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!

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.

15 Free 3D Furniture Models for Your Architectural Projects (Part 1)

I came across quite a few excellent 3D models of various furniture items while planning my architectural project which, I thought, once 3D printed would breathe in extra realism to my model. This post will highlight some of my favorites - you can download them for free to use in your own projects!

Note: Here is a complete list of furniture-related models (1664+ pcs.) found in 123D Gallery. Models mentioned in this post are from the Premium 123D collection, however even Free 123D membership owners can download up to 10 premium models per month. Stay tuned for part 2 which will include both premium and free furniture items!

Tan Lounge Chair

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


Captains Chair

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


Cabinet

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


Executive Chair

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


Leather Recliner

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


Open Patio Umbrella

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


Sectional Sofa

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


Sofa Pillows

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


Swing

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


Bath Towel

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


King Size Bed

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


Traditional Sofa

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


Armchair 4

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


Picnic Table Octagon

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


Patio Lounge Chair - Padded

Download model (.stl) | Convert to other 3D file formats


3D print these models

Follow below steps to print these furniture pieces on your 3D printer:

  1. Download a model of your choice by clicking on any one of the "Download model (.stl)" links found under model images.
  2. Download Meshmixer, a free, powerful tool from Autodesk to work with 3D models. Go to Meshmixer page for more info.
  3. Print model after setting it up and refining it in Meshmixer.

Optional: paint your models with basic acrylic paints, which could be found at any art supply store. Seen above is my quick paint test of the "Tan Lounge Chair".


Register for free to download these, and many more 3D models:

Register now

SXSW Recap…but wait, there’s more!

 

It's been an exciting weekend at SXSW so far, full of enthusiastic makers and exciting keynotes by Autodesk's very own CEO, Carl Bass. Even R2D2 stopped by to join in on the fun. 

If you weren't able to catch Carl's keynote on the Robot Revolution, have no fear, he will be back on stage today, Sunday March 9th from 3:30- 4:30pm, to speak with Shapeways CEO, Pete Weijmarshausen, about the future of 3D printing. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We've had lots of great guests stop by the Atmel #TechOnTour truck, giving us the chance to learn more about the projects they're interested in, and of course send them on their way with pockets full of our 3D printed bottle openers. 

We'll be hanging out with the Atmel folks through Sunday, and checking out all the awesome things going at SXSW (3D printed Oreos, anyone?) for a few more days after that. 

Remember, you can follow us on Twitter at @autodesk123D for the most up to date info about where we are and what we're doing.

Maker Mondays: FabCafe Tokyo

Maker Mondays: FabCafe Tokyo

http://fabcafe.com/

About a year ago at SXSW I met the incredible people from Fab Cafe Tokyo. Their english was a little hard to understand so we spoke in sign: I would hold up an object in their booth and they would throw me a thumbs up. One particular object solicited a high five - at first I was a bit puzzled and then very excited, because as it turns out they were using 123D with their customers to create some truly creative work. 

Fab Cafe sits uniquely between a TechShop and a high end coffee bar. They have created a relaxed atmosphere that is the perfect learning environment for digital manufacturing, a topic that can leave some novices with a tech hangover. Specializing in amazing coffee, highly thought-out courses, and a pristine workshop environment, I can hardly imagine a better remedy than to spend all day every day there swimming among the creatives of Tokyo. 

I recently caught up with Fab Cafe to learn about their extremely busy past year, plans for global impact, and their self created 123D Catch booth (with a little assistance from my Autodesk counterparts in Tokyo).

JHA: How did Fab Café begin? 

FC: We had a workshop with FabLab Kamakura member for 2 days in 2011. They brought various digital fabrication tools and we enjoyed them very much. We also figured out how digital fabrication tools are easy and they inspired our creativity. We thought all should be able to access these tools. Not in a lab, university and factory. That's why we put these machines in an open space - a cafe.  

JHA: Are there future plans for expanding FabCafé? 

FC:  We have branches in Taipei and Barcelona now. And we will set up another two in Barcelona soon. 

We've got many inquiries from all over the world so we hope we will setup ten FabCafe's in the world in 2014. They will lead diversity of creativity.  

The advantage of digital fabrication tools are that their data is digital and easy to transfer via internet. So we can share ideas and data and output them whenever there are tools. We can expand FabCafe network without geographical limitation.   

JHA: What has surprised you most about your customers? 

FC:  Yusuke Ohno is our customers and is also our collaborator. His work "360 degree book" is featured by many blogs, art sites and big fashion brand offered him to display his work in the store. Finally, the US company offered him to make his original 360 degree lamp shade for sale. It's a wonderful story that a work made in FabCafe became international famous art work and became a product.

We are inspired by our customers all time. 

JHA: Can you tell us a bit more about the 123D Courses? 

FC: We installed 3D printers FabCafe last May. Many customers were interested in 3D printer but they feel it's difficult to make 3D model. But it's not true. We want to change their mind. 3D modeling is accessible and 3D printer is also accessible for all. So we started Fab Class for entry users using 123D series. We have two courses.  One is using 123D creature, the other is using Tinkercad. It's great thing that most of participants print out their work by 3D printer after the class.

 

 

 

 

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.

Charm Your #LOV3D Ones for Valentine’s Day!

In honor of love, we will be spending the month of February showcasing how 3D design, printing technology, and creativity serve as an extension of the heart. If you're looking for Valentine's Day ideas, then look no further.

To kick off this month of love, we are introducing Charmr. With Valentine's Day only a few days away, you can skip the card store and head straight to our latest addition to 123D, which is sure to make your Valentine feel extra #LOV3D.

 

Get your Valentine's heart racing by using Charmr to create customized, 3D-printable pendants just for them. This is the perfect way to make something unique for your #LOV3D ones while showing off your creativity, all without breaking the bank. Here is a quick how-to guide to get started.

Charmr is just the beginning of our month of being #LOV3D - be sure to continue checking back for more tantalizing content to inspire you in all your love-related endeavors. 

3D print Chinese spacecraft with 123D

China's space program has been very active in the past year, and we wanted to help a broader audience understand and explore these achievements by making it possible to 3D print Chinese spacecraft models. We've put together a set of projects with all the parts needed to 3D print on a Makerbot or similar. 

All of these models were made using 123D Design, so you can modify and customize them easily. They're set up as Projects on our website, so you can easily download all the files at once.

With one exception, these models snap together using simple pin connectors - no glue needed. (The one exception is the main body of the moon lander, which is too big to print on a Makerbot.)

The first set of models includes the Chang'e moon lander and Yutu rover, which landed on the Moon in December. It's a really detailed model - you can articulate the solar panels, and the very elaborate ramp used to deliver the rover to the surface.

Click here to access the projects: Chang'e lander, Yutu rover.

Chang'e lander and Yutu rover

 We've also added a model of the Shenzhou capsule, used to put Chinese astronauts (or taikonauts) into orbit. You can print a variation with a connector that allows it to dock with the model of the Tiangong 1 space station. The Shenzhou and Tiangong can be made with folded or deployed solar panels.

If you saw the recent film "Gravity" starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, you may recognize the Shenzhou and Tiangong spacecraft - they play an important role in the film.

Click here to access the projects: Shenzhou capsule, Tiangong-1 space station.

Shenzhou capsule and Tiangong space station

Finally, we have a model of the rocket that is used to place all of these into orbit, the Long March 2F.

Let us know how these models work for you, and how you use them!

Making a Super Nintendo USB case with Tinkercad

 

One of the greatest aspects of the holidays, birthdays, and other special events is the opportunity to give someone a meaningful gift. Tinkercad user Matt Mustarde was faced with the question of what to get his younger brother for his 13th birthday, an age that is considered a milestone for many people. Matt, a Washington State University student, took to Tinkercad and applied his mind towards solving the problem of what to get his brother.

Armed with a standard 32GB flashdrive, a Printrbot+, and Tinkercad, Matt designed a USB case shaped like an Super Nintendo (SNES) controller, knowing his brother is a huge fan of video games. Matt also went the extra step and pre-loaded the flashdrive with lots of games for his brother to play.

I had a chance to speak with Matt to learn more about his creative process:

"I really just wanted to make something special for my brother! He loves computer games but has a crappy laptop so I figured I'd aggregate the best games and put it on a cool custom drive. The actual designing took about a day, I used an actual SNES controller and made a vector of it to get the profile just right. That's why I used Tinkercad, because it's so convenient for importing vectors and making simple models."

 

When I asked Matt about his history with 3D printing, he told me, "I've been printing for about 2 years now, originally on my robotics team's printer. I bought a Printrbot+ kit back in February and love it. Basically I'm just a student with a hobby and love sharing my work." And of course, in true Maker fashion, Matt has been kind enough to share his design with the community through Thingiverse

This is the kind of story we love to hear, where 3D design and printing inspires creativity in people and they share it with the world. Thanks to Matt for sharing your experience with us - we can't wait to see what you do next!

 

 

5 Last Minute Holiday Gifts to 3D Print

One of the greatest things about 3D printing technology is the ability to create what you want when you need it, rather than relying on traditional manufacturing routes - especially around the holidays. With Christmas only a few days away, now is the perfect time to forget about overnight shipping costs, so get your 3D printer up and running instead!

We will get you started with 10 ideas of what you can 3D print last minute for you friends and family. Just a note that included with any of these gifts should be a standard speech explaining how 3D printing works - people unfamiliar with the process find it new and fascinating!

 

 

1) You can't go wrong with a classic, customized tree ornament. This one is for 123D Make by user Brandon Cole

 

 

 

 

 

2) You can't go wrong with a bookmark for any friend that loves to read. Check out this octopus bookmark by Natalie Kendrick made using 123D Design

 

 

 

 

3) Jewelry is a great options for creating quick and personalized items for loved ones. Check out this link for tons of pendant and necklace ideas

 

 

 

 

 

4) With miniature terrariums being all the rage these days, your indoor gardening friend will appreciate the thought in adding a little personality to their little ecosystem - like the little 3D printed frog in this one

 

 

 

 

 

5) If you're dreaming of a white Christmas but there's no snow to be found, then consider celebrating with your own model of a snowman to keep the winter cheer alive, like this one by Lindsey Vandenberg

 

 

Bonus: If one of your gift recipients is blown away by your 3D design and printing prowess, be sure to send them towards our holiday deals for their very own MakerBot Replicator 2 and 123D Premium account so they can join in on the 3D printing fun as well.

We hope this list has helped to inspire you during the final countdown towards trading gifts. From all of us at Autodesk 123D, we wish you Happy Holidays and a fantastic New year.