Maker’s Toolbox, Meshmixer 3.0 Lands

We’ve been working on some awesome new features and improvements for Meshmixer and its is all available for you to download and play with now (for free!). While there’s too much new stuff to describe in detail here, I can tell you that there are some innovative tools for those looking to model for multi-material 3D printing.

While these original tools cater to the needs of those with access to multi-material 3D printers, they also double for some pretty handy modeling tools for those with other intentions than 3D printing.

In fact, another addition to this release is an Unwrap tool...which is a common frustration point for many Makers- unwrapping 3D geometry to be able to lasercut or CNC out of flat material such as aluminum, wood, or fabric.

See the video below for some highlights:

 

 

There are lots of odds and ends here that were included based on your feedback…so keep it coming. You can always give it from within the app (click the “Feedback” menu) or email us at meshmixer@autodesk.com. Meshmixer is free, so you can't go wrong!

Here’s a comprehensive look at what’s new in Meshmixer 3.0, available for Windows (64, 32bit) and Mac:

- new Complex objects that contain internal partitions (beta!). Complexes make it easy to design for multi-material 3D printing!!
Generate Complex tool to create a Complex from face groups
Split Complex decomposes a Complex into separate solid shells
- new Export mode that automatically decomposes Complex on write
- new Align to Target tool to automatically align meshes in 3D
- new Unwrap tool flattens surface patches
- new SVG Export can export meshes as SVG (edges, colors, etc). Try it with Unwrap!
- new Mesh Query tool for visualizing mesh properties
- new measurement-based scene scaling workflow in Units/Dimensions tool
- new Select Intersecting action in Select tool (double-click on other scene objects)
- new Preserve Group Borders and Project To Target options in Smooth Boundary
Remesh can now automatically preserve sharp edges
Make Pattern can now clip to active Target object
Make Solid updates and new mode to automatically preserve sharp edges (slow!)
- huge Booleans stability improvements
- minor improvements to TransformSmoothReplace and Reduce
- export support for SMESH format
- Pivot-drag positioning shortcut can now terminate on any surface in scene
- new unlit-texture shader
- support for Autodesk Screencast
- crazy bugfixes
- tons of UI improvements to indicate disabled/unavailable menus and settings
- lots of [scripting API improvements]

Have fun!

Learning never stops with Project Ignite

Responding to the President’s call to action to create a Nation of Makers, and as part of a White House event kicking off the National Week of Making, we announced Project Ignite, an open learning platform that builds the skill and confidence of young learners through creative, hands-on design experiences focused on the latest technology trends like 3D printing and electronics. Targeting K-12 schools, Project Ignite encompasses the end-to-end design experience, from idea to digital modeling to physical fabrication.

  • For educators – Project Ignite brings together free* Autodesk design software, including Tinkercad and 123D Circuits, and offers step-by-step lessons within these apps to encourage design thinking and hands-on problem solving skills. It also provides for-purchase hardware options such as 3D printers from MakerBot and Circuit Scribe pens and modules from Electroninks Writeables. Educators can also login for free* to access Project Ignite content whether or not they wish to purchase hardware.
  • For schools – Administrators may choose from various package solutions comprised of free* software and for-purchase hardware options, educator training and support, all from a single place to introduce the Maker Movement into the classroom.
  • For educational partners – Project Ignite is open to educators, publishers, education technology and hardware providers looking for unique opportunities to help drive the next education revolution that will inspire students to further their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education and provide educators access to emerging technology trends quickly.
  • For families or parents – Project Ignite is a great way to learn technology basics together in a moderated environment that extends to engaging and fun weekend projects.

To learn more about the Project Ignite sign up today and get started https://projectignite.autodesk.com. ProjectIgniteLogo

Meshmixer 2.9 Saves the Day!

Many of you have been writing us to say thank you for the unique ways that Meshmixer helps you with 3D printing your creations. Today, we say thank YOU by releasing Meshmixer 2.9! There are some spectacular new features in this release...

For those who work with full color models, such as those coming from depth cameras, 123D Catch or 123D Sculpt+, Meshmixer now supports maintaining the color with most tools in Meshmixer. For the geeks: UV textures are supported while editing. Now you can sculpt, remesh, boolean, erase and fill, reduce, etc all while maintaining the integrity of the color on your model.

For example, see the illustration below showing the upgraded Reduce tool that maintains the color texture of a 123D Catch capture while reducing the size and complexity of the geometry.

What is truly a game changer for this release is the addition of precise transforms and the new Pivot tool. The Transform tool now has a properties panel for precise input of position, rotation, and sizing. Now you can enter the exact location and orientation you want your objects to be.

For example, I can perfectly size and align these two objects to each other for an interesting boolean difference result.

 Also, using the new Pivot objects, I can place pivots in many different ways (optionally linking them to objects) and use them in many of the existing tools. For example I can drag one pivot to another and snap the attached object accurately for a quick alignment. 

 

Here is a list of what is new in this release:

  • Updated most Tools to properly handle Texture Maps
  • New Pivots objects for simplifying precise positioning
  • New Create Pivot tool to place Pivots in many different ways
  • Existing Tools now snap to Pivots when possible
  • Updated Transform tool with precise input of translate/rotate/sizing
  • Transform tool can use a Pivot as arbitrary center-of-rotation
  • Rewritten Align tool with many new alignment modes
  • Fast Pivot-to-Pivot interaction to rapidly position objects
  • Rewritten Remesh tool with new remeshing modes
  • New Adaptivity setting in brush tools
  • Improved support for multi-user installations
  • Improved stability, particularly startup crashes, network-related crashes, and GPU issues
  • Support for Anti-Aliased Rendering in Preferences (disabled by default)

 

Finally, everyone should check out this 3D printed short film. Filmmaker Gilles-Alexandre Deschaud wrote to thank us for Meshmixer and told us how it streamlined 3D printing everything seen in the film. More on this story soon...

Make a 3D Printed Kit with Meshmixer 2.7

Meshmixer 2.7 was released today full of new tools for 3D printing. Here I use the new version of the app to create a 3D printed kit of parts that can be printed in one job, and assembled together with pin connectors.

To do this I used several of the new features to make this a fast and painless process. I dug up a 123D Catch capture I took of a bronze sculpture of John Muir. I found it in my dentists office, it turns out my dentist sculpted it. I thought I'd make my own take on it by slicing it up and connecting it back together so it can be interactive, swiveling the pieces around the pin connectors.

I made use of the new pin connectors solid parts that are included in the release (in the miscellaneous bin). I also used the powerful Layout/Packing tool to layout parts on the print bed as a kit of parts to print in one print job. Also, the addition of the Orthographic view is incredibly helpful when creating the kit and laying it out within the print volume of my Replicator 2X. An instructable is in progress with a how-to for a 3D printed kit such as this.

 

This new release has some other nice updates. Check em out below:

- New Layout/Packing Tool under Analysis for 3D print bed layout

- New Deviation Tool for visualizing max distance between two objects (ie original & reduced version)

- New Clearance Tool for visualizing min distance between two objects (ie to verify tolerances)

    - Under Analysis menu, requires selection of two objects)

- Reduce Tool now supports reducing to triangle count, (approximate) maximum deviation

- Support Generation improvements

    - Better DLP/SLA preset

    - Can now draw horizontal bars in support generator

    - Ctrl-click now deletes all support segments above click point

    - Shift-ctrl-click to only delete clicked segment

- Solid Part dropping now has built-in option to boolean add/subtract

    - Can set operation-type preference during Convert To Solid Part

    - Can set option to preserve physical dimensions during Convert To Solid Part

- New Snapping options in Measure tool

- Can now turn on Print Bed rendering in Modeling view (under View menu)

    - Must enter Print View to change/configure printer

- Improved support for low-end graphics cards

For your kit of parts, try out the new pin connectors included in the Misc. parts library. One is a negative (boolean subtract it when dropping the part). The other you can drop on the print bed for printing by itself. It fits into the negative hole. You can also author your own parts and they will drop at a fixed scale (so they fit!).

Let us know what kind of kits you create...maybe we can add in your connectors in a future release. (There's a free 3d print and t-shirt involved). Let us know at meshmixer@autodesk.com.

Have fun!!

 

 

Meshmixer 2.6 on the loose. Tubes!

Meshmixer 2.6 was released today by Autodesk with some nice additions for your 3D printing workflows.

One of the new features I've found fun to play with is the Add Tube feature which lets you route tubes through your 3D models. Its pretty interactive as you drag the handles around to define the start and end of the tube.  By default, the tubes are routed automatically through the inside of your model and cut out. Some parameters and alternate behavior is possible such as routing with straight lines, splines, inside or out of the model, adjusting the start and end size, and creating a separate tube object. It will even route around previously routed tubes in case you need multiple tubes. Some amazing work by Valkyrie Savage, an intern with Autodesk Research, went into bringing this feature to Meshmixer for this release.

Here is my first model using this feature: a (hopefully not offensive) DIY bunny sprinkler that shoots water out of its eyes!

Of course there are many other (useful) possibilities using this feature in your projects including routing circuits or electronics through a 3d model, or possibly 3D printing conductive material. See this video for more of what Ryan and his team have been up to.

  

Amongst other things, here is a list of what is included in Meshmixer 2.6, now on the loose!

  • Simplified 3D Print UI
  • Support for Dremel 3D Printer (printer/support preset, send prints to Dremel Idea Builder software)
  • (experimental!!) DLP/SLA support preset
  • New Orientation tool for optimizing print orientation to miminize support volume/area, and/or maximize print strength
  • New Add Tube tool for creating tubes through/between shapes
  • New Preserve Boundaries option in Smooth Boundary
  • New Allow Top Connections option in Support Generator
  • Brought back Strut Density option in Support Generator
  • Fix longstanding Axis scaling bugs in transforms
  • Face Transform & Soft Transform tools now infer local frame from selection, and can optionally have separate frame for each ROI

 

Download Meshmixer here....onwards fellow Makers!



 

 

Maker Faire New York – it’s a wrap!

In continuation with our coverage of Maker Faire New York, check out the photos below! Maker Faire is always a good time, and this year's festival in New York was no exception. Tinkercad, Instructables, 123D Circuits, and more attracted new makers, long time designers, families, and guests from all over the place to the Autodesk booth. It was wonderful to meet such diverse groups of people all delighting in the joys of 3D printing and making things.

 

Our troop of Peter the Penguins were especially popular!

 

Community Manager Andy Taylor showed some awesome live demos of Tinkercad, going with the theme of DC Comics - below you can see Peter the Penguin being transformed into The Flash!

 

Thanks to everyone for another great year! It was wonderful getting to meet so many of you, from educators to long time Autodesk users, and we can't wait to see you again next year.

Autodesk + Electroninks + Cricut, a Collaboration

Maker Faires are special places where people gather to push the limits of creative expression and get hands-on with new technology.  Friendships are forged and collaborations between makers strengthen the growing movement.  Last weekend's Maker Faire in New York only reinforced this.Lining up at the gate for Maker Faire Rome 2014


In the next days and weeks keep reading our posts about cool stuff we saw at Maker Faire New York and the upcoming Maker Faire in Rome.


We wanted to start by showing the combined technology of 123D Circuits' new Circuit Scribe simulator (screen shot below), Electronink's conductive-silver pens, and Cricut's newest machine: the Explore.  The result was a working electrical circuit – in just five minutes.  (video below)

Check out the screen shot of the new Circuit Scribe virtual editor below – it's the first step in the process.

Annotated screen shot of the new 123D Circuits Circuit Scribe virtual editor

And here it is in action.  You can even hear Maker Faire in the background!
 
We'll keep collaborating and experimenting until we're ready to release the whole process as an export feature of 123D Circuits to Cricut.  We encourage you to try new things too.

You're reading about electronics but have you tried our FREE app that converts photographs into 3D models?  It's called 123D Catch and it's available for iOS, Android, PC, and in-browser if you're a Mac user.

123D Catch now on Android

123D Catch for Android is here!

Ever since we launched 123D Catch in late 2011, I've heard overwhelming requests from the Android community for a 123D Catch app compatible for their device. 

Today, I am happy to announce 123D CATCH FOR ANDROID IS HERE!!

See 123D Catch for Android on Google Play.

Its the first 123D app on Android by popular demand and compatible with most phones and tablets. So check it out!

 

Create captures on the go using your Android device, and edit them for 3D printing on your computer with Meshmixer.  All of your captures are saved in one place on your account at 123dapp.com.

 

Circuit Scribe Modules and Unboxing

The folks over at Electroninks were kind enough to send us a couple of their Circuit Scribe kits to unbox and demo.  If you've been following their wildly successful kickstarter you know these are just now getting shipped to their 12,000+ backers.
If you missed out on the kickstarter you can buy a kit over at 123D Circuits.


If you're a 123D Circuits user you've probably seen a change to the home page that prominently features Circuit Scribe, and for good reason: we're the source for the upcoming kits and (spoiler alert!) the upcoming Circuit Scribe Virtual Editor (more on all that here).

In addition to the unboxing video (below) we thought it would be timely to give a little background on Circuit Scribe and Electroninks... Imagine a world without wires and the need to solder, a world where you can still create working, interactive circuits by simply placing components on paper and drawing connections between them with a conductive-ink pen.  Electroninks IS that conductive ink, and Circuit Scribe is the family of modular components that connect to create working circuits.


Each Circuit Scribe kit comes with an Electroninks pen and anyone can download a PDF of their instruction workbook - which is full of great getting started info about electronics and cool projects.

The Circuit Scribe components come in four types:  Power, Input, Connect, and Output.  Each type has several modules and we've chosen to show one of each (you can see them all here).  They're pretty straight forward:

POWER modules are power sources, they're how you add a battery or USB power to a circuit.

INPUT modules let you interact with the circuit.  Flip a switch, turning a dial, or move your hands over a light sensor.  If you wanted to control something manually you'd pop one of these in.

CONNECT modules form the logic of a circuit.  The NPN transistor above is a perfect example and we're so glad it's included in the kits.  With the NPN in the loop you can deliver lots of power with a tiny input signal, for example you can make a touch sensor circuit with one!  (see video for example)

OUTPUT modules are where the rubber meets the road, literally.  Motors, LEDs, Buzzers, connectors to outside circuits (like breadboards and Arduino boards).  

If you've read this far you're a champ, here's the unboxing video.  Enjoy and let us know what you'd like to make with a Circuit Scribe kit by leaving a comment below!

 

Like what you see?  Stop by the 123D Circuits Shop to pick up your own kits. 

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.