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

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

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.

Monday Makers: MakerKids

MakerKIds CAD'ing it up at SXSW Create

 

This past weekend at SXSW I had the great fortune to hang out with the amazing group of individuals from MakerKids. One of the few and only existing Maker Spaces designed just for kids, MakerKids was started with a magic that the only the Maker Movement can provide. Started in 2010 in co-founder Andrew Forest's garage, MakerKids has grown into a world class space for kids to get hands on experience with 3D Printing, programming, electronics, woodworking, sewing and crafting. 

Co-founder Jennifer Turliuk Showing off her 3D printed un-reality glasses

 

At SXSW's Create space, MakerKids ran an amazing program showing youth how to model in TinkerCAD, and then 3D print live on location with a Cube 3D printer. The few that I witnessed were overjoyed and thrilled to be able to create something cool and then 3D print it. Co-Executive Director and Chief Happiness Officer Jennifer Turliuk walked me around the space and even let me assist a bit. I strongly encourage anyone looking into starting a space geared towards kids to check out the amazing work done at MakerKids. 

Tinkering away with MakerKids

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.

Tokyo Maker Faire

Maker Faires are in full swing around the world, and Autodesk 123D got in on the action this weekend in Tokyo, Japan, a city renowned for its history of innovation. 

Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk, even got in the action, delivering a presentation on "the appearance of new manufacturing in North America."

 

The 123D team hosted an area equipped with MakerBots, iPads with all the 123D tools installed, interlock assemblies, LED badges, duct tape bags, a black rocket shelf, and even a 3D photo booth. 

 

 It's so rewarding to see firsthand how people incorporate the 123D tools into their personal creative expression. Thank you to the thousands of smiling people of all ages that came to visit and create with us! We can't wait to do it again next year, Tokyo Maker Faire!

 

3D Printing and Biotech

I think we all know that those of us on the 123D team are stoked about 3D printing - why else would we be in this business, after all? We love seeing the amazing ideas that our community designs and brings to life, as they consistently challenge our notions about just how far 3D printing can reach. 

One of the places that 3D printing is venturing into right now is the medical world, and this is a pairing we are so excited to learn more about. The humanitarian components of 3D printing have already had a huge impact, from reducing costs and time spent on various medical practices to providing a means for rapid prototyping that allows makers to rely on themselves rather than corrupt or unresponsive systems.

A key aspects of this movement is that it is being powered by individuals in addition to companies. Makers are using their personal 3D printers to drastically improve the landscape around them, like this hackerspace in Haiti creating and improving umbilical cord clamps. Doing so allows them to avoid going the traditional manufacturing route for medical products that are sorely needed.

From makezine.com

Another innovation in the world of personal medical 3D printing is in the realm of prosthetics. Right now the average prosthetic to replace a limb costs upwards of $100,000, and isn’t necessarily made to fit the body of the person who it will belong to. For children the process of replacing limbs gets even more complicated, because kids grow so quickly. This leads to them having to pay $100,000 way too frequently for a prosthetic that will quickly become too tight, and therefore cause pain and decrease function. Read this touching story to see just how much 3D printing will influence the life of a 2 year old girl in need of prosthetic hands.

 

From robohand.net 

Imagine a world where medical technology is innovated by those who it impacts most, those who understand the implications of one minor change. It's exciting to be in a time where this world is becoming a reality, and we are extra excited that our software can help play a role. 

Have you ever thought about applying your 3D printing skills towards the advancement of medicine? We would love to hear about your ideas in the comments. 

Photo Diary: Kansas City Maker Faire 2013 – Hammerspace

We were setting up the booth today at KC Maker Faire and realized that we didn't bring enough PLA for our MakerBot!  So we decided to reach out to a local hackerspace to see if we could snag some.  We heard good things about the space and were impressed when we got there.  It's got a full wood shop, some milling equipment, a giant laser and it seems like every member has their own 3D printer!

Hammerspace member Paul Leonard and his 3D printed gear-for-gear enlargement of a post-war Japanese bear toy.

If you're in town for MFKC or haven't been there yet, stop by and say hi to the founder, Dave.  (And ask him about his grandfather's Wright brother story.)