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.

Conversation Hearts – with a 3D printed twist!

One of our Autodesk Pier 9 teammates, whose very relevant name is Audrey Love, got into the #LOV3D theme this month by putting together a wonderful project that leverages the Pier 9 makerspace and Tinkercad for art!

Every two years, the school Audrey received her degree from, University of Nevada, Reno - School of the Arts, hosts a Valentine's Day Art Auction. This year, she was invited to submit a piece for the Valentine's Day group show. This is her third time participating in the group-exhibition - she loves contributing to the show because all of the money raised through the auction supports the Sheppard Gallery's amazing programming.

 

Her goal was to make a piece that was reminiscent of one of those chalky-candy conversation hearts, but larger....and snarkier. She has limited experience with 3D design software, so she used Adobe Illustrator to create the "Whatever Forever" text, then imported it to Tinkercad. From Tinkercad, she was able to extrude the text and manipulate it's depth.

 

Using the heart-shape generator in Tinkercad, Audrey was able to make 2 different hearts: one would be a cavity that would be inset within another heart. She also transformed the text to be a hole, that would be 'carved' into the heart once it was printed. The end effect is a really lovely light-catching message embedded within the resin.

Audrey told me about the process of printing the piece:

"I have access to some really nice 3D printers here at Pier 9, and decided to use a special kind of translucent resin to print the heart. The piece is 3468 grams of translucent UV-cured resin 3D printed on an Objet Connex 500 printer. After the print came out of the machine, I took a lot of time cleaning it, and preparing it be shipped to UNR's Sheppard Gallery. The end result looks great, and I am glad to know that the proceeds from the piece are going to a good cause."

We are so stoked Audrey could ramp up her 3D design skills for such an awesome project. If you are in Reno or nearby, you definitely don't want to miss the chance to catch this wonderful collection.

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. 

See what’s new in Project Shapeshifter

The 123D team is working hard to make 3D design accessible to everyone, and we love finding projects that make this possible. We have a lot going on in this area, so stay tuned for some big news in the next few days!

In the meantime, one of our recent favorites is Project Shapeshifter, which lets you quickly create elaborate geometric objects suitable for 3D printing. We've been linking to it from our Sandbox, and wanted to update you on a cool new addition to it.

In addition to the existing ability to make cylindrical shapes, suitable for making cups, vases or pencil holders, you can now make ring shapes with very different cross sections: perfect for bracelets! The icon in the top right corner lets you switch between modes.

We've put some instructional videos online that explain the new functionality, check them out (they link to YouTube videos):

Revolve Topology Basics

Adjusting Object Growth

Applying wave forms

Creating a Knot

And remember, the 3D printable files you download from Shapeshifter can be imported into other 123D tools like Tinkercad, 123D Design or Meshmixer for further personalization. When you save it from Shapeshifter, make sure to choose "stl" format, and then you can use the Import feature in Tinkercad.

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 Creations with Dazed and Confused: The Fourth and Final Installment

Here is the fourth and final installment in the collaborative Dazed and Confused series where we joined up with four world-renowned artists to see what each of their unique sets of creativity, insight and skills would create with our products. It is not often that a project this unique and amazing comes along, and we are sad that this is the last in the series.

This segment focuses on Ana Rajcevic. Ana is an award-winning fashion artist whose work spans sculpture and fashion design. A constant theme in her work is the transformation of the human body through complex adornments or body-sculptures. She seeks to exhibit the duality of "fashion artefacts" in he artwork, and the final result of her 123D creation exhibits the "mutation and evolution" of her creative practice. 

Using 123D Catch Ana designed an insect-inspired hairlike facade, 800 hairs to be precise, to a hand-sculpted life-size headpiece. These hairs were too fine to be crafted without the use of technology, but were no problem for 123D Catch, so they were 3D printed. Despite the riskiness of the project and the challenges faced by the 3D printers in bringing the sculpture to life, "the look on Ana's face when she admires her 'artificial exoskeleton' catching the light in her studio is proof positive of the power of 3D printing to astound even a seasoned professional in materials design."

Check out the video below for more details

 

 

It has been a wonderful and rewarding experience seeing what these four talented artists can do when handed the reins to 3D printing technology by Autodesk 123D, and we are excited to see how this project inspired our other 123D users in their approach to 3D design and art.

123D Creations with Dazed and Confused: Part 3

This week brings us the third installment in the 123D Creations series with Dazed and Confused. For this project London-based artist Yuri Pattison took a closer look at the Chelyabinsk Meteor that lit up Russia's sky for a brief moment in February 2013. He became fascinated with the subsequent "fragments of meteor" that appeared for sale on eBay at a much higher cost than other meteorites online.  

Using the photos from the eBay listings, Yuri created 3D models on 123D Catch, despite not having every angle necessary to create a perfect capture. He then printed 3D models of the meteorites, inconsistencies included, to emphasize the "example of traditional culture fetishizing the 'original' object,” wherein the representation of the object becomes just as valuable, if not more so, than the original object despite not being the real thing. Through 3D printing technology Yuri is able to bring his vision to life. See more details in the video below and by reading the Dazed article about the project.

 

In this digital age, there is no doubt that the lines between original and re-creation are becoming blurred. Yuriy states, "That's what's interesting about digital for me, and the possibilities of reproduction like 3D printing: the information contained and conveyed is the most important thing rather than copy vs original!"

123D Creations with Dazed and Confused: Part 2

Today we bring you part 2 of our installment on 123D Creations with Dazed and Confused. This week's focus is on world renowned artist Clement Valla. Clement has been a long time researcher into technology and its role in Fine Art and creative expression. When working with 123D Catch he became inspired by the "texture maps" that exist in the intermediary between capturing a 3D image and refining said image. 

 

 

Ultimately what Valla communicates is the apophenia, or "the very human tendency to see meaningful patterns in noise, such as faces in clouds," that exists in the 123D Catch capture process. For more details on this amazing project, visit Dazed online.

123D Creations with Dazed and Confused

By now you've likely heard about the brand new 123D Catch for iOS 7 - it makes turning photographs into detailed 3D models even faster and easier - read more about the improvements here.

To celebrate the release we want to share an amazing story that combines the technology of 123D Catch with the beauty of art by announcing 123D Creations! This project comes in collaboration with our friends over at Dazed and Confused, and together we embarked on a journey with four artists to explore their creativity using 3D design and printing technology. Over the next month we will share how the artists have used the Autodesk 123D suite to express themselves. 

For the first installation, artist Lawrence Lek opted to use 123D Catch to create a piece he calls "KI$$." Check out the video below to see how Lek transformed his vision into a tangible reality using 123D Catch.

 

 

Isn't that amazing? Head over to Dazed for more details, and don't forget to keep checking back here for upcoming projects over the next few weeks!

 

 

3D Printed Visualization of Barack Obama Speech at London 3D Print Show

"New industrial revolution" is a visual representation of the audio from President Obama's "New Industrial Revolution" State of the Union Speech by artist Gilles Azzaro.  We had the chance to see it in person at the London 3D Print Show last week - it's pretty great! Here's some video we took - and more info at 3Ders.org.