Pixelio Kickstarter launches, a perfect scanning companion for 123D Catch

Have you ever had mixed results using the free 123D Catch app on your smartphone? Often the photos can come out blurry or poorly exposed which directly affect the quality of the resulting 3D model you would get from the app.

Well, the folks at Smart3D have found a solution for you in their first product, Pixelio. The Pixelio Kickstarter launched this week, which is a great 123D Catch scanning companion. Essentially, you can place your smartphone with the 123D Catch app running in the Pixelio Multiscanner and let it move around the object in the center, taking optimal photographs using "Virtual Finger" technology for creating that perfect capture.

In addition to scanning with 123D Catch it is very handy for creating stop motion movies, and 360 panoramas amongst other creative uses, all while keeping your device charged.

Check them out and get in early if you want over at Smart3D's Kickstarter, some of the preliminary models using 123D Catch are very impressive as the affordable Pixelio serves as an programmable, automated assistant to shoot the best photos for 3D captures.

Halloween DIY: Turn your head into a disembodied candy jar :0

Our friend Maker's Muse has come up with another interesting use of our apps, 123D Catch and Meshmixer. He's really good and I recommend subscribing to his YouTube channel, as he regularly creates these insightful videos about 3D printing.

This time Maker's Muse captures his head with 123D Catch and brings it into Meshmixer to hollow out for a sliced off zombie head full of candy. Check out the video below for his process. 

If you are having trouble capturing someone's head with 123D Catch, you can refer to a previous blog post: How To Capture a Person with 123D Catch.

Happy Halloween!

123D Design 1.7 – A really solid release

We are really proud to announce the release of 123D Design 1.7 (Windows and Mac).

Definitely our best release ever, but you will think that everybody says that for a new release, a new record, etc.

Let me explain what makes this release our most epic one. Two key elements: Tinkercad and Solids!!!

For some time, we have received a lot of feedback about some interactions in Tinkercad that make a lot of sense, and we should adopt them in 123D Design. That’s exactly what we did with two very important ones: Align and Scale.

The new Align tool is very similar to Tinkercad’s Align tool. When multiple objects are selected, it displays some options for aligning to edges or center. You will get a preview before you need to click on your choice.

Changing sizes of selections has been another huge request. We now offer a tool called Smart Scale, which will show a bounding box around your selection, and allow you to change sizes by clicking on the values, or simply drag the controls, exactly like in Tinkercad. So you now have traditional Scale using scale factors, and Smart Scale when you want to force the object to a specific size.

Were you missing a local way to do vectors? We’ve added Export SVG, which saves an SVG file with whatever is intersecting the grid. This is done locally, so it doesn’t involve creating a 2D Layout in the cloud.

This may seem like a lot already. But there’s more.

Imagine you are working in Tinkercad, or got an STL file created by any mechanical app. There’s a limited amount of things you can do with it.

Except that now, if the mesh is healthy (no gaps), it can be converted into a solid, and optimized while doing the conversion. We will find any co-planar faces and this will be a single face you can push. Or find a cylindrical section (made of multiple little facets) and convert it into real arcs. You can now find that edge you wanted to smooth in Tinkercad and it was impossible (up to now).

In the example below, this fantastic model kitchen set may need some editing. So you can get the STL file of the part you want to modify, and convert into solid. Then you can proceed with your favorite solid editing tools!

In a nutshell, our best release ever. Any doubts?

Enjoy the brand new 123D Design!

Download 123D Design

Meshmixer 2.9.2: Experiments

I've been having some fun with the new version of Meshmixer (version 2.9.2) we are releasing today. I've been following fans of Tinkerplay and 123D who have experimented with 3D printing mashups using the Tinkerplay ball and socket connectors and decided to assemble my own.The result: "Foodman" (the name just came to me) which is composed of my captures of fruit and vegetables made with 123D Catch and the new Tinkerplay part libraries that are included with this new release.

Its been a pretty easy workflow with the new improvements to the "Make Solid" tool. Now, not only are mixed up objects magically turned into one 3d printable object, but also the colors are preserved! By the way, it is pretty easy to import the captures from my 123D account within Meshmixer by clicking 123D. I'm going to print this guy in color and see how he holds together...

Though a small update with a ton of bug fixes the new updates to "Make Solid" tool made this experiment with colorful captures from 123D Catch captures from my mobile and Tinkerplay parts possible. Here is a list of the new things in Meshmixer 2.9.2:

  • New TinkerPlay part libraries
  • Make Solid can now bake uv/vertex colors to vertex colors of new mesh
  • New region-growing capability in Selection tool
  • Pivot improvements (.mix import, duplicating linked pivots, new Create modes)
  • Many bugfixes! (texture support, vertex color painting, remeshing, ...)
It is available now at 123dapp.com, so have some fun being a mad scientist!



Mixing it up with Tinkerplay’s New Skeleton Kit

Building off of a popular theme of a previous post to make new parts for Tinkerplay using Meshmixer and 123D, we found some pretty creative mesh mixups. Over at Mingshiuan's blog, we found a slew of modified Tinkerplay parts mixed into and printed with with the new samurai and skeleton kits that ship with the app.

Its a ton of fun to make these customized Tinkerplay parts in Meshmixer using any 3D content you can find on 123dapp.com or Thingiverse. It really just involves repurposing the Tinkerplay ball and socket connectors with anything you desire. If you are interested in doing this yourself, here is an Instructable with the basic workflow. What will you make!?

123D Captures Windows Phones and Tablets

The 123D family recently expanded to include 123D Catch and 123D Sculpt+ for the Windows Store. 123D Catch is also now available for Windows Phone through the Windows Phone Store.

This breaks new ground on the Windows mobile platforms for 123D and broadens the availability of these powerful, free apps for anyone with a Windows device. 

For those new to the apps, 123D Catch uses the camera on your phone or tablet to shoot photographs around something, then upload the photos to the cloud where they are turned into a realistic 3D model.

123D Sculpt+ is a digital sculpting application for tablets, allowing beginners to get into digital 3D sculpting and professionals to do their work on the go.

Both apps boast an ever growing community of 3D photographers and digital sculpturers. Share your creations with others for praise or critique, or simply keep it private for your own use, it is up to you!

The apps are freely available now on the Windows Store (123D Catch, 123D Sculpt+) and Windows Phone Store (123D Catch). To get them, just search and install from the Window Store app on your device.

So,  a couple of reasons for those of you with a Windows device to maximize and share your creativity...and have fun while you're at it!

Learning never stops with Project Ignite

Responding to the President’s call to action to create a Nation of Makers, and as part of a White House event kicking off the National Week of Making, we announced Project Ignite, an open learning platform that builds the skill and confidence of young learners through creative, hands-on design experiences focused on the latest technology trends like 3D printing and electronics. Targeting K-12 schools, Project Ignite encompasses the end-to-end design experience, from idea to digital modeling to physical fabrication.

  • For educators – Project Ignite brings together free* Autodesk design software, including Tinkercad and 123D Circuits, and offers step-by-step lessons within these apps to encourage design thinking and hands-on problem solving skills. It also provides for-purchase hardware options such as 3D printers from MakerBot and Circuit Scribe pens and modules from Electroninks Writeables. Educators can also login for free* to access Project Ignite content whether or not they wish to purchase hardware.
  • For schools – Administrators may choose from various package solutions comprised of free* software and for-purchase hardware options, educator training and support, all from a single place to introduce the Maker Movement into the classroom.
  • For educational partners – Project Ignite is open to educators, publishers, education technology and hardware providers looking for unique opportunities to help drive the next education revolution that will inspire students to further their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education and provide educators access to emerging technology trends quickly.
  • For families or parents – Project Ignite is a great way to learn technology basics together in a moderated environment that extends to engaging and fun weekend projects.

To learn more about the Project Ignite sign up today and get started https://projectignite.autodesk.com. ProjectIgniteLogo

Meshmixer 101 Video Series: Transform with Precision and Pivots

For those of you looking for the hidden tips and tricks inside Autodesk Meshmixer, there is good news!

Meshmixer 2.9 released a few weeks ago, and with it some powerful new tools. See a couple of new additions to the Meshmixer 101 video series: Transform with Precision and Pivots below: 

Also, our friends over at HoneyPoint3D have a kickstarter for a complete online course on Meshmixer. Take a look and back it if you want! We are excited about this as it will help shed some light on the undocumented, powerful tools hidden in Meshmixer.

123D Circuits Video Series : Servo and More!

123D Circuits Banner

Ready to get your How-To on?  We've recorded a handful of awesome new videos that teach basic and advanced concepts of electronics in 123D Circuits.  Each video is based on an existing circuit and with one click you can duplicate it, learn from it, and build it into bigger and better projects.  

Circuit: Arduino and Servo

Circuit: Potentiometer

Circuit: Blink LED with an Arduino

Circuit: Oscilloscope Basics

For more 123D Circuits how-to videos please visit the 123D Circuits Playlist.

Meshmixer 2.9 Saves the Day!

Many of you have been writing us to say thank you for the unique ways that Meshmixer helps you with 3D printing your creations. Today, we say thank YOU by releasing Meshmixer 2.9! There are some spectacular new features in this release...

For those who work with full color models, such as those coming from depth cameras, 123D Catch or 123D Sculpt+, Meshmixer now supports maintaining the color with most tools in Meshmixer. For the geeks: UV textures are supported while editing. Now you can sculpt, remesh, boolean, erase and fill, reduce, etc all while maintaining the integrity of the color on your model.

For example, see the illustration below showing the upgraded Reduce tool that maintains the color texture of a 123D Catch capture while reducing the size and complexity of the geometry.

What is truly a game changer for this release is the addition of precise transforms and the new Pivot tool. The Transform tool now has a properties panel for precise input of position, rotation, and sizing. Now you can enter the exact location and orientation you want your objects to be.

For example, I can perfectly size and align these two objects to each other for an interesting boolean difference result.

 Also, using the new Pivot objects, I can place pivots in many different ways (optionally linking them to objects) and use them in many of the existing tools. For example I can drag one pivot to another and snap the attached object accurately for a quick alignment. 


Here is a list of what is new in this release:

  • Updated most Tools to properly handle Texture Maps
  • New Pivots objects for simplifying precise positioning
  • New Create Pivot tool to place Pivots in many different ways
  • Existing Tools now snap to Pivots when possible
  • Updated Transform tool with precise input of translate/rotate/sizing
  • Transform tool can use a Pivot as arbitrary center-of-rotation
  • Rewritten Align tool with many new alignment modes
  • Fast Pivot-to-Pivot interaction to rapidly position objects
  • Rewritten Remesh tool with new remeshing modes
  • New Adaptivity setting in brush tools
  • Improved support for multi-user installations
  • Improved stability, particularly startup crashes, network-related crashes, and GPU issues
  • Support for Anti-Aliased Rendering in Preferences (disabled by default)


Finally, everyone should check out this 3D printed short film. Filmmaker Gilles-Alexandre Deschaud wrote to thank us for Meshmixer and told us how it streamlined 3D printing everything seen in the film. More on this story soon...