Pixelio Kickstarter launches, a perfect scanning companion for 123D Catch

Have you ever had mixed results using the free 123D Catch app on your smartphone? Often the photos can come out blurry or poorly exposed which directly affect the quality of the resulting 3D model you would get from the app.

Well, the folks at Smart3D have found a solution for you in their first product, Pixelio. The Pixelio Kickstarter launched this week, which is a great 123D Catch scanning companion. Essentially, you can place your smartphone with the 123D Catch app running in the Pixelio Multiscanner and let it move around the object in the center, taking optimal photographs using "Virtual Finger" technology for creating that perfect capture.

In addition to scanning with 123D Catch it is very handy for creating stop motion movies, and 360 panoramas amongst other creative uses, all while keeping your device charged.

Check them out and get in early if you want over at Smart3D's Kickstarter, some of the preliminary models using 123D Catch are very impressive as the affordable Pixelio serves as an programmable, automated assistant to shoot the best photos for 3D captures.

Meshmixer 2.9.2: Experiments

I've been having some fun with the new version of Meshmixer (version 2.9.2) we are releasing today. I've been following fans of Tinkerplay and 123D who have experimented with 3D printing mashups using the Tinkerplay ball and socket connectors and decided to assemble my own.The result: "Foodman" (the name just came to me) which is composed of my captures of fruit and vegetables made with 123D Catch and the new Tinkerplay part libraries that are included with this new release.

Its been a pretty easy workflow with the new improvements to the "Make Solid" tool. Now, not only are mixed up objects magically turned into one 3d printable object, but also the colors are preserved! By the way, it is pretty easy to import the captures from my 123D account within Meshmixer by clicking 123D. I'm going to print this guy in color and see how he holds together...

Though a small update with a ton of bug fixes the new updates to "Make Solid" tool made this experiment with colorful captures from 123D Catch captures from my mobile and Tinkerplay parts possible. Here is a list of the new things in Meshmixer 2.9.2:

  • New TinkerPlay part libraries
  • Make Solid can now bake uv/vertex colors to vertex colors of new mesh
  • New region-growing capability in Selection tool
  • Pivot improvements (.mix import, duplicating linked pivots, new Create modes)
  • Many bugfixes! (texture support, vertex color painting, remeshing, ...)
 
It is available now at 123dapp.com, so have some fun being a mad scientist!

 

 

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...

Going beyond 3D printing

 

Reddit user sthone first heard about 123D when he 3D printed an awesome model from the 123D Gallery. You can see the finished, airbrushed version below:

 

 

Isn't that so well done? After sharing this amazing airbrushed 3D printed model with Reddit, he was encouraged to try out the new Sculpt+ app. He ended up sculpting, 3D printing, and airbrushing a creation all of his own! It's great to see people taking their 3D prints a step further, because it showcases just how useful 3D printing can be. Check out more of sthone's work below, and see his custom 3D printed computer desk project.

 

Want to bring ideas like this to life? Start making your own creations on Sculpt+ today. Read about how to navigate the new app on this blog post.

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!



 

 

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:

You Can Simulate a 555 Timer in 123D Circuits

It is an absolute joy to make this announcement about a tiny, unassuming chip that has changed the world:  You read it first here.  You can simulate a 555 in 123D Circuits!

Whether you knew it or not, we've all touched a 555.  They're inside appliances like toaster ovens, microwaves, alarm clocks, little robots, zillions of toys, early computers and even a few spacecraft.  They're everywhere!

Don't believe us?  According to their original 1971 inventor, Hans Camenzind, production has steadily ramped up to an astonishing 1 BILLION 555s being made per year, and they crossed that threshold in 2003!


For the announcement we put together an example circuit that when connected to a servo lets you control the angle (or position) by turning a potentiometer.  Click the Read More button to load it.   Read more »

PINHOL3D: 3D printing through a new lens

 

The inspiration for my first project stems from a deep-rooted love for iPhone photography. While a number of phone apps exist for the sole purpose of photo manipulation, there are comparatively few hardware accessories that serve the same purpose. Recalling my days of haphazardly taping a pinholed-cardboard square to my iPhone camera, I envisioned my first 3D printing project achieving that same grainy, vignetting effect in hardware form. Enter my first project: the iPhone pinhole camera.

freshly-printed iPhone pinholes

My first attempt at the iPhone pinhole was only minorly successful. I modeled the device on Tinkercad, essentially slicing off two-thirds of an already-created iPhone 5 case, and adding a cylinder with a small opening over the camera area to create the pinhole. This took all of twenty minutes; it’s that easy.

I then printed it on one of the many Objet500 printers here at Pier 9, using the Tango Black material. While the produced model was workable, the material was too flimsy to comfortably sit on the iPhone. Moreover, the pinhole was slightly too far to the left and needed to be manually adjusted for each picture.

Thus, I returned to the drawing board (that is, Tinkercad). This time, I used iPhone specs detailed in Apple’s developer guide to locate the center of the camera. Using Tinkercad’s ruler feature, I easily plugged in the specified measurements and there it was — a complete second iteration in less than half an hour. Total insanity.

Honestly, the longest part of this process was waiting for a fellow Pier 9 shop user’s piece to finish printing so I could load my creation onto the Objet500. But after a mere hour of watching the printer lay down layer upon layer of model material, there it was — the material version of an idea that I’d conceived of 24 hours before this moment.

Excavating the model from its support materialHot off the object

Despite my immediate urge to test it out, I needed to dislodge the piece from its support material encasing — a process that I greatly underestimated. After half an hour of chiseling away at the support material with a power washer and a variety of ice-pick-resembling hand tools, there was my glistening iPhone pinhole camera.

So here — directly from my new pinhole camera to your screen — is the world of an Autodesk intern through a Tinkercad-created lens:

I also modeled a number of iterations, experimenting with the depth of the pinhole casing as well as the number and orientation of pinholes. Follow my instructable, print your own, and play around with your pinhole images on Pixlr for extra vintage-looking, instagram-able results.

 

123D Make 3D DIY Projects. Made With Cricut.

photo of paper projects next to a Cricut Explore machine

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!

And make sure to keep checking back on Autodesk 123D's Blog and Cricut Partner Page, as well as Cricut's Autodesk Projects Page for even more projects!


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! 

Maker of the Day – Zachary Vorhies (Day 20)

Zachary Vorhies

Why I make

I love making wearable fashion! I've always had an interest in the clothes people would make for Burning Man, the most fantastic place on earth (for that week).

One year I met a fashion designer, Wheylan Dean-Ford, who makes costumes for rockstars and movies. He ended up crashing at my house after Burning Man and we got to talking about fashion. He was struggling with putting electronics into his outfits and since I love electronics, I was more than able to help him out. That got us to talking about my own outfit that I wanted to create. The idea that I had was to do a mashup of a glow stick and a CamelBak so we created this thing that called the Hydropak, which is like a CamelBak, but glows to the sound of music.

The Hydropak outfit was a really big hit with my friends and so I started wearing it all the time. One time I wore it to a fashion show and the organizer snapped a picture of me and said, "Who made this amazing outfit?" and I was like, "I did!" He responded, "Why don't you make five more like this and I'll put it on the fashion runway?" 

So I called my designer friend who was living in New York and said, "Hey, want to fly to San Francisco and help me make five outfits for this fashion show?" He was like, "Okay!" So we did it. 

The following week we started a massive one month work session creating five fashion pieces. One of these pieces was the Turn Signal Glove which you can see at: www.futuretechwear.com 

When we showed off the gloves, the response was overwhelming: "YOU MUST MAKE MORE OF THESE TURN SIGNAL GLOVES!" 

So from there on out I was on a mission to create the best cycling glove in the world. I said goodbye to my job at Google and said hello to the wonderful world of entrepreneurship, and the rest is history. 

What I make

Turn Signal Gloves - www.zackees.com
Kickstarter and made $72.5k in sales in just 30 days. CNET said that they were “...enough to encourage a new era of turn signal use.” 

Lightup Outfits - www.futuretechwear.com These are some outfits I created to showcase my talent. 

LED Piano - https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=5V2d0_P9cLo

I designed the electronics and built the software. The fabrication of the piano was carried out by the artist, William Jerome, who also uses it in his performances in his band, Interstellar Transmissions.