What a great turnout at the 2014 USA Science & Engineering Festival!
We went to Washington D.C. last weekend to participate in one of the largest STEM-focused events in the country and saw lots of rad education initiatives by big names like Chevron, Caterpillar and even Mike Rowe, from Dirty Jobs!
It was great seeing both educators and students so excited about learning (even if it was sometimes disguised as Minecraft). We hung out with the TechShop folks, gave a talk on Tinkercad and took some time to visit the National Mall to do some 123D Catches!
We're looking forward to the next one!
Autodesk was pleased to partner with the Lincoln Motor Company at the Great Create, a fundraising event at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. Autodesk provided large scale 3D printed models of the new 2015 Lincoln Navigator, to be painted by two artists on site, Charlie Skala and Chisum Pierce. In addition, we provided smaller models of the car to be painted by children attending the event.
Over 200 of the little cars were painted by children at the event, in a wide variety of colors and designs.
Staff from Autodesk's 123D consumer software group demonstrated a 3D printer at the event, just like the one used to produce the smaller models.
The process of creating these models and preparing them for 3D printing was interesting. Keep reading to learn more!
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- Design circuits in a web browser? Check.
- Simulate buttons, motors, resistors, and LEDs? It’s got that too.
- Let you write, compile, and simulate Arduino-compatible code? Yes, yes and YES.
- Accurately simulate capacitors and inductors in real time? New!
- Display signals on a virtual Oscilloscope? Also New!
Three virtual oscilloscopes.
People who own an oscilloscope
will tell you it's useful for probing into parts of a circuit and literally watching voltages change over time. This is important because most of the time in electronics, things happen so fast you can't see them change, but with an oscilloscope you can seemingly slow time and examine things that happened in the blink of an eye. For that reason, oscilloscopes are an incredibly useful tool and now that Transient Analysis
is part of the 123D Circuits simulator you can add virtual oscilloscopes
to your circuits. It's like having a microscope for your circuits, you can see what's happening on the inside. Wow, right?!
Here's an example that illustrates how powerful this is when you're learning about electronics: You connect a capacitor to a battery and the capacitor charges up -- it happens almost instantly, but exactly how almost-instantly? With 123D Circuits's new oscilloscope you can catch that brief moment where the capacitor charged up and look at it closely. You'll see the curved graph of the cap's voltage rising. You can then click on the capacitor, change it's value and immediately see the difference it makes in the time it takes to charge up. Sounds nerdy (and perhaps it is...) but being able to see this phenomena is a big step towards understanding one of the most important concepts of electronics: how things change over time, AKA Transient Analysis.
You could already simulate circuits in real time so... what's new? Up until now 123D Circuits
was simulating the behaviors of a circuit that happen instantaneously
- like the current through and voltage across a resistor. Ohms law stuff
With accurate Transient Analysis built-in, it can now simulate things that are not instantaneous, like the current flowing through an inductor and the voltage rising across a capacitor. And not just one capacitor or inductor -- you can build a complex circuit with dozens of parts (including microchips) and simulate the entire functional circuit in real time!
Here's an embedded version of the above circuit. Click the little PLAY button in the upper right.
(best viewed in the Chrome browser)
Keep reading to find out more about what you can simulate.
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It’s crazy how this month’s theme of Robots, Space and STEAM gets students of all ages excited about learning. I am the mother of two young girls and I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by a community of users that are passionate about what they do. My 5 five-year old came home from pre-school and announced that she “knows how to design think.”
Good thing she has a mom that asked a few follow-up questions:
“What is design think?”
In her simple five-year old terms she replied, “It’s when you think of something in your head then draw it and do some stuff to make it work.”
My follow-up was, “how do you make it work?”
“Mommy, it’s like when Elsa in Frozen made her castle out of ice. She had it in her head, what she wanted it to look like and then it came out of her hands. She made it.”
Well, it may not be the webster’s definition but she is on the right track.
With global declines in test scores around science, math, engineering and math, teachers are looking to the Maker movement to help disrupt their classrooms. Many have looked into the Autodesk Digital STEAM workshop to use project based learning to capture the minds of their students and retain engagement in these subjects. These projects are easy ways to get the students in the back of your classroom to engage. Students want to use their minds, they have an innate curiosity to learn so let’s tap into the Maker movement and keep the excited alive! Who knows maybe we will all “design think” one day.
We've been ramping up our Meshmixer production lately and released a new update with YOU in mind. See, we are gathering all of your feedback and suggestions and adding it into the application. We are especially excited for the new 3D printing workflows that are coming with each release, some examples below.
Many of you requested to have 3D printers that we did not list in the pre-populated list of 3D printers. We heard you and decided to let you add your own 3D printer so you can layout and arrange a print job for your specific machine. Its fairly intuitive to set up if you at least know the build volume of your 3D printer.
Here is a list of what's new in Meshmixer 2.3, released yesterday, April 21st:
- New add/edit custom printer so you can prep your 3D prints for any 3D printer
- New Make Slices tool: Slice an object into a number flat slices. Two techniques: Stacked or Stacked3D
- New drag/drop solid objects in addition to parts. Addition of primitives category
- Added part categories to the Meshmix panel to accommodate growing libraries of parts and solids
- New Separate Shells tool to separate combined but separate geometry into separate objects
- Better naming of newly created objects from duplicate, separate, etc…
- PLY binary format support (which is handy for importing the per-vertex color meshes coming in from depth cameras)
- 3Dconnexion space mouse support
- Lots of bug-fixes and stability improvements
By the way, it is now even easier to give us your feedback and suggestions directly from the application! You can see a new menu item named Feedback that you can use to send feedback (good or bad) directly to the developers. With this, you might possibly define some of the next features in the upcoming releases!
How do you use Meshmixer? What would you like to see next?
Pendant designed in Meshmixer. A multi-material print on a Stratasys Connex machine
So here's the thing - you guys are awesome. Every day you show us new ways of looking at 3D printing and creativity, and we want to celebrate everything you do by featuring you on our website! With the Bay Area Maker Faire coming up in May, there is no better time to make that happen.
Submit your work by filling out our very quick survey here for the opportunity to be one of our Makers of the Day, like Ritik, who 3D printed the glasses above!
Chris Anderson may have broken the news before we got to it, but that doesn't make us any less excited to share the new and improved desktop version of 123D Design with you!
Yes, that's right folks. 123D Design got a facelift, and you're going to like the way it looks. With a new UI, new features, and so much more, 123D Design makes it easier than ever for beginners, novices, and experts to get in on the fun that is 3D printing.
Check out the changes here, and stay tuned for more pictures, tutorials, and an in-depth guide to the changes.
Come Spring, here at 123D secret headquarters we start thinking about bunnies and Easter eggs - but also about robots and rockets. We decided to combine these interests by digging through our collection of 3D models and putting together a collection of Easter Bunny 3D mashups using Meshmixer.
We have an extensive collection of Easter Bunnies, Retro Robots and lots of other cool stuff, all of which works great with Meshmixer. So we set to work to make a collection of somewhat untraditional Easter Bunnies. We hope you enjoy them, and are inspired to try some remixes of your own!
In the middle right is Castle Bunny, protecting his carefully hoarded Easter Eggs with a castle that rolls on tank treads from one of the retro robots. Meshmixer's Make Solid feature was used to prepare all the meshes for combining. Keep reading to learn more about the rest of the bunnies.
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When people think about modeling rockets and space ships in Tinkercad, they can be forgiven for thinking that all you can do is stick a cone shape on top of a cylinder, and call it a day - but they're wrong! Tinkercad can do a lot more.
Tinkercad has a very powerful engine under the hood, and with some creativity and ingenuity, you can make great looking models that rival those from other 3D modeling packages - and do it fast, for free and in your browser.
Keep reading and follow along the Instructable if you want to learn more.
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Last week we announced a new theme: ROCKETS and ROBOTS so I'm super excited to post about a BEAM ROBOT that we've given life in 123D Circuits.
"BEAM" is an acronym for Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics, and Mechanics. It refers to a style of robots that don't require programming - instead they use analog logic to react to stimulus of various types (like light, sound, and heat). The great thing about BEAM robots is that you can learn a lot about electronics just by making one or even taking one apart. To get an idea, check out this BEAM robot simulator in 123D Circuits and experiment by clicking on its components to see what happens.
There are a ton of BEAM robot-related Instructables and we chose to build a simulation of one that reacts to light. This is called a Phototrope, as it will try to move toward a light source. That's pretty buggy!
Below is the simulation of the left 1/2 of the BEAM robot. For clarity, we've linked a simulation of just one side of the BEAM robot (the second half would be identical). Full left-right schematic here.
Press the PLAY button (top right) to get started.
link to this project in 123D Circuits - with full description and schematic
We’ll be releasing this as a finished circuit board so you can build one, too. We're also working on a 3D model for an enclosure in Tinkercad that you can use or build off and make your own Phototrope Bug. Stay tuned!