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.
Looking for a fun DIY project, but not prolific with scissors or don’t own a laser cutter? We’re happy to announce that Autodesk 123D has partnered with Cricut to bring a series of easy-to-assemble 3D DIY projects to Makers and Crafters. From rocket ships to dinosaurs to smartphone stands, these projects will delight and entertain boys and girls of all ages whether you’re 5 or 50!
All you need to get started is an affordable Cricut Explore™ electronic cutting machine, the free online Cricut Design Space™ software, and off-the-shelf poster board. Cardboard brown is no longer your only color option!
The first 8 projects are pictured below, clicking on them will take you to their respective project pages. If you already own a Cricut Explore, load up the poster board and start cutting! The smartphone stand will make a great Fathers' Day present!
What's the origin story of these beautiful projects, you ask? These first-of-its-kind 3D Cricut projects started off as 3D models from the 123Dapp.com gallery. The models were then infused with the unique slicing technology of 123D Make and transformed into easy-to-assemble cut patterns!
p/s. Full instructions coming soon to an Instructable near you!
Autodesk continued the full court press on 3D printing today with the release of Meshmixer 2.4. Most notable with this release is the integration of direct printing to popular 3D printing services: i.materialise, Sculpteo, and Shapeways.
The integration of the printing services within the 3D printing section now allows you to print in nearly any material including food safe ceramic, jewelry quality gold and silver, and the lower costing plastics and polyamides in different solid colors to name a few. The pricing is interactive, so one can easily size up a model with the material of their choice and get an instant quote from the printing service within Meshmixer. Making the object smaller will make the 3D print less expensive, which makes it easy to bargain for how much you want to pay to see your creation made real. See the video below for a quick workflow of healing a 123D Catch capture for 3D printing in a silver material with a 3D printing service. A new playlist of videos here, called Meshmixer 101 will get you up to speed with the basics of working in Meshmixer.
Creating, editing and printing to any 3D printer is a breeze, especially if you have a Type A Machines "2014 Series 1" printer. Meshmixer can send prints directly to your networked 2014 Series 1 3D printer, eliminating the need to fumble around with memory cards. Thanks to the folks at Type A Machines for their collaboration!!
Meshmixer also adds some powerful new Patterning techniques with this release, examples shown above, which creates a border based on FaceGroups. We've been having a lot of fun with this new technique to easily create variations of existing models in our library....CHECK IT OUT!
Welcome to the first installment in our month long project highlighting a unique, creative individual every day. With Maker Faire Bay Area coming to us in just a few short weeks, what better way to celebrate than by showcasing the amazing work coming out of the creative and maker communities?
First up is a tenacious 13-year-old Bay Area resident making her way to college with Tinkercad, jewelry design, and 3D printing. Most kids these days are content to make a few dollars by setting up a lemonade stand on their street corner, or hosting a garage sale with their parents to get rid of old clothes and toys.
Most kids aren’t Tiana.
Why I make
I came to Autodesk through the SPARK program, a program that connects youth with corporate mentors for a multi-month apprenticeship. My dad is an architect, so I was familiar with AutoCAD, but once I toured the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco I became fascinated with 3D printing and realized I could make things, too.
What I make
With Tinkercad I'm able to create personalized designs to my exact specifications. I've designed a line of jewelry - bracelets and earrings - inspired by the human nervous system. I'm going to use what I've learned to raise money for my future college tuition - $1,000,000 to be precise.
To help Tiana get started on her goal we invited her to our Pier 9 workshop to check out what her ideas look like when brought to life with various 3D printers: a MakerBot Replicator 2, and a Connex Objet500.
We believe it is important to encourage young women and men to pursue their creativity, particularly if it's going to support their education and entrepreneurial spirit. Needless to say it was a very exciting experience when Tiana saw the potential of all her hard work come together in real life.
The delight on Tiana's face when experiencing the tangible reality of her imagination was deeply rewarding, and we know that feeling of delight is something that many more of our 123D users will experience when they see their ideas come to life.
Don't worry, the inspiration doesn't stop here: stay tuned for a new maker featured on the 123D blog each day this month!
"BEAM" is an acronym for Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics, and Mechanics. It refers to a style of robots that don't require programming - instead they use analog logic to react to stimulus of various types (like light, sound, and heat). The great thing about BEAM robots is that you can learn a lot about electronics just by making one or even taking one apart. To get an idea, check out this BEAM robot simulator in 123D Circuits and experiment by clicking on its components to see what happens.
Below is the simulation of the left 1/2 of the BEAM robot. For clarity, we've linked a simulation of just one side of the BEAM robot (the second half would be identical). Full left-right schematic here.
We’ll be releasing this as a finished circuit board so you can build one, too. We're also working on a 3D model for an enclosure in Tinkercad that you can use or build off and make your own Phototrope Bug. Stay tuned!
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.
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!