendant 3D tree which will be stuck on the ceil with the help of my children.
Each person of the tree could be represented with a cube.
Some surface of each cube could be flat to stick pictures or photos with the names and dates, other surfaces could be in relief to be painted by the children or an artist in the family for instance...
The different cubes could be linked with 3D rigid rods between brothers, uncles, aunts, spouses, children, parents...
The different 3D layers could represent the families of the siblings.

So, an interesting great 3D family tree fabrication process could be something like:
FH 6.2.7 ---> GEDCOM ---> Progeny Genealogy to get a 3D view & Companion chart for 3D printing services ---> a standard STL file format -----> a Personal 3D printer (or a professional 3D print services like http://www.3dhubs.com )

Unfortunately, https://progenygenealogy.com/Products/F ... D-Printing seem to produce directly "STL file" only for 3 or 5 generations of a Fan chart (monolithic)!

=> Do you know if:
1) Another provider could read an GEDCOM from FH in order to provide a 3D view of a 10 generations tree (non-fan chart) and produce the standard STL file for 3D printers to deliver a 3D family tree kit ?

2) Does this idea can be submitted to FH to get a new FH Pack or to get a new FH plugin to view 3D tree inside FH and to produce directly the associated STL file?

Thank for your advices

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mjashby
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Re: 3D trees

Postby mjashby » 09 Mar 2019 14:25

Don't want to appear too negative, but you are asking about a very niche area of interest, in my opinion, and I can't, personally, see any great advantage for the vast majority of people who tend to be more interested in how their research can be best recorded and enhanced rather than investigatinging novelty forms of output.

Progeny is the only software house that I'm aware of that provides for this speciality area interest and that is evidenced by the effort they've gone to to enable their software to work with most of the major family tree software products. The Family Historian developer (Calico Pie) in fact already sells a specific version of Charting Companion product (at a reduced cost) to extend the range of Charts that can be directly produced and this seems obviously to be in preference to extending its own base offering, at least in the short term. It should also be noted that 3D Charts are not included by Progeny in the Charting Companion Software but as a completely separate product (at significant additional Cost), so they obviously see it as a separate/additional market. They also clearly have particular skills and interests that other family history software houses do not, in the same way that others focus specifically on Website development. It's primarily a question of "horses for courses" and, if I ever wanted such a facility I would far sooner pay for that additional speciality software product in preference to paying an increased base price for features I am rarely or unlikely to ever use in a mainstream product.

In all honesty I have seen very little interest in 3D Charting for Family History and personally see it as mainly of novelty interest, though I can see that some aspects could be attractive to engaging younger family members. Having tried out Heredis in the past, purely out of general interest, I quickly found the 3D Charts to be more of a passing interest; and then as more of an irritation than a necessity, but perhaps that's just me as a traditionalist. - I only want charts/diagrams that convey information easily on screen and paper!

I certainly would not wish to see the very small development team at Calico Pie diverting their efforts into niche offerings at the expense of continuing to develop and improve the other mainstream research and reporting aspects of the existing software. Nor would I be willing to meet the additional software costs that would inevitably come with such developments, considering the demands it would create for the additional graphics expertise and programming skills that would need to be permanently employed by the Developer. This is, in my opinion, is probably why Calico Pie has focussed on providing improvements which allow users to develop 'plug-ins' to extend the software's capabilities in preference to trying to meet every user's perceived needs within the base software product.

Mervyn

davidf
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Re: 3D trees

Postby davidf » 09 Mar 2019 16:44

ELISABETH wrote:1) Another provider could read an GEDCOM from FH in order to provide a 3D view of a 10 generations tree (non-fan chart) and produce the standard STL file for 3D printers to deliver a 3D family tree kit ?

2) Does this idea can be submitted to FH to get a new FH Pack or to get a new FH plugin to view 3D tree inside FH and to produce directly the associated STL file?


Three things come to mind:
  1. You discussed a 3D ancestor/descendant chart being stuck to the ceiling. Such a tree is actually 2D. Do you just intend it to have a bit of "relief" or thickness? Or do you actually intend to use the third dimension to represent cousin trees etc.? Such a tree would have connectors going in all sorts of directions and surely you would hang the resulting thing from the ceiling rather sticking it to the ceiling.
  2. A 3D view on screen of a genuine 3D tree may not be structurally the most appropriate view for a physical 3D model - the latter has to think about things like balance and issues of proximity. It may not be as simple as seeing a 3D representation on screen and generating a file for 3D printing from that representation.
  3. Do you actually want to 3D-print a complete tree, or do you want to print kit parts which can be somehow joined together (and later amended)? If it is the latter you have an engineering design "problem" not a genealogical problem!

You implied earlier that you were thinking of a kit of parts - you mentioned individuals being "cubes" connected by rods. Your issue then is to specify your parts:

  • Individual Blocks with
    • holes in the top (to link upwards to parents)
    • holes in the sides (to link to spouses/partners)
    • holes in the bottom (for children where one parent is unknown)
    • Do you want four sides - or might eight sides give more flexibility?
  • Connectors (think of the horizontal and vertical lines on a 2D diagram)
    • Horizontal marriage connectors (cut to length?), between parents from which can be hung
    • Upper Half-Generation connectors which connect marriage connectors to
    • Horizontal Sibling connectors (cut to length?), from which can be hung
    • Lower Half-Generation connectors which connect sibling connectors to individual children
The half generation connectors have to come in a variety of lengths (say 80%, 100% and 120%) so that you can create the space necessary to have overlaps.
The connectors could be miniaturised forms of the sort of scaffolding used for shelving, either glued together or possibly with grub screws (think meccano).

With meccano rods and couplings (and a hacksaw to cut the rods to length - might just buy stock rod), you are then just left with the blocks for individuals. These you might 3D print. You might be able to actually 3D print heads if you have suitable photos - but do you want marriage connectors sprouting from people's ears!? Possibly better to have profiles "printed" on the block faces which do not have connecting holes!

This then ceases to be a FH (or other FT program issue), as you use any FT program to give you "flat" 2D ancestor/descendant charts to guide your model making and then the trick is to link the various flat trees into a 3D shrubbery which is structurally strong enough to hold together when suspended.


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