Bringing the museum home with you (legally) with 123D Catch

 Guardian Lion courtesy of Asian Art Museum SF

As product manager of 123D Catch, I’m always curious how this powerful little app is being used. Lately, I’ve seen a boom in use of 123D Catch at museums. It is a great app to help truly study a piece in a collection and understand a master’s intention. Putting in the extra credit to heal and 3D print a captured piece can be especially rewarding in this regard.

See a few examples here of taking the museum home with you by way of this handy iPhone/iPad app.

Here is a piece on Gizmodo about a recent 3D Printing Camp where kids are using the 123D Catch iPhone/iPad app to scan dinosaur bones at the American Museum of Natural History in NY: http://gizmodo.com/amnh-3d-printing-camp-lets-make-some-dinos-868773820

Another from Techcrunch of an individual using Google Glass to snap photos at Walters Art Museum to capture a sculpture. Photos can then be uploaded via the web app or Windows app: http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/28/maker-nabs-a-3d-model-of-marcus-aurelius-with-google-glass/

Of course each museum will have its limitations on what you can capture in 3D and what your intentions are with the captured piece from their collection or a temporary installation. Best to know their take on it before you recreate these masterpieces.

So, if you want to try it out, I’ve created three videos to show how you might do this yourself. Go from shooting photographs of your favorite piece in a collection to 3D printing it with a 3D printing service easily. Many thanks to the Asian Art Museum SF for lending their pieces to capture!

Its as easy as 1…2…3D print!

Step 1: Use the iPhone or iPad app to shoot photographs sequentially around your subject. Here, I use my SLR camera and upload them using the web app:

Step 2: Use the editing and healing capabilities of the 123D Catch web app to clean up and prepare your capture for 3D printing.

 

Step 3: 3D print your capture using a 3D printing service directly from within the 123D Catch web app!! You can choose from iMaterialise, Shapeways, or Sculpteo, and each has an interesting assortment of material options, including plastics, metals, and ceramic to name a few.

 

Introducing 123D Design Online!

Around 6 months ago, the 123D Design team launched a series of products that could empower users with little to no CAD background to create, edit and customize 3D models for fabrication.

Let me introduce you to the newest version of 123D Design online. 3D modeling on a browser is not exactly new. In fact, we now have the popular modeling program Tinkercad as a member of the 123D family. So what makes 123D Design online so unique? It provides tools for fine tuning and editing models that has been so far seen in products like AutoCAD, Inventor, and Fusion 360. You can now round and bevel edges, create a shell or pull faces out of any part, and all this with extremely natural interactions.

Speaking of natural interactions, all manipulations of the parts in the scene are done with very easily identifiable modifiers. If you have used image editing or presentation software, you will find very familiar interactions for resizing, rotating, moving and aligning elements.  And since we are a 3D application, we have also introduced a really delightful experience for rotating and aligning parts against other parts in space, which we call cruising.

Making holes has never been easier either. The best of all is that we can also keep the whole history, meaning that if you have made a hole in a part using another element, you can always go back to the original elements, move them around, and see the new results without any additional operations.

We also have Smart Content! If you manipulate a part shaped like a keyhole, it’s very likely that you will want the circular part to remain circular, and this will never be the case in direct modeling. This happens because some of our content is defined by rules, which are checked after any action. Being able to create text and modify it on the fly is another result of using Smart Content.

So we have history-based solid modeling that can also be rule based, in a browser? Excellent! So what if you want a mesh, or need to start from a 2D drawing?

123D Design online also supports importing STL and OBJ files. So you can now import models from 123D Catch, 123D Creature, or pretty much any other application that can generate these formats. 

As much as we love 3D modeling, we also acknowledge there is a vast amount of drawings that could be the initial step for editing in 3D. 123D Design online supports SVG import, so bring in any vector artwork and see it come to life as a 3D model.

This video will show you the power of 123D Design online in action while making a simple earbud holder to print on a Makerbot. 

Check it out at www.apps.123dapp.com/design/ and stay tuned for updates!

 

 

 

 

Introducing 123D for the Tinkercad community

Autodesk is pleased to welcome Tinkercad to our family of fun, powerful and easy-to-use tools! We’d also like to extend that welcome to you, the community of users that has made Tinkercad great. For those of you who aren't familiar with 123D or are here for the first time, check out the brief video tour below, and then read on for an introduction to the rest of the 123D family, and some of the things you can do with them. You'll find tools that help you get 3D models of real world objects into Tinkercad, help to make your Tinkercad models into physical objects, and design software to take your designs to the next level.

To get the most out of 123D, you should sign up for an Autodesk account. A free account will let you store projects in our online gallery, and download files from our content library and from other users. A premium membership will increase your access to premium content, give you access to an Instructables Pro membership, discounts on the purchase of a Makerbot, and many other benefits.

   

123D Catch turns a series of photographs into a detailed 3D model of an object.  You can take pictures with the iPhone and iPad versions, or use a digital camera with any modern internet browser that works with Tinkercad. We also have a standalone desktop version for Windows. Tools available in the desktop or online versions of 123D Catch help you clean up your scans, select the most important parts, and export a file suitable for 3D printing or CNC.


When you export a file for 3D printing from 123D Catch, Tinkercad can import these files (.STL or .OBJ) directly, and manipulate them like other solids. You can scale them, move them, and combine them with other solids. (In fact, Tinkercad does a great job of preparing 123D Catch files for printing).

123D Design is a 3D design program, much like Tinkercad, but with additional features that can help take your designs to the next level. Features like fillets (rounded edges), chamfers (angled edges), Smart Text and the ability to “tweak” edges to make complex geometries give you the power and flexibility to design just about anything you can imagine – and make it look sleek and professional! Tinkercad users should feel right at home with the interface, too.


123D Design can tap into an extensive library of premium models, hosted on the 123D Gallery website. You can also store your own creations on the 123D website, and share them amongst the various editions of 123D Design. 123D Design is available on the iPad, in any browser that supports Tinkercad, as well as a more powerful standalone desktop version for both Mac and Windows. You can export files from Tinkercad as you would for 3D printing, and import them into 123D Design, where you can scale them, move them, and combine them with other solids. You can’t currently edit Tinkercad files in 123D Design, but we’re working on it.

123D Make is a powerful program that takes a 3D model and prepares it for fabrication using many different techniques. For example, you can slice your model into layers, cut these layers out of cardboard using a laser cutter, and assemble into really big constructions.


You can also export files from Tinkercad as you would for 3D printing (STL format) and import them into 123D Make. They work great! 123D Make is available as a full-featured desktop app, and with the most popular functions as a browser based web app, compatible with any browser that supports Tinkercad.

The 123D Gallery acts as the connecting hub between the various apps, as a community for sharing with other users, and as a library for great content. In the near future, we will be developing additional tools for working on your 3D projects that will be hosted here.


All of the 123D apps support saving and loading files from the 123D website, giving you the convenience of being able to access all your projects from any of the platforms: mobile, web and desktop. You can browse and remix projects from other users, and also choose from the library of premium 3D models prepared by Autodesk. It’s also a great place to comment on projects by other users, and share models that you are proud of. Make sure to sign up for membership to make the most of these online features.

Getting things made
The 123D family of programs supports many different ways of turning your digital creations into physical objects. You can choose from carving out of wood (CNC Utility), 3D printing (Autodesk 3D Print Utility) or laser cut slices of cardboard or wood (123D Make). If you don’t have access to workshop tools yourself, you can request services from our many fabrication partners – either via the 123D website or from within the apps themselves.

We hope you find this introduction to the world of 123D interesting, and look forward to seeing what we can make together with these tools! Sign up for a 123D account now!

Awesome 123D Design Tutorials – by Kacie Hultgren

  You may know about the 3D Printing Training Camp put on by Makezine - it's a pretty thorough course, using 123D Design as reference. Well, Kacie Hultgren (AKA PrettySmallThings) has very awesomely posted the videos to her YouTube channel!  If you've been looking for tutorials on 123D Design, these are a really great place to start.  

 In the 3-D printing universe, Kacie Hultgren is better known as PrettySmallThings.  Kacie is a scenic designer in the theatre industry, and was recently profiled in Stage Directions and Wired for her work using her 3D Printer to create scale set models. Her delicate designs are Thingiverse favorites.  She is an expert AutoCAD user, and brings enthusiasm for craft & design to 3D printing.