Make a 3D Printed Kit with Meshmixer 2.7

Meshmixer 2.7 was released today full of new tools for 3D printing. Here I use the new version of the app to create a 3D printed kit of parts that can be printed in one job, and assembled together with pin connectors.

To do this I used several of the new features to make this a fast and painless process. I dug up a 123D Catch capture I took of a bronze sculpture of John Muir. I found it in my dentists office, it turns out my dentist sculpted it. I thought I'd make my own take on it by slicing it up and connecting it back together so it can be interactive, swiveling the pieces around the pin connectors.

I made use of the new pin connectors solid parts that are included in the release (in the miscellaneous bin). I also used the powerful Layout/Packing tool to layout parts on the print bed as a kit of parts to print in one print job. Also, the addition of the Orthographic view is incredibly helpful when creating the kit and laying it out within the print volume of my Replicator 2X. An instructable is in progress with a how-to for a 3D printed kit such as this.

 

This new release has some other nice updates. Check em out below:

- New Layout/Packing Tool under Analysis for 3D print bed layout

- New Deviation Tool for visualizing max distance between two objects (ie original & reduced version)

- New Clearance Tool for visualizing min distance between two objects (ie to verify tolerances)

    - Under Analysis menu, requires selection of two objects)

- Reduce Tool now supports reducing to triangle count, (approximate) maximum deviation

- Support Generation improvements

    - Better DLP/SLA preset

    - Can now draw horizontal bars in support generator

    - Ctrl-click now deletes all support segments above click point

    - Shift-ctrl-click to only delete clicked segment

- Solid Part dropping now has built-in option to boolean add/subtract

    - Can set operation-type preference during Convert To Solid Part

    - Can set option to preserve physical dimensions during Convert To Solid Part

- New Snapping options in Measure tool

- Can now turn on Print Bed rendering in Modeling view (under View menu)

    - Must enter Print View to change/configure printer

- Improved support for low-end graphics cards

For your kit of parts, try out the new pin connectors included in the Misc. parts library. One is a negative (boolean subtract it when dropping the part). The other you can drop on the print bed for printing by itself. It fits into the negative hole. You can also author your own parts and they will drop at a fixed scale (so they fit!).

Let us know what kind of kits you create...maybe we can add in your connectors in a future release. (There's a free 3d print and t-shirt involved). Let us know at meshmixer@autodesk.com.

Have fun!!

 

 

123D Design, 123D Catch & 123D Make Web Apps Closing


Update: 123D Circuits and Tinkercad are not using the unsupported plugins so they will continue to thrive! The only apps that are affected are the three mentioned below.

If you have been using the web based versions of the 123D apps that run in your browser, you probably noticed that they have gone bonkers recently.

We're well aware and have been anticipating the need to shut them down as the plugins that allows them to run within the most common web browsers are no longer supported. So, today, we are sad to see our trusty web based apps go, they were a trusty platoon while they were here!

So, what to do?! 

The apps continue on with their mobile and desktop comrades, and we have some exciting ideas we're working on for the new year and we'll continue bring you these apps for your creative making needs. Here is where you can find them:

123D Catch: Our popular "photos to 3D model" app is available for your iOS or Android device for your capturing on the go. There is also a Windows desktop version.

123D Design: Quickly whip up 3D printable prototypes with the Mac and Windows desktop versions. Also, available for your iPad!

123D Make: We just released a brand new version of the desktop app (v1.6) and it is available for Mac and Windows. 123D Make will nest your slices for printing/cutting, which optimizes material usage without manual post processing.  You may also send a cutting job directly to your system printer/lasercutter. Try it!  Lastly, we built a "teaser" app for iOS which gives you a preview of what 123D Make can do!

So, we salute the web based apps and say goodbye for now. We hope to meet again in your "easy-to-get-to-web-based-form". Check back often here for updates to these and other apps we are working on to help you be creative!

 - 123D Team, Autodesk Consumer Group

Notable New Yorkers – Stern Design Works

Okay, so we know you've heard about dynamic maker duo Cameron and Rebecca Stern of Stern Design Works, whether it was on from the Maker of the Day feature back in May, more recently through 3DRV, or even way back from Reddit. We caught up with them in New York to learn more about how 3D printing has changed the way they create their products, and learned about the advice they give to new users of 3D printing technology.

 

Watch the video below to see the whole interview.

 

 

To learn more or to get in contact with this awesome husband and wife team, visit their website at: http://sterndesignworks.com/

Notable New Yorkers – 3D Heights

You may have seen a series we ran a few months ago highlighting the incredible makers in the Midwest, specifically in Chicago. This time we went out to New York and met some truly notable business owners using 3D printing to enhance their offerings. First up we have Jerry Castanos, formerly of the US military, and currently owning and operating 3D Heights, a community-focused 3D Printing shop in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood. Watch the video below to learn about how 3D Heights came to be, and what the future of 3D printing might look like. 

White House 3D Printed Ornament Contest!


When you’ve got a big house to decorate for the holidays, advanced planning is wise. So naturally, the White House is already thinking about this year’s holiday decor, and we're going to help them deck their halls. Instructables is excited to partner with the Smithsonian and the White House in this 3D Printed Ornament Challenge. Some of the winners of this challenge will have their work printed and hung in the East Wing of the White House during the holiday season. Additionally, those selected to be displayed at the White House will be featured on the Smithsonian’s state of the art 3D data platform, 3d.si.edu and will join a small collection of White House ornaments in the political history division of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

You don’t need to have a 3D printer to participate — design an ornament with any 3D modeling software and up to 8 winning designs will be 3D printed and shipped to the White House for you. New to 3D modeling? No sweat! Head over to Tinkercad and play around with making 3-dimensional shapes. It’s really fun, and you’ll learn an awesome new skill, to boot. This is your chance to make White House history and have your art featured in their first-ever maker challenge.

The model should be no larger than 3”x 3” and reflect the magic and wonder of the holidays, so think ornaments that represent winter sports, toys, activities, symbols, and anything that inspires you during the festive winter season. Want to incorporate a little twinkle to your designs as well? Design a piece that fits or clips onto a string of lights!

To qualify, you must be a U.S. resident and create an Instructable for your ornament — and be sure to include the .stl file!  Click HERE for more info.

Adafruit’s 3D Printed Retro Mari Clouds

Adafruit #3DThursday

123D Superstar users Noe and Pedro Ruiz of Adafruit Industries are back with another awesome 3D printing + electronics hybrid project - and they've published the files on our site with instructions.  


You can watch these guys whip up 3D printed projects LIVE every 3D Thursday, but today we've posted this great video their latest project.  Scroll down for everything you need to build it yourself!

Check out Adafruit's detailed instruction page for the step-by-step instructions and links to their electronics shop.


The "Mari Clouds"  enclosure was modeled in our free 3D modeling software called 123D Design (click to download).  You can find the original design files and ready-to-3D print files on the Mari Clouds Project Page on our site, 123Dapp.com.  While you're there check out Adafruit's other awesome projects on 123Dapp.com.


We love talking about Noe and Pedro's projects.  If you have something you'd like us to feature just drop us your info at our get-featured page!

Make more of Modio with Meshmixer and 123D

We love the Modio mobile app for creating 3D printed articulated toys, and were thinking about how to extend the creative possibilities it offers. Many of our apps (Meshmixer, Tinkercad, 123D Design) can work with the 3D printable STL files that Modio exports, so this opens up many possibilities for creation.

One great area to explore is to download models from the 123D Gallery and the 123D Content Library, and remix parts of them by attaching the Modio ball and socket connectors. Meshmixer is the perfect tool to do this! Here's a shark bot that I created using this very process:

 

Here's an Instructable that will walk you through the process: Make more of Modio with Meshmixer and 123D. It will guide you through the steps of making the shark bot using a model from 123D and parts from Modio.

If you try it and are inspired, why not try some other projects using the skills you've learned?

Meet Adam Dewhirst – VFX pro from Guardians of the Galaxy, Dark Knight + more

If you follow our Twitter account then you've definitely seen 3D artist Adam Dewhirst's work - we're big fans. You've also seen his work in Guardians of the Galaxy, The Dark Knight, Doctor Who, The Golden Compass and more! We recently caught up with Adam to learn more about the work he does, his advice for new 3D designers, and of course - his favorite dinosaur. Be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his website for lots of awesome 3D sculptures!

 

 

And now, onto the interview... 

Read more »

Meshmixer 2.6 on the loose. Tubes!

Meshmixer 2.6 was released today by Autodesk with some nice additions for your 3D printing workflows.

One of the new features I've found fun to play with is the Add Tube feature which lets you route tubes through your 3D models. Its pretty interactive as you drag the handles around to define the start and end of the tube.  By default, the tubes are routed automatically through the inside of your model and cut out. Some parameters and alternate behavior is possible such as routing with straight lines, splines, inside or out of the model, adjusting the start and end size, and creating a separate tube object. It will even route around previously routed tubes in case you need multiple tubes. Some amazing work by Valkyrie Savage, an intern with Autodesk Research, went into bringing this feature to Meshmixer for this release.

Here is my first model using this feature: a (hopefully not offensive) DIY bunny sprinkler that shoots water out of its eyes!

Of course there are many other (useful) possibilities using this feature in your projects including routing circuits or electronics through a 3d model, or possibly 3D printing conductive material. See this video for more of what Ryan and his team have been up to.

  

Amongst other things, here is a list of what is included in Meshmixer 2.6, now on the loose!

  • Simplified 3D Print UI
  • Support for Dremel 3D Printer (printer/support preset, send prints to Dremel Idea Builder software)
  • (experimental!!) DLP/SLA support preset
  • New Orientation tool for optimizing print orientation to miminize support volume/area, and/or maximize print strength
  • New Add Tube tool for creating tubes through/between shapes
  • New Preserve Boundaries option in Smooth Boundary
  • New Allow Top Connections option in Support Generator
  • Brought back Strut Density option in Support Generator
  • Fix longstanding Axis scaling bugs in transforms
  • Face Transform & Soft Transform tools now infer local frame from selection, and can optionally have separate frame for each ROI

 

Download Meshmixer here....onwards fellow Makers!



 

 

123D Make (Love)

We've seen some really great usage of 123D Make this week! While most folks are constrained to a relatively small scale, with desktop CNC or lasers at a local TechShop, we found some artists and designers who are pushing their creations to human scale (and beyond).

                              

First, we got an email from down under: Georgia Morgan in Broome, Australia, has made a full-scale figure from 3mm steel using 123D Make.  It's a pretty elegant use of the radial slicing feature, and we're so honored to have been a part of it!

 

Over in Europe, Lana Awad teamed up with Fab Textiles and FabLab Barcelona to create "Rig", a life-size mannequin that was showcased at Fab10 in July.  


From Fab Textiles: "The design for RIG is an exploration into the creative potential of mannequins as tools for exhibiting and work with. RIG is a manifestation on how tools should be rethought, redesigned, and reimagined..."  We couldn't agree more, and we love seeing such an ambitious use of the 123D tools.


Perhaps the most impressive, in terms of scale... while installing our Autodesk Gallery Pop-Up in Paris, the team stopped by the Paris Auto Show and saw a giant elephant cut from cardboard!  

I know there are others out there joining their massive radial slices together!  What did we miss?