We are eager to let you know that the newest revision of 123D is available for everyone to get their paws on. You get get the 123D Beta 8 for free.
Following further user feedback and trends in the maker community, in this release we focused in particular on improving the tools and techniques in the sketching environment as well as continuing to add additional tools and services for smoother and more direct fabbing workflows (3D printing and laser cutting).
Here a list of some of the more notable improvements or new features we implemented in Beta 8:
Sketching and drafting enhancements
My Corner and My Gallery – direct access to online storage and gallery
Improved tools for laser cutting and 3D printing
3D printing directly from within 123D
For a more details about this release, here is a document that covers all the new and imporved tools we are introducing in Beta 8.
Say what you may about The Singularity University, but 3D printing in outer space is a good idea. Not only does the idea seem to have fallen out of the future, it has very real practical application. By printing objects once in orbit, astronauts can make things with thirty percent less mass. There are obviously some hurdles to this approach and they are still working on perfecting the technology to work in zero gravity situations, but don't be surprised if some day astronauts are able to print out the tools they need (and even additional spacecraft).
If you have a few hundred dollars burning a hole in your pocket and need a new pair of glasses, I recommend checking out Make Eyewear. Using 3D printing technology, they will make glasses and sunglasses to your specifications (with or without prescription lenses). Glasses start at $150 and go up from there, depending on the level of customization. However, if you are feeling a bit more enterprising, you can model your own pair and print them using our printing service. If you decide to go this route, I recommend checking out their manufacturing process to see study some of the finer points about eyeglass construction.
Everyone's favorite urban planning video game, Sim City 2000, is now available in 3D print-ready files. Thanks to avid enthusiast Michael Curry who is remodeling Sim City building-by-building as a form of stress relief, you can now have your own physical copy of the game. Whether or not this means Sim City 2000 will soon make a comeback as a real-time, role-playing, table-top game is yet to be seen. However, if the idea of this appeals to you, you can download the files from Thingiverse and easily print them using our 3D printing service.
The days are getting rapidly shorter, the weather has turned frigid, and winter is setting upon us. Now, more than ever, is a great time to stay indoors and have some 3D modeling fun. So, curl up in front of your computer with a warm cup of cocoa and make a snowman!
To help you get started, we have provided you with a snowman template and some snowman parts for you to decorate it with. However, don't feel obligated to limit yourself to only these parts. You may decorate the snowman however you wish.
Anyone who uploads an original image or 3D model of their snowman to the 123D gallery before January 31st will be getting a free Instructables 1-year pro membership.
Here is a helpful video to help you start to build your snowman
The Smithsonian 3D Digitization Team posted a time-lapse video of what is involved in making a 3D model of an ancient whale fossil in Chile. They appear to be using a high-end laser stylus to scan in the 3D model. This is a different modeling process than the photogrammetry used by 123D catch, but very cool nonetheless. It is great to see how this technology is put to use to create an archive of our history.
For this year's Autodesk University, Oliver has designed a fun interlocking building system that is going to be used as part of the 123D Fab! Contest. During the contest, entrants at the festival are going to compete to see who can build the best structure with cardboard parts such as wheels, levers, and gears. In preparation for the mayhem, thousands of parts were laser cut out of cardboard with the help of our laser cutting service.
Instructables user RobHopeless posted instructions for building your own DIY Stereolithography setup at home. In other words, he created a DIY setup for printing 3D objects in a vat of UV-curable photopolymer resin using a laser. This is very cool because it is not only DIY, but also inexpensive. If you were to buy a commercial Steriolithography printer, you would end up spending tens of thousands of dollars. By contrast, this entire system was built for less than a thousand.
Open-source systems like these are going to fundamentally change the way that objects are produced, as they will bring the prices down to a level where everyone will be able to afford to own a printer. The dream of designing something in 123D and then immediately printing it out on your personal printer is growing nearer by the day.
Over the weekend I stumbled upon the incredibly fun Sake Set Creator over at Shapeways. This quick and easy tool lets you shape small tea cups and get them printed out in food-safe ceramic. I spent a lot of time designing cups, but ultimately decided that the tool just wasn't robust enough for my mug designing needs. I needed to take things a step further and explore more extreme mug possibilities. So, I broke out my trusty copy of 123D and designed myself a fancier mug. I'm currently working on refining my design and ultimately plan to get it printed in ceramic. Stay tuned for the amazing results of my mug printing escapades.