Graphics Reference

In-Depth Information

The Gantry

In order for a MakerBot to be able to replicate in three dimensions, it needs

to be able to move in three dimensions. It uses a
Cartesian coordinate sys-

tem
to define the points in space where it needs to lay down material. The

Cartesian coordinate system is made up of three perpendicular numbered

lines and can be used to describe the positioning of a point in either a one

dimensional space (think of a line), a two dimensional space (now think of a

plane) or three dimensional space (now we're talking about a cube).

If we were laying an object out using the coordinate plane in two dimensions

(
Figure 5-5
), we would be using a grid made of two numbered perpendicular

lines. The area where the lines intersect is called “the origin” and is numbered

“0”. When laying out two dimensional objects on a grid, we call the horizontal

axis “X” and the vertical axis “Y”. We can then specify points on that grid by

using distinct pairs of numbers.

Figure 5-5.
2D coordinate system

When we extend our coordinate system into a third dimension (see

Figure 5-6
), we add a third axis or “Z”. The addition of depth now means that

when we specify a point on the coordinate system, we need to use an
ordered

triplet
(
x,y,z
).