Some of you out there may already be familiar with this search feature, but for everybody else, it's just a hidden goldmine waiting to be explored. Google Patents searches within a library of currently 7 million patents. Almost all of these have more or less detailed drawings included. Perfectly suited as blueprints or references for 3D modeling!
From the Google Patent Search FAQ:
All patents available through Google Patent Search come from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Patents issued in the United States are public domain government information, and images of the entire database of U.S. patents are readily available online via the USPTO website.
Google Patent Search covers the entire collection of patents made available by the USPTOâ€”from patents issued in the 1790s through those issued in the middle of 2006. We don't currently include patent applications, international patents, or U.S. patents issued over the last few months, but we look forward to expanding our coverage in the future.
The range of things you can find with Google Patents is huge, and the included blueprints are often extremely suitable as blueprints for 3D modeling. Here are a few quick examples of what one can find with Google Patents:
Go to Google Patents and try it out for yourself. It's an instant bookmark!
... So, who can find the most crazy blueprints? (Like underwear, for instance!)
Well...it's a little bit difficult in "GOOGLE PATETS" to find what is useful for 3d modelling, but anyway it's good source of blueprints...!
Just had a look myself, and ummm you really need to know your subject and it's associated parts to make good use of it, but other than that it is still as said, a good source of blueprints. Thanks for the info!
I had a problem getting the images to show on the Summary and Images pages when using the Firefox browser. The solution was to use the IE extension.
This is a really great source to find technical images of things that you simply cannot find anywhere else. For example, a marimba.
You can also find good references if you search for things related to (or are an accessory to) what you're really looking for. Often, there will be detailed drawings of both things.
The world's most awkward toenail clipper:
A great support device
There's also alot of good blueprints @ http://www.the-blueprints.com/
Here's a "meat massager": http://www.google.com/patents?vid=USPAT4441231&id=dyc9AAAAEBAJ&dq=meat+massage&ie=ISO-8859-1
Sick... When will Google take over the world? I wouldn't even complain ;)
Those guys are incredible...
That'll definately be useful.
HA! Never would have imagined finding a patent by my uncle! He is a professor at Georgia Tech.
I always wanted to do a dvd holder
Hmm, Blender patented by Kassenaar; interesting.
I'm curious to the legality of making models of patents. I'm pretty sure it's fine to make it for yourself. I'm most curious is if you model something that looks like the actual object from the patent if that is patent infringement (if you try and sell any aspect of your 3D whatever you give, image, model, 2d ect)
I wouldn't worry about the legalities because just about every real-world object that's ever been modeled is riddled with patents - iPods, PSP, computers, cars, planes, etc.
If patents were enforced to that degree, just about all 3d imagery would have to be of original designs or purely fictional.
Also, I believe patents are restricted to protecting the design from being reproduced in another physically functioning object. Particularly if the other object competes with the original in the marketplace.
This are some of the funniest things i've seen in Google patents http://www.google.com/patents?vid=USPAT6182661&id=SvQFAAAAEBAJ&pg=RA1-PA1&dq=Condoms
I found a Les Paul (guitar) Cd holder LOL
If you'd rather not have to model mechanical items yourself, there are many repositories of "standard" and custom components in 2D & 3D CAD formats online that are freely accessible. Many vendors of mechanical components (anything from ball bearings to servo motors to De-sta-co clamps) put basic models of their offerings online for the use of designers who might want to use them in their designs (helps to boost their sales.) Altho it may be a remote possibility, 3D artists may find such items useful as well. (?)
Some more commonly used (by me) sites include:
http://www.partspec.com (this place has a bunch of stuff in both 2D and 3D!)
http://www.mcmaster.com (not everything here is available in CAD, but there are a few gems!)
http://www.3dcontentcentral.com/ (this one requires registration, but it has good stuff, too.)
Of course, translation is required in order to get these models into blender, but that's often preferable to re-making them yourself, eh? Hope this is of use to someone!