123D Catch – improved quality and 3D printing workflows

 

Creating 3D models from your photographs just got easier today. 123D Catch V3 for Windows was just released with a notable improvement on project success and mesh quality, including a streamlined workflow for healing and 3D printing your captures in Meshmixer. Below I'll go into detail for how to use all the new features.

Most notably, there is vast improvement on automatic stitching of photographs you submit. In the previous version of 123D Catch the same set of photographs below, of the Hindu Deity Vishnu at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, required manual stitching those photos that weren't automatically stitched together. This new version has no problem automatically stitching all of the photos I've submitted. Gone are the days of manual stitching! Hurray!

Capture of Hindu Deity Vishnu at Asian Arts Museum in SF

Capture of Hindu Deity Vishnu at Asian Arts Museum in SF.

 

All of your captures are all stored in your account at 123dapp.com, so you can create captures on the go with the iOS app, then open them for further refinement on the desktop app. Below, I regenerate a denser mesh focused only on the sculpture by lasso selecting only the sculpture, then clicking Generate Mesh in the toolbar. This will only regenerate the selected area at a quality you decide (choosing Max will have more details at the cost of longer processing time and a larger file)

Finally, clicking File...3D Print...will load the capture into Meshmixer where you can heal and prepare your capture for 3D printing in a variety of materials with a 3D printing service or right on your own desktop 3D printer at home!

 

3D printing capture in Meshmixer

Hindu Deity Vishnu capture in Meshmixer, healed and with support structures for 3D printing

 

We are seeing some amazing and very unexpected captures coming in from our friends in the 123D community. The new 123D Catch desktop app will help even more whether you use the iOS app or shoot photos with your own camera. Need some tips or help on shooting just the right photographs for 123D Catch? Try here for some pointers.

I leave you with some of my recent favorite captures folks have shared in the gallery, for inspiration to create your own. Have fun!!

 

World Cup Trophy

World Cup Trophy

Hayderik on the Grass
Hayderik on the Grass

 

Falla Lo Rat Penat 2014

Falla Lo Rat Penat 2014

 

Fab10 Barcelona

 

Autodesk was pleased to be a primary sponsor and an award giver for the inaugural Fab Awards, at the 10th annual Fab Lab Conference in Barcelona, Spain. According to their website, "FAB10Barcelona is a one week series of events focused on open and accessible technologies that will change the world. It gathers the Fab Lab Network and the citizens of Barcelona to make it a FAB City." 

Competition was fierce with over 100 excellent submissions from dozens of countries!  Most projects included their source files, so you can even make them yourself: https://www.fab10.org/en/awards

Below you can see the winners: Sénamé Koffi and his team of architects & engineers from Lomé, Togo. After buying a 3D printer for their new makerspace WoeLab, they looked around and realized they already had the parts to build their next 3D printing machine.

Every year, 515 tons of broken gadgets get shipped to West Africa, where young workers burn the equipment to salvage materials like gold and copper in a dangerously toxic environment. But there’s a lot of craft and engineering that goes into electronic components, all of which is wasted when things gets melted down for scrap.  WoeLab manager Dodji Honou says the members of WoeLab asked themselves, “how can we create something of our own using what we have around us?”

Using the frame of an old desktop computer, iron rails from discarded printers, and one new Arduino board, WoeLab member Afate Gnikou invented the W.Afate 3D printer—which won First Place in the Fab Awards.

“With an old thing and a good idea,” says Honou, “you can make a solution.”

 

Second prize went to another new idea inspired by old electronics: the Ag Inkjet Circuit (AgIC) was developed by Yoshihiro Kawahara from the University of Tokyo, in collaboration with Microsoft Research Cambridge and Georgia Institute of Technology. "Ag" is the chemical symbol for silver, and this brilliant invention uses conductive silver ink to turn ordinary inkjet printers into circuit board manufacturers. To quote the AgIC website: “Say goodbye to breadboard.”

 

In third place we have the 3D Printed Prosthetics initiative at Fab Lab San Diego in California, USA, with Katie Rast presenting their innovative Gladius prosthetic leg design and their initiative to support 3D-printed hands.  Most prosthetic legs are specialized in their use so people require multiple prosthetics for different activities, but this new design provides an all-in-one solution for running or walking on different terrains.

3D printed prosthetics have an advantage over traditional designs because they are a fraction of the cost and they can easily be tailor-made. Initiatives like Fab Lab San Diego and eNABLE connect 3D printers to people who need prosthetic hands, while providing simple software for customizing hands to fit their users.

 

 

Autodesk had an award to present, and it went to the Waag Society’s inventive and customizable low-cost prosthesis. This prosthetic leg is a collaboration between Dutch and Indonesian designers, using locally-available materials like pineapple tree fibers and bamboo, a realistic alternative for people without access to MRI's and industrialized technology.

 

A popular vote awarded FabPonics from Puerto Rico the Audience Choice Prize. Their clever aquaponics design brings urban farming to the Caribbean, and uses digital fabrication to easily manufacture systems for incorporating fish tanks and water filtration into small farming modules.

Overall it was an amazing and inspiring event full of innovative people and brand new ideas. If you want to get involved in events like this, consider creating your own projects! You can even get started right here on 123D

Electrify Your Napkin Sketches With Circuit Scribe

You might have heard of Circuit Scribe by Electroninks and their very successful Kickstarter campaign. We're pleased to announce that Electroninks will be selling Circuit Scribe through the new 123D Circuits store!

Electroninks & Autodesk Join Forces

Circuit Scribe Kickstarter backers now have the ability to manage their pledge, and anyone can browse and purchase complete Kits or individual Pens and Modules from the 123D Circuit store. By setting up a free account, you'll also be able to keep track of the Modules you already own. To learn more about Circuit Scribe, click here

"With our Circuit Scribe conductive pens and circuit modules, we’re introducing a new era of electronics prototyping and learning that is affordable, accessible, and fun. Through our partnership with Autodesk, we will open the doors even wider by providing a platform for circuit simulation to the education and maker communities,” said Analisa Russo, lead developer of the Electroninks Circuit Scribe.  “We hope that our new marketplace and online tools will inspire creativity among makers of all ages and skill levels.”

 

*Spoiler Alert!*

As a natural extension of our partnership with Electroninks, Kickstarter backers will soon be able to join the 123D Circuits community with the upcoming release of the Circuit Scribe Virtual Editor, exclusively created by the 123D Circuits team to emulate Circuit Scribe Pens and Modules. This editor will allow you to design, simulate, print out, and draw over your circuit. Here’s a sneak peek! And let us know if you'd like to be notified via email when it launches...

“Circuit Scribe is a truly a revolutionary tool to electrify circuit drawings and we’re thrilled to partner with Electroninks to provide students and makers with a fun way to learn about electricity and circuits, while adding a new dimension to their creations,” said Benjamin Schrauwen, product line manager and architect of 123D Circuits. “This is also a great extension to our 123D Circuits users in combining a virtual simulation platform for conductive ink with the actual hardware.”

Circuit Scribe Virtual Editor Edition. Coming Soon...

 

PLANT3D Part 2: Bike Edition

One day I was meandering through the print shop when the Instructables intern, Rachel, casually mentioned to me that she was working on a bike commuter Instructable. At that moment, my calling became apparent. I needed to 3D print a planter for mounting on bikes. After all, who doesn’t want to cruise through the streets in the company of another living, green being, conveniently mounted to their handlebars?

To build the planter, I started with a blank canvas in 123D Design. (I prefer to use the desktop version, but this is definitely feasible in the online version as well.) I started with a cube from the primitives menu approximately three-quarters of the size of my air plant.

Rachel mounted the other parts of her commuter project to her bike via ziptie, so I created a ziptie-sized half-circular hole to keep the look uniform. This was done with a series of concentric circle sketches that were extruded in a particular order; you can find a thorough account of the process in this Instructable.

Bike-mounted, 3D-printed planters are a green, simple way to pimp your ride. The file is available for download on the Instructable, so get printing and be prepared to be the envy of bike commuters everywhere.

 

Featured User : Alexander Sharikov’s Rotary Encoder Board

Featured User Image

Have you ever want a rotary encoder in your project but didn't want to design it in?  Featured user Alexander Sharikov has done the work for you and was kind enough to share it via 123D Circuits.  You can click the link to his board and order it for yourself, you only need a few components to solder down and you'll have a fantastic light-up, de-bounced rotary encoder!


Alexander found this LED-backlit rotary encoder component on Sparkfun.com and designed the board with supporting components.  The following pictures are of of his board:

PCB layout in 123D Circuits, Alexander's board, and the rotary encoder component on it's own.
 

The bottom of Alexander's rotary encoder board has screw terminals that make it easy to prototype with:
Rotary Encoder board bottom view 

Click the Read More link to see Alexander's rotary encoder embedded in the blog - and a Sparkfun video explaining how to use it.  Read more »

The Mighty Midwest Presents: Adrian Stein

 

For our final installment of the Mighty Midwest we revisit talented student artist, Adrian Stein. In May he stole the spotlight as a featured Maker of The Day and Meshmixer super user so we wanted to delve deeper into his story to share it with you. With thoughts like, "Hearts are wild creatures; that’s why our ribs are cages,” it's no surprise that his physical artwork evokes a whole new level of imagination that he chooses to express through 3D printing.

We met with Adrian at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago back in February, and more recently our friends in the 3DRV, which is currently crisscrossing the country, had the chance to sit down with him for a follow up - see the video below for a peek into the wonderful mind of Adrian Stein.

 

 

Looking into Adrian's artistic process revealed a poetic approach that can best be described in his own words:

"As my research progresses, I have found that most designs have a lack of connectedness to the nature of music, or sound. I have tried to approach the matter scientifically, and creatively, with an original intent to engage a design that is both feral and endearing; two characteristics that I encountered in nature, in her species, and in the passive-aggressive dances that her children made. The sounds and compositions from animals around the world are arranged in order to establish presence, attraction or repulsion; Hence I found much inspiration from the study of mating rituals in the wild; it is quite fascinating how alike we are to all species in this earth. Something that transcends in the mating rituals of most species, including our own, is the ritualistic aspect of the mating mannerisms, coupled with loud bluster, or soft melody; A preparation, an interaction, responses from both parties, climax, and eventually a separation (biological or eventual). As so, I have chosen two options for the sound-wave designs, one consists of the extremely complex mating call of the Lyrebird, the Mockingbirds big brother, and another is a song which either speaks of love or is love inspired. Depending on the final choice, I will modify the aesthetics of this to fit."

With this inspiration in mind, Adrian looked within himself and created a 3D model based on his own voice saying, "I Love You." He shaped the resulting waveform diagram into the shape of a bracelet (which you can see below,) creating an idea that can be replicated by lovers everywhere. 

3D printing of waveform I Love You

You can (and should) keep up with Adrian's work via his Tumblr blog, and be sure to keep on the lookout for more features on him here. This is one artist you don't want to miss.

----

Thank you so much for joining us on this journey through the Midwest. It has been a real to treat to report on how Chicago is driving the maker movement. Check out our other stories coming out of the Midwest, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Tom Burtonwood, and the Chicago Public Library. Be sure to stick around as we begin exploring other cities and regions to bring you more news on innovations in 3D printing and making worldwide.

123D Circuits adds Arduino MICRO and ATTINY

For almost a year now you’ve been able to simulate a virtual Arduino UNO in 123D Circuits and in that time tens of thousands of people have used an Arduino board in their virtual breadboard projects.


Today we're announce two Arduino components new to 123D Circuits:  The MICRO and the ATTINY!

Having these two new components is valuable for a few reasons:

The first is that you may want to design your projects with components that are a lot smaller than an UNO and fit on a breadboard.  Your projects will look cleaner, use less wires, and if you’re also building a physical project using the smaller MICRO or ATTINY you’ll save some money over the bigger UNO.


ATTINY graphic 220 pixels wideSecondly, if you think about it the ATTINY isn’t really an Arduino board, it’s a chip made by Atmel that you can program with the same code as regular Arduino boards.  Almost all Arduino boards use these Atmel chips (called “AVRs”) so it makes perfect sense that you can also use just the chip to make your projects super small.


code editor 220 pixels wideThirdly, if you can write code for the little ATTINY from Atmel in 123D Circuits that means you can write and compile code for any of Atmel’s AVR-series chips.  This is a big deal because it opens up the possibilities of being able to design with different chips based on your needs like: How many analog inputs?  How many digital pins?  How much memory?  Does it fit in a breadboard?  Is it tiny?  Is it super cheap?

Click the Read More button to see an example ATTINY project being simulated... Read more »

Getting Sculpted with Shapeshifter

If your burning desire to print complex shapes has been constantly subdued by the difficulty of intricate 3D modeling, Project Shapeshifter is the tool for you. Currently in beta, Shapeshifter is Autodesk’s free application dedicated to simplifying complex models.

Upon opening the app for the first time, fellow Autodesk intern Arnab Mukherjee created not one — but four — Shapeshifter-crafted sculptures in one afternoon. The results were impressive:

To make this sculpture, Arnab started with one of the pre-loaded templates (users can choose from vase, bowl, ring, bracelet, knot and more) and tinkered with the various slider controls until he was satisfied with the shape.

The Shapeshifter interface exists entirely within your browser, making it easy to use. Despite its simple presentation, there are many layers of customization that allow the user to fully shape an imagined object.

Sliders offer complete control over each aspect of the model, from more basic characteristics like thickness, color and spin profile to advance characteristics like wave frequency and amplitude. Pre-loaded patterns fill the bottom tray, allowing users to change the pattern throughout the modeling process.

Once the sliders have been adjusted to create the desired shape, you simply export for 3D printing and there it is: a unique, beautifully-intricate Shapeshifter sculpture.

You can experiment with the beta platform by making your own Shapeshifter object using the various controls. Or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, hit the randomize option in the top menu and print your result.

 

MeshMixer 101: 3D Printing

 

The Meshmixer 101 playlist is a series of videos to get you up and running with Meshmixer.

This video will show you a typical workflow for healing a capture from 123D Catch, then printing with a 3D printing service.

Featured User : Bryan Perry Keeps It Level

We have a saying in English about being 'up a creek without a paddle'.  What that means is: you're in deep trouble and there's no way out.  Well, 123D Circuits user Bryan Perry's pump station monitor circuitry is built to prevent such a situation - because it's all about keeping the levels of water (or whatever's in the tank) within safe levels.

When we found out a 123D Circuits user was designing something that's part of a modern civic infrastructure we just had to feature him.  It's this kind of circuit that keeps cities from flooding in winter and reservoirs at proper levels year-round.

In a nutshell here's how they work: There's a water storage tank underground.  Inside are three floats at different levels.  When water rises it makes the bottom float rise, then the middle float.  When this happens the circuit tells a pump to move some water out of the tank and thus lower the level of water.  When the water drops below the first two floats the circuit then tells the pump to turn off.  All good, BUT if the water was rising so fast the third float rises the circuit will turn on the second pump.  For an interactive breadboard simulation where you can click on the "floats" - check out this extra circuit Bryan made.


In the picture above the two blue clips can detect current flowing through a wire and are how the circuit can tell if the pumps are actually running or not.  If they're not running when they're supposed to the circuit will send Bryan a text (see the Sprint box, that's what that's for). The black cylinder is a backup 5V battery and the green terminal blocks on Bryan's circuit connect to the pumps and floats.  The microcontroller on the board is a SPARK CORE.
The board below was designed in 123D Circuits.
Bryan pressed the "Order" button and 10 days later the PCBs arrived. 

Click the Read More button to continue and see Bryan's circuit embedded in the blog!   Read more »