3D printing everyday stuff.

Let's get this out of the way: 3D printing is amazing.  Prototyping and even generating human tissue are happening.  Right. Now.

That said, let's find some everyday uses for this crazy technology. How are you using it to fix stuff around your house?  Doorstops, replacement parts, hacks, key hooks... all that stuff.

Dont' have access to a 3D printer?  Post your idea here and maybe we'll help you get it made...  ;)

Here's a perfect example - a conquered washing machine knob, see the Instructable here. More stuff in the Instructables Forum.

Carbon Fiber guitar. Go Make one this weekend with 123D.

Last month in San Francisco, TechShop members had a little party over the weekend to make their own custom guitars. That's rad enough, but the workshop aimed one step further and taught them how to do it in Carbon Fiber.

The process is simpler than you'd think.  With a basic guitar body design, you can build a model in 3D software (123D Design is free), then take that file via an .stl model into 123D Make, which slices the model into cross sections that you can laser cut (or go analog and grab an Exacto blade).  Once those are stacked and glued together, you have a mold!!  Read this Instructable on how to do to do it, you'll get no spoilers here.

OR, you can listen to the Safety Third Show - in Episode 1, they go through the experience of the workshop and Blaine sings a little song.

Here's the coverage on Wired Design:

Long-Distance Prosthetic Fitting

Instructables Superhero Bilal Ghalib recently put up an amazing post after visiting his cousin Zaid in Iraq  - who has lost the lower half of his leg from diabetes (after 13 years of sanctions, his family can't always get to the medical care that they need).  Even more unfortunate is the fact that Zaid's brace causes incredible pain when he uses it.

Bilal used 123D Catch to create a model of his cousin's leg, met with a former Stanford engineer - Joel Sadler - and went back to Iraq with a supplemental design that would help with the pain.

From Bilal:

The idea was that if we could tie the brace tightly enough around the prosthetic, the metal bar that goes through the brace would help distribute the weight to the top of the brace attached to his thigh. I was able to prototype this project the last time I was there with Mujtaba from the Iraqi hackerspace Fikra Space. It didn't remove all the pain from the pressure point on his leg, but it did help. It appears that the addition of a more natural body shaped insertion point would help relieve the rest of the pain.

We'll keep you updated on their progress, but read the full Instructable here.

Creature Shenanigans at SXSW 2013

We just got back from a great week of the SXSW (South-By-Southwest) Festival in Austin, TX! There were lots of great speakers and startups, and even better food.

We were there introducing our newest app, 123D Creature and supporting our friends at Instructables and our new partners, MakerBot.  Here's some more coverage of the event.

I've fallen in love with 123D Creature and with one feature in particular - the Render room allows for photographs to be inserted as backgrounds, and is totally fun to scare kids with.   The 123D Gallery is full of insanely good models that users have made on their iPads.  Have a look at some here and try it yourself..!  Just go into the app on your iPad, open your model or one from the gallery, and render using the camera function.  From there, you can share it on our Facebook page!


Interactive 3D Graphics Course on Udacity next week!

Udacity.com is hosting an online course for Interactive 3D Graphics on March 11 with Autodesk Sr. Engineer, Eric Haines.  More info here.  Check it out! From Eric Haines, the instructor for this class and co-author of the book, "Real-Time Rendering":  "Every computer and every new smartphone comes equipped with a GPU (a graphics processing unit). This piece of hardware can rapidly display 3D objects and scenes rendered with realistic lighting and materials. Computer games are an obvious application, one that in fact has driven the widespread adoption of the GPU as a key component of any computer. In the past two years, it’s become possible to display and interact with 3D scenes directly in the browser, so now HTML pages can include fully 3D content, and these 3D objects can be combined with 2D web page elements as well as videos.
 This course will focus on the basics of the theory and practice of interactive 3D computer graphics rendering. Along the way we'll learn about three.js and WebGL, which are used to display 3D objects in the browser. However, you'll also gain a more general foundation of knowledge as well: the focus of this course is on the principles of 3D rendering itself. Understanding the underlying theory means that these skills can be applied to many other fields, such as 3D program development for personal computers, mobile devices, and game consoles.
On a personal level, I’m excited to be a part of this class. I’m giving the lectures, but it’s wonderful to see technologies like WebGL and three.js being used for all kinds of great stuff. The ability to have a lesson or a demo about 3D computer graphics be just a mouse click away is something that we couldn’t have done a few years ago."