Pascaline 3D Models by Anthony Vanden Eede

This year, Indian Creek High School welcomed a foreign exchange student from Belgium to join our school & robotics team. Anthony Vanden Eede came to us armed with a Macbook Pro & a genuine desire to learn. After gaining some experience in 3D design from one of the high school’s Technology Education courses, he quickly set out to learn AutoDesk Maya on his own. With the objective of recreating Blaise Pascal’s mechanical calculator for the robotics team’s safety animation video, he downloaded as many tutorials as he could find on how to create authentic models in Maya. Having had no previous knowledge of the Pascaline, he also had to collect what little documentation exists about the look of the machine and about how the components move.
Satisfied that he had an understanding of how the machine functions, he began the modeling process to recreate the Pascaline. Once all of the major components were modeled, Anthony took on the tedious task of animating each of the gears, the ratcheting system, the carry arm, and the digits to simulate the counting process. Since the final script called for an animation that counts to numbers in the millions, it required long days and late nights for Anthony to key frame the authentic movement of the Pascaline. Not satisfied with taking short cuts to create the animation, he chose to animate every component of the machine in exactly the way the real one would if museums would allow us to use it. In fact, it took almost an entire week for his computer to render the final video due to the meticulous movements in the animation.

Download the Safety Animation featuring the Pascaline

Download the original Maya 3D model

(Note - Included materials can only be rendered using Mental Ray shaders)

While there is likley no one who has actually seen one of the remaining Pascalines count, Anthony animated his model based upon research of how it worked. Feel free to download any of the models and create your own animations and counting algorithms. In addition to animating the model in Maya, he also converted the file into an OBJ and Alice 2.2 file. Both of these files require Winzip or other compression software to open the files.

Download the OBJ version of the 3D model

Download the Alice 2.2 Model File

(Note - A2C file contains an animated method)

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