Introducing Tinkerplay: anyone can make 3D printed creatures and characters

We're pleased to announce a new addition to Autodesk's family of easy-to-use apps for all: Tinkerplay. I've been using this app for a while, and I'm very excited to share all the features and enhancements the team has been working on.

Tinkerplay is an app for iOS, Android and Windows that lets you design great-looking creatures and characters, and then 3D print them. It's incredibly fun to use, you can choose from a wide range of parts that just snap together, and then customize them with colors and textures.

Start with professionally created templates, or make your own creations. We'll be rolling many more exciting templates going forward, as well as new parts to make your creations more varied. Keep reading after the break to see more things you can do with Tinkerplay!

Read more »

123D Creature and 123D Sculpt users – big news for you!

Today we are pleased to welcome 123D Sculpt+ to the 123D family of easy to use consumer apps.

If you are a 123D Creature user, you'll get Sculpt+ when you next update. If you are a 123D Sculpt user, you should get Sculpt+ from your app store (iOS or Android). There are a lot of goodies for you!

We'll be releasing more information today on what this means for you, but I wanted to update our 123D Creature and 123D Sculpt users on changes to the 123D website. Rest assured, everything is still there!

 

For 123D Creature users, all existing creatures are now classed as 123D Sculpt+ models. If you update to the new app, you can still use all of your existing projects, and apply a range of exciting new tools. I personally love the ability to import an existing Creature and change the pose. On the the 123D website, you can now select 123D Sculpt+ instead of 123D Creature, and see all the models.

For 123D Sculpt users, your existing models are still there, they are just no longer listed in the public gallery pages. You can still access them by logging in to your account on the 123D website, and looking at My Projects. Sharing via the 123D Sculpt app is unchanged. You should certainly explore the 123D Sculpt+ app, it has everything (and more!) that the current app provides.

Make more of Tinkerplay with Meshmixer and 123D

We love the Modio mobile app for creating 3D printed articulated toys, and were thinking about how to extend the creative possibilities it offers. Many of our apps (Meshmixer, Tinkercad, 123D Design) can work with the 3D printable STL files that Modio exports, so this opens up many possibilities for creation.

One great area to explore is to download models from the 123D Gallery and the 123D Content Library, and remix parts of them by attaching the Modio ball and socket connectors. Meshmixer is the perfect tool to do this! Here's a shark bot that I created using this very process:

 

Here's an Instructable that will walk you through the process: Make more of Modio with Meshmixer and 123D. It will guide you through the steps of making the shark bot using a model from 123D and parts from Modio.

If you try it and are inspired, why not try some other projects using the skills you've learned?

#SHARKWEEK3D: Remix the ocean’s deadliest predator with Meshmixer and 123D

Here at 123D secret headquarters, we're really interested in sharks: after all, Great White Sharks have been spotted near our location, which is (sometimes) underwater.

Since we're all about creativity, and since this week is Shark Week, we couldn't help thinking about the things that could make the ocean's deadliest predator even more deadly, or at least, bizarre. What if sharks were crossbred with dinosaurs, bats, squid, robotic golems or even airplanes? We've just released an exciting new update to Meshmixer, so the opportunity for a remix challenge seems clear.

We invite you to participate in this thought experiment: download Meshmixer (free!) and some shark models from 123D, and see how you can remix sharks in 3D. Check out our helpful series of Meshmixer 101 videos to get started. For the rest of this month, we've removed the Premium download restriction on all of our shark related models.

When you're done, create a Project on 123dapp.com and make sure to tag it #sharkweek3d. We'll take a look at your submissions and make the best ones on our super-duper equipment here at secret headquarters.

 

Scancations and the future of photography

Bre Pettis from Makerbot recently went on vacation to the Outer Hebrides in Scotland, and used 123D Catch to create some amazing 3D models of the standing stones to be found there. He makes the point that the future of photography is in 3D. It is only slightly harder to make a 3D scan of a memorable object than to take a picture.

Photo: Bre Pettis

Now it is possible to not only photograph, but 3D scan and print memorable items that you see on your travels. Even though he used a drone (those standing stones are pretty tall!), anyone can do this too, with just an iPhone or a pocket camera.

Of course, if you have a Makerbot, you can show your friends and family a physical replica of what you saw. Imagine children recreating memorable scenes from their travels with miniatures of the things they encountered!

There are some things that you can only really fully experience in full 3D, and here is another example I love. 123D user Jaime Almonacid has some amazing captures of the Fallas in Valencia: click the picture to see them in a 3D viewer:

So when you're traveling, and see something amazing, don't just take a picture! You can create an amazing 3D scan of a memorable object, and share it with your friends in 3D, and even make a physical copy. (Always ask for permission - some museums and artists may  object).

Make sure to check out 123D Catch, it just had some significant improvements for better results and 3D printing.

Autodesk and Lincoln team up for 3D printed creativity at Great Create

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!

Read more »

Easter Bunny 3D remixes with Meshmixer

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.

Read more »

Beyond the blocks: modeling a space plane for 3D printing in Tinkercad

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.

Read more »

Rockets and Robots: exploring STEM education with 123D

April is a big month for rockets and robots, and for STEM education in general. Here at the Autodesk 123D world headquarters, we are pleased to provide you with tools and project ideas that will help you explore this field.

Coming up first is Yuri's Night, a celebration of the first manned flight into space, on April 12th. We have an extensive collection of 3D rocket models in the 123D Gallery, and we've gathered them together for your convenience. Check out some of them below. You can download them, change them, 3D print them and share them with your friends. Stay tuned for tutorials on how you can use 123D Design, Tinkercad and Meshmixer to make some great things.

Soon after that, two major competitive robotics events are coming up, both from April 23-26: The VEX Robotics World Championship in Anaheim, California; and the FIRST Robotics Competition in St. Louis Missouri. We'll be publishing simple robotics projects to get you started in this field, integrating electronics and 3D printing.

You can also find some great 3D models of robots in the 123D Gallery - we've packaged up some of them, but feel free to go exploring: there are a lot more! Use them as a starting point for some fun projects.

Keep checking back, for fun and easy projects you can do, and a surprise guest!

Meet the Meshmixer band – musical mashups made easy

Meshmixer really is the ultimate tool for remixing 3D models. In order to learn about some of the new features that have been added, the 123D team got together to jam. We made some musical mashups based on remixes of 3D models from our gallery - and we'd love to share with you how we did it.

We made five different band members, using different techniques. From left to right: Beethoven Mechaspider, the Elefan, Guitar Golem, Keytar Kritter and Horndog.

The Mechaspider combines a model created in 123D Design, the Mechanical Tarantula, with a scan created with 123D Catch, Beethoven's head. We used the new Make Solid feature in Meshmixer to turn the spider model into a single unified part. You can adjust the resolution and accuracy of this operation until you get something that works. We added the model of Beethoven to the same project, and used the Inspector feature to close any gaps. Finally, we positioned the head using the Transform tool, and used the Boolean Union operation to join everything together. 

The Elefan started off with the Elephant Conductor model from the 123D Content Library, which is perched on a music box base. The Plane Cut function sliced off the base. Then we added a Hook'em Horns Hand, used Mirror to get two of them, and used Transform to size them and position them appropriately. Finally, selecting hands and body, and applying a Boolean Union pulled it all together.

Guitar Golem starts with the Wood Golem and the Guitar Antenna topper, both from the 123D Content Library. The first order of business was to load both models into Meshmixer, and size them correctly relative to each other. The guitar has a cylindrical fitting that we don't need, so we used Select mode in Meshmixer to select and delete. We needed to pose the Golem so we used one of the hot new features in Meshmixer - the Soft Transform. First select the parts of the limb that we want to move, then choose Deform -> Soft Transform, and select the Non-Linear option. This treats the boundary between the selection and the body as if it were rubber, and makes for a really nice way to pose models.

Keytar Kritter is based on the Metal Golem and the Keytar. Once again, the new Make Solid tool was key to make the Keytar into a single solid piece. Soft Transform came in handy to pose the Golem, adjusting both the arm position and the fingers to make it look like he is really rocking out.

Finally, Horndog starts with the Ghostbusters Terror Dog made in 123D Creature, combined with the Tambourine around its neck and the Bugle for ears. We used Make Solid and Boolean Union as before (see a pattern?) but then applied a major new feature. The Tambourine and the Bugle have very fine details that would not print well, so we went to the new 3D Print area in Meshmixer, and used the Adaptive Thickening option to make sure that there were no details less than 2mm in size.

All the models were printed on our fancy Objet 3D printers here at 123D secret headquarters, but the advanced support options in Meshmixer will let you print on a Makerbot or other affordable printers. Give Meshmixer a try - it's free, and should be an essential part of your toolbox if you're doing anything with 3D printing!