Meshmixer Update!: Your 3D Printing Sidekick Adds Patterning and More

Well, it's only been about a month since the last update to Autodesk Meshmixer, which included more powerful 3D printing workflows. Today, Autodesk Meshmixer updated again with the 3D printing workflows you requested, many general enhancements, and a few surprises.

Autodesk Meshmixer Update

 

We are having a lot of fun playing with the newly added "Make Pattern" tool and 3D printing the results. Make Pattern lets you create a unique cage-like structure that conforms to an objects surface (like below) and more. 

3D Patterned Objects

Examples of objects patterned in Meshmixer

 

As for the 3D printing additions, one highlight is the support for assigning multiple materials (for printers that feature multiple material prints). For example, you can now assign what objects are assigned to the Left/Right extruder for your Makerbot Replicator 2X. Here is a print I made with 2 materials on an Objet Connex 500. It is a 123D Catch capture of Autodesk's CEO Carl Bass in Vero Clear combined with the Autodesk brand "A" in Vero White. This was stylized and prepared for the Objet printer all in Meshmixer, then printed all in one go!

Multi-material 3D print

This is a multi-material print I created in Meshmixer and printed to a Objet Connex 500

 

Last but not least, thank you for all of your feedback on Autodesk Meshmixer, and please keep it coming! Due to growing popularity of this free app, we are looking to make more regular updates so you can continue to push the limits of your 3D printing amazingness. So, if you would like to give us praise or even scold us, send any feedback to meshmixer@autodesk.com.

Top 5 3D Printing Features in the new Autodesk Meshmixer

 

Autodesk Meshmixer free all-in-one 3D printing application

Autodesk Meshmixer free all-in-one 3D printing and more application.

Autodesk Meshmixer updated today with a nice all-in-one suite for 3D printing, making it the ultimate free sculpting, mixing, painting, 3D printing application out there. Most notably, when you are ready to print your multi-mesh mashup, you can click the "Print" button which loads an arsenal of simple analysis and layout tools to arrange, heal, and even print directly to a 3D printer. See the video below for an quick teaser of what is new.

 The integration with 3D printers is intended to make the process to 3D printing even more streamlined. The healing tools require no training at all and will make just about any model printable. If you want to save time and material, then you can give your model a wall thickness so that it's hollow inside. Also, the generation of support material is an artform in itself. Of course, the experienced Meshmixer users can still find their original re-meshing, sculpting and healing tools they have grown to love for that extra level of control.

With all that in mind, here are my Top 5 Meshmixer Features for anyone interested in 3D printing.

5. New feature: "Make Solid". Now you can mash a bunch of meshes together and use "Make Solid" to heal them all together into a 3D printable object. See my Danielle Steele-like book cover I whipped together below from some 123D Catch captures I downloaded from 123dapp.com.

Make Solid

Make Solid makes these 123D Catch captures watertight!

 

4. Automatic repairing (I counted 1 click!). Whether it be a messy, unprintable model or you just want a sanity check for 3D printing your refined creation. The addition of an option to automatically "Repair Selected" is an easy hands free way to make any model 3D printable. Find it in the print bed layout screen.

3. "Hollow with Wall Thickness" will save you time and material when printing. Essentially giving your model a wall thickness that you decide, making it a hollow print rather than a solid print with infill. You can visualize how thick your model is with the slick see-through representation.

2. Analysis tools: Strength, Stability, and Slicing. This unique set of tools is perfect for visualizing how your printed model will look and perform before printing it. My favorite is the "Stability" tool where I can make sure my print will stand upright. Using this, I can push the limits of how I mix and sculpt, ensuring the printed object will not topple over!

1. Print direct to your 3D printer (Windows 8.1 supported). Windows 8.1 users will have the option to print directly to their printer, bypassing the need to go through another app such as Makerware, eliminating this extra step.

Don't take my word for it, try it for yourself...its free for Mac or Windows (32/64 bit) at its brand new page: 123dapp.com/meshmixer.

Autodesk 123D Catch makes appearance at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Jacob Kok's Evolution

Jacob Kok's Evolution Collection

The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam took place last week and 123D Catch made an appearance! Fashion designer Jacob Kok incorporated capturing his collection "Evolution'' in 3D on the catwalk with 123D Catch. Autodesk was more than happy to help Kok present in his collection in a new, digital form.

Kok: "By presenting my designs not only physically but also digitally, new dimensions are created to strengthen the experience of fashion."

Essentially, shooting a sequence of photos around the models donning Kok's collection enabled creating a digital version of the physical designs. Shooting captures of the models donning the collection required shooting them holding still such that the photos could be stitched together to create the digital model. 

Kok: "123D Catch enables you to see more of my collection than the visitors of my show. It’s interactive; you can spin the model around and zoom to see every little detail."

You can view and tumble around the 3D captures and see videos of the full collection at 123dapp.com and at Kok's site.

Strike a pose!...and hold for a bit!...

123D Catch for iOS7: All grown up!!

It is my great pleasure to announce a brand spankin' new 123D Catch for all iOS devices running iOS7. 123D Catch is available at the AppStore right now here!!

 123D Catch: All grown up. Now for iOS 7

Before I get into the nitty gritty, I have to let you know that 123D Catch has grown up today. You can see the difference in our faithful volunteer/poster child, Aidan, who has also grown up. See his captures above from when we first launched 123D Catch two years ago, and compare it to those from the new version. Check out this quick video peek at what's in store with this monumental upgrade:

                      

Under the hood (aka in the cloud), processing your captures has been completely reworked with you in mind! The new 123D Catch pipeline significantly improves on the old process: stitching all of your capture photos together automatically, and creating detailed 3D images with crisp photo-real textures. Yes, gone are the days of manual stitching!!

That's only on the backend...we've also designed a brand new, slick app exclusively for iOS 7. Some highlights and geek speak:

  • Guided capture: dynamic visual feedback while capturing to ensure you are shooting the best possible photographs.
  • Engage with and follow other 3D photographers and their projects in the gallery.
  • Increased photo limit to 70 photographs so you can ensure complete coverage.
  • Advanced 3D previews of captures in the gallery
  • Processing higher resolution images means finer details in your capture.
  • App will now wait for a wifi connection to upload photographs for a capture, unless you explicitly tap the go ahead to use your data plan.
 
We hope you are as excited about these new updates as we are! Be sure to check back into the blog tomorrow for an amazing project that exemplifies all the amazing new things 123D Catch can do.
 
Visit www.123dapp.com/catch for more info!

 

Bringing the museum home with you (legally) with 123D Catch

 Guardian Lion courtesy of Asian Art Museum SF

As product manager of 123D Catch, I’m always curious how this powerful little app is being used. Lately, I’ve seen a boom in use of 123D Catch at museums. It is a great app to help truly study a piece in a collection and understand a master’s intention. Putting in the extra credit to heal and 3D print a captured piece can be especially rewarding in this regard.

See a few examples here of taking the museum home with you by way of this handy iPhone/iPad app.

Here is a piece on Gizmodo about a recent 3D Printing Camp where kids are using the 123D Catch iPhone/iPad app to scan dinosaur bones at the American Museum of Natural History in NY: http://gizmodo.com/amnh-3d-printing-camp-lets-make-some-dinos-868773820

Another from Techcrunch of an individual using Google Glass to snap photos at Walters Art Museum to capture a sculpture. Photos can then be uploaded via the web app or Windows app: http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/28/maker-nabs-a-3d-model-of-marcus-aurelius-with-google-glass/

Of course each museum will have its limitations on what you can capture in 3D and what your intentions are with the captured piece from their collection or a temporary installation. Best to know their take on it before you recreate these masterpieces.

So, if you want to try it out, I’ve created three videos to show how you might do this yourself. Go from shooting photographs of your favorite piece in a collection to 3D printing it with a 3D printing service easily. Many thanks to the Asian Art Museum SF for lending their pieces to capture!

Its as easy as 1…2…3D print!

Step 1: Use the iPhone or iPad app to shoot photographs sequentially around your subject. Here, I use my SLR camera and upload them using the web app:

Step 2: Use the editing and healing capabilities of the 123D Catch web app to clean up and prepare your capture for 3D printing.

 

Step 3: 3D print your capture using a 3D printing service directly from within the 123D Catch web app!! You can choose from iMaterialise, Shapeways, or Sculpteo, and each has an interesting assortment of material options, including plastics, metals, and ceramic to name a few.

 

123D Make Design in Cast Iron

Mixed-media sculpture artist Eric Jacobson has found a way to cast 123D Make designs into fantastic iron and bronze sculptures. He started by creating the sliced piece in 123D Make, then went to TechShop to laser cut the pattern out of foam and used that to create a sand mold. The finished piece is about 10" tall and cast as a solid piece of iron. Sand mold To learn more about how he created the piece, you can find step-by-step details in this Instructable. And check out more of Eric's finished pieces on his site: http://gallery.e-jacobson.com/