Get comfy with Meshmixer!

Patterned Chairs

Patterned Chairs

Just when you thought you had mastered all of the awesome features and tricks in Meshmixer, here we have a new version packed with new stuff to learn. Don't worry...Meshmixer 2.5, released today, is packed with new 3D printing features you have requested so the learning curve should be easy.

Take for example the new Hollow tool. A common workflow for making your 3D prints efficient and practical to use, creating a hollowed out object is now easier than before with this tool. Also, there are options for leaving cylindrical holes in the resulting hollowed out object making it easy to remove any internal support material and creating access to the inside of your print (see below).

Hollow Tool  Section of Hollow Result

 The new Bridge tool is another welcome addition for Meshmixer users, especially if you are working with captures from 123D Catch or scan data. Sometimes the holes are too large to fix easily or as desired. With the new Bridge tool, you can now join two selections on the hole's boundary with a patch. 

Bridge Tool

Bridge Tool

My favorite new feature is making linear and spherical gradients when using the Make Pattern tool. See the pattern gradient above on the right hand side chair as the features transition from large to small.

The full list of features is below, so take a look and download the new version at 123dapp.com/meshmixer!

  • Menu reorganization/New Preferences dialog
  • 3D printing Services update: support multicolor workflow
  • 3D printing Services update: improvement in Shapeways workflow
  • Custom symmetry plane adjustment option
  • Update to feedback
  • 3D Printing Help Document
  • New Hollow tool
  • New Bridge tool
  • New Tube Handle tool
  • New Thickness analysis/visualization tool
  • Extensive optimization of generated support structures
  • Make Pattern Linear and Spherical gradients, improved sizing UI
  • New Select Visible command (under Selection / Modify)
  • Project Face Groups and Minimum Thickness options in Make Solid
  • VRML (.wrl) export (with vertex colors)
  • Misc. improvements to Smooth Boundary, Remesh, Drop Solid
  • Various tools now remember settings
 
For those of you new to Meshmixer, check out our YouTube playlist for Meshmixer 101. I'll be adding more this week covering some of the basics of Meshmixer to help you create amazing things to 3D print.
Have fun!!
Patterned Primitives

Patterned Primitives

Autodesk’s 3DRV Rolls Across America

100+ scheduled stops. 8 months. A million stories. Welcome to the Autodesk 3DRV tour.
Are you interested in seeing (or being) 3D scanned?  Autodesk's very own 3DRV is cruising the country finding interesting stories to share and you might just be on their schedule.   


If you're stationed off the trail you can still keep up with TJ's daily blogs ranging from 3D scanning vintage motorcycles in Sturgis, SD to a feature on the Detroit Public Library Makerspace using our favorite apps: Tinkercad and 123D Catch.

Open the official 3DRV page.

 

On the horizon…

Big things (or rather, big batches of small things) are happening in the Pier 9 shop... and they involve YOU! Check back in a few days for more updates. Here's an image to hold you over until then:

Sean Cusack’s Fire-Roasted Heart

123D user and master fabricator Sean Cusack may have a heart of gold, but in this instance he's here to melt hearts... Hearts made of half-inch (~12 mm) steel.  So don't get to close, this one's going to be hot!


What you're looking at is a welded steel heart, suspended by chains over a 12 million BTU, propane burning hot air balloon burner.  I bet you can guess what that does : turn steel red hot!

Sean says if the burner was left on long enough the steel would completely melt.  Sounds pretty cool, but we're also interested in how it was made.  Sean started with a simple 3D model of a heart (like this example, free on the 123D gallery), sliced it in half with MeshMixer, and used 123D Make to turn the remaining half-heart into slices that fit together nicely before welding.


Below is the half-heart before and after in 123D Make.  What looks like a complex 3D structure of interwoven slices was generated by 123D Make with just a few clicks.  You can download Sean's 3D Models and the sliced 123D Make from the 123D Project Gallery here's the link!

Hit the Read More link to see the process... Read more »

123D Catch – improved quality and 3D printing workflows

 

Creating 3D models from your photographs just got easier today. 123D Catch V3 for Windows was just released with a notable improvement on project success and mesh quality, including a streamlined workflow for healing and 3D printing your captures in Meshmixer. Below I'll go into detail for how to use all the new features.


Most notably, there is vast improvement on automatic stitching of photographs you submit. In the previous version of 123D Catch the same set of photographs below, of the Hindu Deity Vishnu at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, required manual stitching those photos that weren't automatically stitched together. This new version has no problem automatically stitching all of the photos I've submitted. Gone are the days of manual stitching! Hurray!

Capture of Hindu Deity Vishnu at Asian Arts Museum in SF

Capture of Hindu Deity Vishnu at Asian Arts Museum in SF.

All of your captures are all stored in your account at 123dapp.com, so you can create captures on the go with the iOS app, then open them for further refinement on the desktop app. Below, I regenerate a denser mesh focused only on the sculpture by lasso selecting only the sculpture, then clicking Generate Mesh in the toolbar. This will only regenerate the selected area at a quality you decide (choosing Max will have more details at the cost of longer processing time and a larger file).


Finally, clicking File...3D Print...will load the capture into Meshmixer where you can heal and prepare your capture for 3D printing in a variety of materials with a 3D printing service or right on your own desktop 3D printer at home!

3D printing capture in Meshmixer

Hindu Deity Vishnu in Meshmixer, healed and with support structures for 3D printing

We are seeing some amazing and very unexpected captures coming in from our friends in the 123D community. The new 123D Catch desktop app will help even more whether you use the iOS app or shoot photos with your own camera. Need some tips or help on shooting just the right photographs for 123D Catch? Try here for some pointers.


I leave you with some of my recent favorite captures folks have shared in the gallery, for inspiration to create your own. Have fun!!

World Cup Trophy

World Cup Trophy

Hayderik on the Grass
Hayderik on the Grass

 

Falla Lo Rat Penat 2014

Falla Lo Rat Penat 2014

 

Fab10 Barcelona

 

Autodesk was pleased to be a primary sponsor and an award giver for the inaugural Fab Awards, at the 10th annual Fab Lab Conference in Barcelona, Spain. According to their website, "FAB10Barcelona is a one week series of events focused on open and accessible technologies that will change the world. It gathers the Fab Lab Network and the citizens of Barcelona to make it a FAB City." 

Competition was fierce with over 100 excellent submissions from dozens of countries!  Most projects included their source files, so you can even make them yourself: https://www.fab10.org/en/awards

Below you can see all of the winners:

Sénamé Koffi and his team of architects & engineers from Lomé, Togo. After buying a 3D printer for their new makerspace WoeLab, they looked around and realized they already had the parts to build their next 3D printing machine.

Every year, 515 tons of broken gadgets get shipped to West Africa, where young workers burn the equipment to salvage materials like gold and copper in a dangerously toxic environment. But there’s a lot of craft and engineering that goes into electronic components, all of which is wasted when things gets melted down for scrap.  WoeLab manager Dodji Honou says the members of WoeLab asked themselves, “how can we create something of our own using what we have around us?”

Using the frame of an old desktop computer, iron rails from discarded printers, and one new Arduino board, WoeLab member Afate Gnikou invented the W.Afate 3D printer—which won First Place in the Fab Awards.

“With an old thing and a good idea,” says Honou, “you can make a solution.”

 

Second prize went to another new idea inspired by old electronics: the Ag Inkjet Circuit (AgIC) was developed by Yoshihiro Kawahara from the University of Tokyo, in collaboration with Microsoft Research Cambridge and Georgia Institute of Technology. "Ag" is the chemical symbol for silver, and this brilliant invention uses conductive silver ink to turn ordinary inkjet printers into circuit board manufacturers. To quote the AgIC website: “Say goodbye to breadboard.”

 

In third place we have the 3D Printed Prosthetics initiative at Fab Lab San Diego in California, USA, with Katie Rast presenting their innovative Gladius prosthetic leg design and their initiative to support 3D-printed hands.  Most prosthetic legs are specialized in their use so people require multiple prosthetics for different activities, but this new design provides an all-in-one solution for running or walking on different terrains.

3D printed prosthetics have an advantage over traditional designs because they are a fraction of the cost and they can easily be tailor-made. Initiatives like Fab Lab San Diego and eNABLE connect 3D printers to people who need prosthetic hands, while providing simple software for customizing hands to fit their users.

 

 

Autodesk had an award to present, and it went to the Waag Society’s inventive and customizable low-cost prosthesis. This prosthetic leg is a collaboration between Dutch and Indonesian designers, using locally-available materials like pineapple tree fibers and bamboo, a realistic alternative for people without access to MRI's and industrialized technology.

 

A popular vote awarded FabPonics from Puerto Rico the Audience Choice Prize. Their clever aquaponics design brings urban farming to the Caribbean, and uses digital fabrication to easily manufacture systems for incorporating fish tanks and water filtration into small farming modules.

Overall it was an amazing and inspiring event full of innovative people and brand new ideas. If you want to get involved in events like this, consider creating your own projects! You can even get started right here on 123D

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.

 

The Mighty Midwest Presents: Adrian Stein

 

For our final installment of the Mighty Midwest we revisit talented student artist, Adrian Stein. In May he stole the spotlight as a featured Maker of The Day and Meshmixer super user so we wanted to delve deeper into his story to share it with you. With thoughts like, "Hearts are wild creatures; that’s why our ribs are cages,” it's no surprise that his physical artwork evokes a whole new level of imagination that he chooses to express through 3D printing.

We met with Adrian at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago back in February, and more recently our friends in the 3DRV, which is currently crisscrossing the country, had the chance to sit down with him for a follow up - see the video below for a peek into the wonderful mind of Adrian Stein.

 

 

Looking into Adrian's artistic process revealed a poetic approach that can best be described in his own words:

"As my research progresses, I have found that most designs have a lack of connectedness to the nature of music, or sound. I have tried to approach the matter scientifically, and creatively, with an original intent to engage a design that is both feral and endearing; two characteristics that I encountered in nature, in her species, and in the passive-aggressive dances that her children made. The sounds and compositions from animals around the world are arranged in order to establish presence, attraction or repulsion; Hence I found much inspiration from the study of mating rituals in the wild; it is quite fascinating how alike we are to all species in this earth. Something that transcends in the mating rituals of most species, including our own, is the ritualistic aspect of the mating mannerisms, coupled with loud bluster, or soft melody; A preparation, an interaction, responses from both parties, climax, and eventually a separation (biological or eventual). As so, I have chosen two options for the sound-wave designs, one consists of the extremely complex mating call of the Lyrebird, the Mockingbirds big brother, and another is a song which either speaks of love or is love inspired. Depending on the final choice, I will modify the aesthetics of this to fit."

With this inspiration in mind, Adrian looked within himself and created a 3D model based on his own voice saying, "I Love You." He shaped the resulting waveform diagram into the shape of a bracelet (which you can see below,) creating an idea that can be replicated by lovers everywhere. 

3D printing of waveform I Love You

You can (and should) keep up with Adrian's work via his Tumblr blog, and be sure to keep on the lookout for more features on him here. This is one artist you don't want to miss.

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Thank you so much for joining us on this journey through the Midwest. It has been a real to treat to report on how Chicago is driving the maker movement. Check out our other stories coming out of the Midwest, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Tom Burtonwood, and the Chicago Public Library. Be sure to stick around as we begin exploring other cities and regions to bring you more news on innovations in 3D printing and making worldwide.

The Mighty Midwest Presents: The Chicago Public Library

 

This week in the Mighty Midwest we take a look at how 3D printing is changing the way visitors experience their local public library. Libraries have always existed as repositories of learning and information, and as technologies change there is a huge opportunity for them to adapt and bring those technologies to the masses. The Chicago Public Library has set up a Maker Lab in their downtown branch to bring new technologies to the people of Chicago. In the video below you can see how this Maker Lab is transforming the library experience by bringing things like 3D modeling and 3D printing, laser cutting, and more to the average person.

The Mighty Midwest presents: Tom Burtonwood

 

On this week's installment of the Mighty Midwest we have fan favorite, Tom Burtonwood. Tom is making great strides in showcasing Chicago as an epicenter of art and innovation. Tom, a Tinkercad and 123D Catch user, is an artist residing in Chicago, and he uses 3D scanning, 3D modeling, and 3D printing to transform the way we understand objects. Tom shares his knowledge of 3D printing in a number of capacities, including giving classes at the Art Institute of Chicago, teaching students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and helping people new to the 3D printing at the Firecat Projects gallery. Tom also joined us in San Mateo for the Bay Area Maker Faire this last May. If you saw our video from last week then you got a little sneak peek of Tom's work.

Earlier this year we had the chance to visit him all over Chicago to see how Tom helps diverse groups of people understand this new 3D printing technology that's sweeping the nation.

 

Be sure to keep up with Tom's latest projects on his website and on his Thingiverse account.