PLANT3D Part 2: Bike Edition

One day I was meandering through the print shop when the Instructables intern, Rachel, casually mentioned to me that she was working on a bike commuter Instructable. At that moment, my calling became apparent. I needed to 3D print a planter for mounting on bikes. After all, who doesn’t want to cruise through the streets in the company of another living, green being, conveniently mounted to their handlebars?

To build the planter, I started with a blank canvas in 123D Design. (I prefer to use the desktop version, but this is definitely feasible in the online version as well.) I started with a cube from the primitives menu approximately three-quarters of the size of my air plant.

Rachel mounted the other parts of her commuter project to her bike via ziptie, so I created a ziptie-sized half-circular hole to keep the look uniform. This was done with a series of concentric circle sketches that were extruded in a particular order; you can find a thorough account of the process in this Instructable.

Bike-mounted, 3D-printed planters are a green, simple way to pimp your ride. The file is available for download on the Instructable, so get printing and be prepared to be the envy of bike commuters everywhere.

 

PLANT3D: Turning tiny office spaces into miniature gardens

How many times have you looked at the space in between your desk and your neighbor’s desk and thought, man, I wish there was a plant there? Or had a similar reaction upon viewing a groove in the wall? Or the narrow crevice between two armchairs?

Anyone faced with this predicament would have been stuck without a solution, as no manufacturer makes planters on such a small scale. Luckily, we live in a world with 3D printing! So I decided to act on my desire to turn tiny office spaces into miniature gardens for hearty, low-maintenance air plants.

News surrounding 3D printing tends to focus on the big things; 3D-printed houses, pieces of furniture, and custom prosthetics receive a lot of media attention. But the potential of 3D printing for small-scale life enhancements should not be ignored.

To make such small planters, I used 123D Design’s pre-loaded selection of primitive tools. Find my step-by-step instructable here and make your own tiny planters. In approximately fifteen minutes, you too can design crack-filling little gardens for all the cracks in your life.

Adafruit’s Noe & Pedro Ruiz Bring the Freshness

Some people need little introduction and Adafruit's Noe Ruiz is one of those people.  His projects on 123Dapp.com stand up with some of the best we've ever seen, and that's saying something!


UPDATE: Noe is part of a Duo!  Noe and his brother Pedro Ruiz get together on 3D Thursday at Adafruit to 3D model and 3D Print their projects.  They often get the party started by 3D modeling in Autodesk's 123D Design.  We highlighted one to start, check out Adabot!


Adabot can be downloaded from 123Dapp.com and 3D printed as individual pieces and assembled (with electronics courtesy of Adafruit).  Or you can open it up and edit in 123D Design.  Keep reading to see how... Read more »

123D Design Desktop 1.5: Bringing the Family Together

The latest release of 123D Design for Windows and Mac doesn’t just have some cool new features - it actually helps to bring the whole 123D ecosystem together as a suite of tools for design and fabrication.

So what’s new? Some hints were already on the last version of 123D Design: we introduced the ability to open, insert and do some editing to meshes. You could open projects generated in 123D Catch right from MyProjects inside 123D Design, and also send to 3D print via Meshmixer using a one-click workflow.

Let me now explain what’s new with 1.5 and why it’s really great news for all of you.

First of all, whenever you import a mesh from 123D Catch, it most likely needs healing. In release 1.4, if you wanted to combine or subtract another mesh or solid, the meshes had to be watertight (meaning that there could be no gaps). Another issue had to do with the density of the meshes, which could make the operation slow or make it fail. So if you have a mesh that needs some help, you had to open Meshmixer, import the mesh again, do the necessary fixes and then import back into Design.

With the 1.5 release, we reduced a couple steps. By selecting any object in 123D Design, you will see an option to send to Meshmixer. This will automatically open Meshmixer with only that selection open, ready to edit. Then you can clean, remesh, reduce, sculpt, mash up, create patterns, or whatever else you wanted to do. Afterwards, simply export back into Design and you will then be able to reinsert the piece in the same location!

Another interesting use case is if you want to fabricate your design using 123D Make. You now have two options for this. You can send the entire model from the AppMenu > Send to > 123D Make. This will open 123D Make desktop with the file already imported. But now you can just send a selection by using the context menu. So if you have some extra pieces in the model that you don’t want to delete before exporting, or if you want to use different fabrication options inside 123D Make for different parts of your model (like interlocked slices for some parts but stacked slices for other parts).

The same criteria can be used for 3D printing. You can either prepare the entire file (from AppMenu > 3D Print or Ctrl+P) or just a selection (from the contextual menu) and send it to MeshMixer, which will directly open the 3D print utility. You can then analyze the part, create support for the overhangs, and print right to your desktop printer or order the part from different services (Sculpteo, iMaterialise, Shapeways).

This connection between the apps makes it quite easy to move across different processes. You can think of 123D Design as a path to both additive and subtractive manufacturing solutions (Meshmixer and 123D Make respectively).

Since we can now move selections across different applications, it really made sense to be able to also export a selection as a 123dx file or an STL file. This is also a quite useful new feature in 123D Design desktop.

But that's not all! For a while now, users have been asking for a better solution to create text. We've been working on it and we are now proud to present the new Text feature! First of all, it works offline, like the rest of the app. Secondly, it uses your system fonts! Last but not least, you can also throw the text into a sketch, so you will be able to perform different, independent operations with each closed profile. Not bad, right?

Just one more thing. Although you can use Meshmixer to process models for 3D printing - both at home and with 3rd party printers - you can also order a 3D print directly from 123D Design, provided it’s already saved in MyProjects. We've also added a new service provider - 3D Hubs!

3D Hubs provides the ability to connect with 3D printer owners near where you live or work. So if you want a fast delivery (or maybe even see your printer in person), you can print through 3D Hubs directly through 123D Design.

So check out 123D Design Desktop 1.5 and make sure you also have 123D Make and Meshmixer for a more complete experience! Also, keep sending feedback - most changes are directly from you guys, our rad users!

Bryan Allen Will Decimate Your World

You may have seen a new trend in fashion and design: the angular, panelized look.  If you've ever wondered how that's done then read on!  Featured 123D user Bryan Allen has written this instructable on how to do it with 123D Make.  Check out Bryan's decimated chess pieces below, and download the full set on 123Dapp.com.

Bryan Allen is a prolific maker with serious design and 3D printing chops.  He's founding partner in Smith/Allen Design Studio and is the Chief Design Officer over at Type A Machines, a San Francisco based 3D printer company.


While working with Bryan on integrating the Type A 3D Printers into Autodesk MeshMixer we gave him a sneak peak into a new feature for 123D Make: the ability to easily panelize (or "decimate") a 3D model and export it for 3D printing.  Bryan took off and ran with it - and he's written this Instructable on how it's done.  Not only is 123D Make free, but so are tens of thousands of 3D models in our gallery.  So what are you waiting for?  Check out Bryan's InstructableDownload 123D Make and try it yourself.

Here's another example of some models standing next to their 123D Make-decimated counterparts:

What do you want to decimate?  With Autodesk's free design and fabrication tools and Bryan's instructions the possibilities are endless.  Thanks Bryan!

 

123D Design desktop 1.4: 3D file import and 3D printing enhancements

 

It’s been a while since we released 123D Design version 1.3, at last year’s Maker Faire. A year on, we’re releasing version 1.4 . Don’t be misled by the single digit change – this is a major upgrade with features that will open up many new possibilities for you.

Keep reading to learn more about awesome new features like:

  • 3D mesh file import
  • 2D vector file import
  • Integrated 3D printing support
  • Numerous interface and usability enhancements

Read more »

123D Design Desktop – Revamped

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.

 

Glow-in-the-Dark Rocket Mobile with 123D and Tinkercad

We've been thinking about rockets and spaceships this week at 123D and we had some cool glow-in-the-dark filament for a Makerbot Rep2, so naturally: GLOW IN THE DARK SPACESHIPS!

The models came directly from the 123Dapp.com gallery, and the planets, end caps and filament points I quickly modeled in Tinkercad. Because the rockets were taller than would fit on a Makerbot, I imported them into MeshMixer to chop them in half witht the Slice tool. Slicing them also allowed for printing without support material.  With a little Krazy Glue, you get more size options.

If you want to make this yourself, you can try downloading more and different rockets. We've collected together a bunch of really varied rocket designs. ( <- click to see the collection and download!)

The trickiest part of a mobile is (perhaps obvious) is the balancing of all the elements - both physically and visually.  I printed a couple different sizes of rockets and planets, with varying infills so that I would have options when I started assembling it.  Only after printing the last rocket did I realize I could have just modeled the eyelets, but there you have it.

In total, the project cost about $15 in parts and materials: monofilament, eyelets, dowels and krazy glue. 

 

This is a perfect weekend project - and the glow-in-the-dark filament is available from Makerbot.  See the whole project here on 123dapp.com.  What are you making for SPAC3D?

Simulate space capsule re-entry with Autodesk 123D

Right now everyone is getting excited about space - with Mars at its brightest last night, and a lunar eclipse coming up next week, it's hard to not look up at the sky and wonder how you too can explore the universe. Here at the 123D secret headquarters, we are also excited about everything astronomical, so we put together a project that explores the basic concepts behind the not-so-basic practice of re-entry to Earth. To do so, we need to understand flow and pressure around a space capsule coming back to Earth (yay, science!).

Looking at our suite of apps, we wanted to give you something mobile, free, and easy. This led us to putting together a project using iOS Design and ForceEffect Flow, which enables you to simulate the airflow around an object – all on an iPad.

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!