Maker Faire 2013 – what an event!

Wow, we're all reeling after such a huge weekend!There were so many great things about Maker Faire 2013: * Carl Bass announced the Autodesk acquisition of Tinkercad!  When I first heard they were shutting down, I know I wasn't the only one bummed out.  Kai and Co. did such a great job, that Autodesk couldn't just let it go away, so Voila... * SkeeBall!  After a really cool collaboration between Because We Can! and some of the Instructables' crew, MF visitors got to test their skills on a homemade skeeball game! * 123D Catch Booth! Visitors got to step inside our Catch booth to let 56 digital cameras take images of their head, which were uploaded and processed into a 3D model! * Instructables Map! Instructables authors are all over the world, and we showed off a giant map showing the authors' various locations. * Demos!  Renee Busse - SketchBook's Community Manager and I were showing off the latest versions of Sketchbook Pro and 123D Creature. Somewhere in there, a squirrel and a snow leopard made friends with some of the visitors.   Did you make it by our booth? Show us your pics at  


3D printing is so… dreamy.

I was watching Make's streaming video of the Hardware Innovation Workshop yesterday and heard Makies founder Alice Taylor talk about her experience as CEO of the creepy doll company.  (Which do NOT offer a shaved-head version, sadly).  THEN, I see on this morning that they got to present Prince Harry and David Cameron both with likenesses of themselves.  Good on you, Makie.  It's like every little girls dreams smashed into one article.  Here's the original post. Mini-Me's abound.

123D Design + MakerBot + iPhone = iFlyer

I just finished a little project using 123D Design and a Makerbot - I wanted a way to make little POV videos with an iPhone, so I modeled a clip that fit over my phone (with the case still on!) and supported a small model plane in front of the camera.  Added a little Flight of the Valkyries and walked around the neighborhood. See the Instructable here.

Instructables Green Design Contest!

In celebration of Earth Day and all things eco-friendly, we’re holding a Green Design Contest, and showcasing the best of Green Design with our media partner TreeHugger! Think “green” and submit an eco-friendly Instructable that uses sustainable materials or is energy efficient by design.

For example, use recycled materials such as reclaimed lumber instead of new virgin growth wood. Or, choose to use renewable, responsibly sourced materials with minimal-to-no toxicity such as plant-based PLA plastic instead of oil-based ABS plastics. If you’re designing something with electronics, consider how much power the circuit consumes, or even how much electricity is needed when it's not in use and in stand-by mode. Also think through the end-of-life considerations of the product, such as making sure it’s easy to repair, and the individual parts can be reused or eventually recycled down the line.

Come up with any project with these factors in mind, and you could win over $1,000 in prizes including a Voltaic Systems OffGrid Solar Backpack, ReadySet Renewable Energy Kit with Solar Panel and LED light, Nokero Solar Light Bulbs and a $500 REI gift certificate.

Transformational experience for Instructables Artist-in-Residence

Instructables' Artist-in-Residence Mario Caicedo-Langer is pretty hands-on. He can make a robot out of anything, but was intrigued by the 123D suite of apps. I asked him to document his experience here...

It's a boy!

123D Design Vs. Rotary Tool

  When Instructables gave me the opportunity to be part of its Artist in Residence program, one of the first things I thought was "Blimey!* I don't know 123D or any other design program. What am I gonna do?" (*Of course, in my country we don’t say “Blimey!” but something ruder. But I think you get the point) Let me introduce myself: I'm Mario Caicedo Langer, from Colombia (not "Columbia"). Former Colombian Navy Officer, BsC in Naval Sciences, maker focused in trash art and upcycling. You can see my Instructables profile here. My skills: I can transform almost every piece of e-waste and plastic trash in something useful, decorative or funny. My weak point: the only design program I used in my life was... Paint. Yes, that Paint. So 123D would be my first experience with a CAD program. I have to be honest: I'm not a big fan of CAD programs. Yes, they are awesome. But I am an old school maker who loves to use his rotary tool and his screwdrivers to build stuff, at risk of his own hands. I thought CAD programs were reserved for industrial designers or engineers, even one like 123D Design, developed for the DIY community. THE EXPERIENCE A few weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon, I finally decided to take a look the 123D Design and play with the program. When I got stuck, Randy Sarafan (Instructables) gave me some useful tips. Two hours later, I finished some kind of robot arm. At night, I had finished a "chicken legs" robot. On Saturday morning, I had a futuristic motorbike. On Sunday, I was at the beach in San Jose, eating Deep Fried Twinkies, but that’s not important. By Monday, I had my fourth project ready (not my best work, but still) for the "Show and Tell" meeting at Instructables. And I just finished my instructable on how to make a transformable robot, my first 3D printed project. I'm not saying "Oh! I'm a genius! You’d better make a movie about me! (In this case, I want to be interpreted by Ryan Reynolds or Samuel L. Jackson)". No. What I'm trying to say is that, sometimes, we have the tools at reach, but we are too lazy, too cowardly or too old fashioned to try them. And Autodesk is giving a great tool to the maker community. It's a friendly program (I don’t know how it could be friendlier. Telepathic commands, maybe?) and you can learn it in one weekend or less. It doesn't matter if you are a professional designer or not, you only need two things: the will and visual-spatial ability. And you only get the second thing by being curious about all the things around you: touching, dismantling, cutting, breaking, attaching, opening, destroying and rearming stuff. And, if you are a maker, you are on the right way. 123D Design is an awesome program (and honestly, the only one I learnt) and I love it, but it has two aspects to improve. First, fonts could be very useful. What if I want to 3D-print a plaque with my name? Second, I don’t know if it’s because of my computer, but sometimes the program crashes and, if you didn’t save your progress, you will have a very bad time. So I got the habit of saving on my computer every 4 minutes. That’s all.

Right now, I’m asking myself “Myself, what do you prefer: a carpal tunnel syndrome for using your computer or a severed hand syndrome for using your jigsaw?”. Then I remember my wise mother telling me “Mijo, don’t say those barbarities because there is no idle words”. Resuming, what is better for a maker, CAD/CAM or traditional crafting? I believe there is no competition, because both are complementary. It’s all about what do you want to do, how do you want to do it and what is the best option for your project. There are a lot of things you will never achieve without a computer. But there are a lot of things a computer won’t be better than the human hands, too. And building stuff with your very own hands is a very rewarding experience. So, it’s up to you! Because for me, 123D Design became just another tool in my toolbox. A powerful, fantastic and awesome tool in my toolbox. Check back in for more updates from Mario!

3D printing everyday stuff.

Let's get this out of the way: 3D printing is amazing.  Prototyping and even generating human tissue are happening.  Right. Now.

That said, let's find some everyday uses for this crazy technology. How are you using it to fix stuff around your house?  Doorstops, replacement parts, hacks, key hooks... all that stuff.

Dont' have access to a 3D printer?  Post your idea here and maybe we'll help you get it made...  ;)

Here's a perfect example - a conquered washing machine knob, see the Instructable here. More stuff in the Instructables Forum.

Carbon Fiber guitar. Go Make one this weekend with 123D.

Last month in San Francisco, TechShop members had a little party over the weekend to make their own custom guitars. That's rad enough, but the workshop aimed one step further and taught them how to do it in Carbon Fiber.

The process is simpler than you'd think.  With a basic guitar body design, you can build a model in 3D software (123D Design is free), then take that file via an .stl model into 123D Make, which slices the model into cross sections that you can laser cut (or go analog and grab an Exacto blade).  Once those are stacked and glued together, you have a mold!!  Read this Instructable on how to do to do it, you'll get no spoilers here.

OR, you can listen to the Safety Third Show - in Episode 1, they go through the experience of the workshop and Blaine sings a little song.

Here's the coverage on Wired Design:

Creature Shenanigans at SXSW 2013

We just got back from a great week of the SXSW (South-By-Southwest) Festival in Austin, TX! There were lots of great speakers and startups, and even better food.

We were there introducing our newest app, 123D Creature and supporting our friends at Instructables and our new partners, MakerBot.  Here's some more coverage of the event.

I've fallen in love with 123D Creature and with one feature in particular - the Render room allows for photographs to be inserted as backgrounds, and is totally fun to scare kids with.   The 123D Gallery is full of insanely good models that users have made on their iPads.  Have a look at some here and try it yourself..!  Just go into the app on your iPad, open your model or one from the gallery, and render using the camera function.  From there, you can share it on our Facebook page!


New 123D iPad app for creating 3D Creatures!!

We’re excited to announce the launch of Autodesk 123D Creature, a new app on iPad specifically designed for creating 3D creatures and characters! Watch the launch video to see what 123D Creature is all about.


Making original characters with Autodesk 123D Creature starts with a simple skeleton creator where you lay out the basic anatomy of your creature. Then thicken, pose, detail, and paint your model using Multi-Touch gestures including sculpting and image paint tools - kind of like 123D Sculpt.

You can order a full color 3D print of your creature from Sculpteo directly from inside the app, or you can export an OBJ including textures via email or iTunes. You can also bring your creature into the Render room where you can adjust the lights, background, and filter effects to generate amazing scenes and images.

And the app is connected to your 123D account, so you can save your creatures to the cloud, and share them with the community.  We’re looking forward to seeing what people create, there are already some amazing creatures in the 123D Gallery from our beta testers.

This is our first single-purpose 123D app, so if you’ve try it out, let us know what you think. Also, 123D Creature is purpose-built for creating creatures, if there’s something there you think would be great to see in other apps, let us know at

123D Creature is now available on the App Store at a special price of $1.99 for a limited time!

123D Gallery’s 3D viewer can now be embedded!

3D models in the 123D Gallery now have an embed option! To embed, check the upper right hand corner of a

model and look for the embed button as shown in the photo above.

Once clicked, the embed option will then allow you to choose a size and

give you a code to embed the 3D viewer on your blog or website.

It'll look something like this: