Bridge building robots – Book 2/3 Coming soon!

Depending on how you look at it, my third children’s book on Bridge Building Robots will be out later this summer.
You can get the first two free ebooks at nieko-dot-com. (give some money to the animal rescue league as well)

Here is an image from the new book, I am going a little over the top on this one! (you should be able to see a bigger version by clicking on it?)

Bridge building robots boom

Survey feet vs. International feet for 3D Bridge modeling

Some states use survey feet as their base units for developing bridge cadd plans. The difference between survey feet and international feet is very small and it is doubtful anyone will notice if the plans are presented as 2D drawings.

One international foot = 1.0000019685039 survey foot
One international foot = 0.3048 meters
One survey foot = 1200/3937 meters

But, there is always a but, what if the bridge design is given as a 3D model to contractors and fabricators for use as a measurement tool?

If the contractors and fabricators use the 3D model to determine lengths of girders and quantities, is there a problem if the models are in survey feet?

I would rather develop the model in the units that it will be constructed and this would allow the model to be exchanged between multiple software platforms without fear of a unit error showing up.

What units would you recommend for drawing a 3D bridge model?

Shari Blaukopf watercolor course

If you want a good overview of watercolor sketching, head over to 

The Sketchbook – MOSTLY MONTREAL, MOST OF THE TIME by Shari Blaukopf. 

Ms. Blaukopf is a teacher and really knows how to explain the mechanics of watercolor sketching. 

She also has an online course (which I took) about watercolor techniques. The course is great and really well made. Go through her website for a low price. (Just search for the blog post with the cheaper price)


Bridge Construction – go backward to go forward

It looks like a new masonry arch bridge could be built in Bristol….

Bridge Valley Road stone bridge
Website here

At first I thought it was a step backwards in bridge design but thinking about it in terms of sustainability, I think it makes sense. Why not build bridges that can last for hundreds of years using natural materials. (Why do we think bridges only last for 75 years?)

Dr Adrienne Tomor, who has spent her academic life studying masonry arch bridges, says, “This project is a unique opportunity to create a new legacy for Bristol that would link traditional bridge building techniques with modern infrastructure. Masonry arch bridges have been built all over the world for over 1,000 years and have stood the test of time. They are sustainable, efficient and beautiful. The bridge we are hoping to build should last over 300 years, should not be much more expensive than a concrete or steel equivalent and will be highly economic in the long-term.

i think we should give it a try.

3D printed watercolour palette

I have order a 3D printed watercolour palette I designed. The size is about 3.5″x 5.5″ and I wanted to see what the quality of 3D printing would look like.

I will let you know how good it is when I get it!

3D printed Plastic watercolour palette

Watercolour tree

I did this one on a coffee break. (about 15 minutes) 

I used a photo I had taken with my iPhone and I made the mistake of trying to follow the image….see how the evergreen is directly behind the tree. I should have moved it right or left so it wasn’t so centered. 

Oh well next time!


Out at the barn yet again

While my wife runs her horse around i experiment with watercolour styles. This one used a sharpie and some odd perspective. It looks like I used a telephoto lens! (No DOF)

But hey, it’s Art! So it can look any way I want….