Halloween DIY: Turn your head into a disembodied candy jar :0

Our friend Maker's Muse has come up with another interesting use of our apps, 123D Catch and Meshmixer. He's really good and I recommend subscribing to his YouTube channel, as he regularly creates these insightful videos about 3D printing.

This time Maker's Muse captures his head with 123D Catch and brings it into Meshmixer to hollow out for a sliced off zombie head full of candy. Check out the video below for his process. 

If you are having trouble capturing someone's head with 123D Catch, you can refer to a previous blog post: How To Capture a Person with 123D Catch.

Happy Halloween!

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...

How to Capture a Person with 123D Catch

 

So you want to capture your friend or relative in 3D with your smartphone? You want to print it out in color for mini-me present? You can do this with 123D Catch, which is freely available for iOS and Android.

123D Catch captures of Aidan, AiR Pam and Carl.

 

The hardest part about this, though, is that the person has to stand perfectly still, which is nearly impossible for anyone to do. I've had some good results by using some of the tips below:

1. Have the person sit down. Use a chair that isn't going to cover their back too much, or use a stool.

2. Frame your photographs of the person from the chest up with a portrait orientation, so the top of the frame is just above their head and bottom of the frame somewhere around their chest.

Note: It is more challenging to capture a whole person, since the ground they stand on is not moving (for sure) but the person is moving/swaying slightly no matter how hard they try to hold a pose! This can produce a great model for the ground and surroundings, but some blurriness or distortion on the person.

3. Start by shooting photos from one side of the person (profile) and work your way across the face, then back to just before where you started. You should only do one loop around the person avoiding to reshoot any part of the face. A second pass on the face usually results in strange, split distortions or even a two headed person! As I go around the front, I usually make sure to get enough under the chin. When around the back I tend to make sure I get some top down photos to cover the top of the head.

4. Let the person you are shooting in on the plan that you will do one loop, and that it will take about a minute or so. I usually coach the people I'm about to capture by telling them:

  • Blink between shots (when I'm moving)
  • Close your mouth, avoid opening/clenching your jaw. (Holding a smile is hard to do and you may come out looking like the joker)
  • Be a mannequin.

5. Shoot as many photos as you can...QUICKLY BUT CAREFULLY. I usually get about 25-35 photographs in my loop around a person. Make a point to frame and shoot in good time while moving around a circular loop of the person. The faster you shoot, the least likely your subject will have time to move! Make sure not to compromise on quality however, as the photographs should not be blurry or poorly framed. The better the photograph, the better the model.

It took me some practice, but I can get consistently great results from these methods. Also, if you are not sure if the person moved (or they think they did) just start over!

When you are done, you can heal the capture for 3D printing in Meshmixer. Just log in to 123D within Meshmixer, and you will be able to open any captures you made with the app by clicking "Import...123D". Here is a video showing a typical workflow for how to heal the capture in Meshmixer.

For a color 3D print of the healed capture, export it from Meshmixer as an OBJ, which will also export the texture and MTL files. Zip them all up into a .ZIP file and upload it to a 3D printing service such as Sculpteo for a full color 3D print. I've had good success with either Sculpteo or imaterialise uploading the zipped OBJ, MTL and textures exported from Meshmixer.

 

123D Circuits Video Series : Measure Current

123D Circuits Banner

This week's video on Electronics teaches you how to measure electrical current with a multimeter in the 123D Circuits virtual circuit simulator.  This is the companion video to last week's "Measure Voltage with a Multimeter".  You may follow along with the video, or just watch and be entertained.
This link will take you to the playlist of all videos 


So far we've been keeping it simple by getting the main point across in under a few minutes, but if you watch the whole video you'll also learn some engineering science!  Check out the video below.

Want to see the finished Current Measurement circuit?  Here's the link!

123D Circuits is a fantastic place to go to build electronic circuits without leaving your computer.  It's as simple as dragging together components and watching them come alive in your web browser.  It's fast, it's free, and it's quite powerful.


You can do this yourself, just head over to 123D Circuits and sign in, then create a "New Breadboard Circuit" then follow along with the video.  You never know, this could be the beginning of something big - we think so!

 

 

Make more of Tinkerplay with Meshmixer and 123D

We love the Modio mobile app for creating 3D printed articulated toys, and were thinking about how to extend the creative possibilities it offers. Many of our apps (Meshmixer, Tinkercad, 123D Design) can work with the 3D printable STL files that Modio exports, so this opens up many possibilities for creation.

One great area to explore is to download models from the 123D Gallery and the 123D Content Library, and remix parts of them by attaching the Modio ball and socket connectors. Meshmixer is the perfect tool to do this! Here's a shark bot that I created using this very process:

 

Here's an Instructable that will walk you through the process: Make more of Modio with Meshmixer and 123D. It will guide you through the steps of making the shark bot using a model from 123D and parts from Modio.

If you try it and are inspired, why not try some other projects using the skills you've learned?

MeshMixer 101: Painting and Printing in Color

 

The Meshmixer 101 playlist is a series of videos to get you up and running with Meshmixer.

In this video, see how to use the painting tools to add color to your Meshmixer project. Then, use the integrated Shapeways 3D printing service to print your painted creation in full color.

MeshMixer 101: Make Solid

The Meshmixer 101 playlist is a series of videos to get you up and running with Meshmixer.

In this video, see how to use the Make Solid tool to combine 2 objects into one water tight object for 3D printing on Shapeways.

MeshMixer 101: FaceGroups

 

The Meshmixer 101 playlist is a series of videos to get you up and running with Meshmixer.

Meshmixer objects are made up of many triangles. FaceGroups are an easy way to group sets of triangles on your Meshmixer objects. See how they are created in this video!

123D Catch – improved quality and 3D printing workflows

 

Creating 3D models from your photographs just got easier today. 123D Catch V3 for Windows was just released with a notable improvement on project success and mesh quality, including a streamlined workflow for healing and 3D printing your captures in Meshmixer. Below I'll go into detail for how to use all the new features.


Most notably, there is vast improvement on automatic stitching of photographs you submit. In the previous version of 123D Catch the same set of photographs below, of the Hindu Deity Vishnu at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, required manual stitching those photos that weren't automatically stitched together. This new version has no problem automatically stitching all of the photos I've submitted. Gone are the days of manual stitching! Hurray!

Capture of Hindu Deity Vishnu at Asian Arts Museum in SF

Capture of Hindu Deity Vishnu at Asian Arts Museum in SF.

All of your captures are all stored in your account at 123dapp.com, so you can create captures on the go with the iOS app, then open them for further refinement on the desktop app. Below, I regenerate a denser mesh focused only on the sculpture by lasso selecting only the sculpture, then clicking Generate Mesh in the toolbar. This will only regenerate the selected area at a quality you decide (choosing Max will have more details at the cost of longer processing time and a larger file).


Finally, clicking File...3D Print...will load the capture into Meshmixer where you can heal and prepare your capture for 3D printing in a variety of materials with a 3D printing service or right on your own desktop 3D printer at home!

3D printing capture in Meshmixer

Hindu Deity Vishnu in Meshmixer, healed and with support structures for 3D printing

We are seeing some amazing and very unexpected captures coming in from our friends in the 123D community. The new 123D Catch desktop app will help even more whether you use the iOS app or shoot photos with your own camera. Need some tips or help on shooting just the right photographs for 123D Catch? Try here for some pointers.


I leave you with some of my recent favorite captures folks have shared in the gallery, for inspiration to create your own. Have fun!!

World Cup Trophy

World Cup Trophy

Hayderik on the Grass
Hayderik on the Grass

 

Falla Lo Rat Penat 2014

Falla Lo Rat Penat 2014

 

MeshMixer 101: 3D Printing

 

The Meshmixer 101 playlist is a series of videos to get you up and running with Meshmixer.

This video will show you a typical workflow for healing a capture from 123D Catch, then printing with a 3D printing service.