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 : Blink LED with an Arduino

123D Circuits Banner

This week's video on Electronics teaches you how to blink LEDs with an Arduino in the 123D Circuits virtual circuit simulator.  Its super-simple because the code is already pre-written and saved into the Arduino.  Opening it and making changes is a snap!  And don't stop there... we're growing the list of how-to videos every week!

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.

Click here to open the original circuit in 123D Circuits.

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!

 

 

123D Design, 123D Catch & 123D Make Web Apps Closing


Update: 123D Circuits and Tinkercad are not using the unsupported plugins so they will continue to thrive! The only apps that are affected are the three mentioned below.

If you have been using the web based versions of the 123D apps that run in your browser, you probably noticed that they have gone bonkers recently.

We're well aware and have been anticipating the need to shut them down as the plugins that allows them to run within the most common web browsers are no longer supported. So, today, we are sad to see our trusty web based apps go, they were a trusty platoon while they were here!

So, what to do?! 

The apps continue on with their mobile and desktop comrades, and we have some exciting ideas we're working on for the new year and we'll continue bring you these apps for your creative making needs. Here is where you can find them:

123D Catch: Our popular "photos to 3D model" app is available for your iOS or Android device for your capturing on the go. There is also a Windows desktop version.

123D Design: Quickly whip up 3D printable prototypes with the Mac and Windows desktop versions. Also, available for your iPad!

123D Make: We just released a brand new version of the desktop app (v1.6) and it is available for Mac and Windows. 123D Make will nest your slices for printing/cutting, which optimizes material usage without manual post processing.  You may also send a cutting job directly to your system printer/lasercutter. Try it!  Lastly, we built a "teaser" app for iOS which gives you a preview of what 123D Make can do!

So, we salute the web based apps and say goodbye for now. We hope to meet again in your "easy-to-get-to-web-based-form". Check back often here for updates to these and other apps we are working on to help you be creative!

 - 123D Team, Autodesk Consumer Group

Adafruit’s 3D Printed Retro Mari Clouds

Adafruit #3DThursday

123D Superstar users Noe and Pedro Ruiz of Adafruit Industries are back with another awesome 3D printing + electronics hybrid project - and they've published the files on our site with instructions.  


You can watch these guys whip up 3D printed projects LIVE every 3D Thursday, but today we've posted this great video their latest project.  Scroll down for everything you need to build it yourself!

Check out Adafruit's detailed instruction page for the step-by-step instructions and links to their electronics shop.


The "Mari Clouds"  enclosure was modeled in our free 3D modeling software called 123D Design (click to download).  You can find the original design files and ready-to-3D print files on the Mari Clouds Project Page on our site, 123Dapp.com.  While you're there check out Adafruit's other awesome projects on 123Dapp.com.


We love talking about Noe and Pedro's projects.  If you have something you'd like us to feature just drop us your info at our get-featured page!

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!



 

 

Lets Talk About 3D Printing – On #3DThursday

Adafruit #3DThursday

Back on the 4th of July we featured two super-users Noe and Pedro Ruiz of Adafruit.  Well, they're back with another sweet project: this 3D printed case for the new RaspberryPi B+ that they designed in one of our 3D modeling apps: 123D Design.  Check it out below.

You can check out the full project, see more pics and download the native 123D Design files.
Want the files for 3D Printing or the alternate smiley faceplate?
You can check out their video about it and links to instructions

If you're interested in knowing more about how it was 3D modeled (or about the Raspberry Pi in general) you can ask them yourself, LIVE during their regular #3DTHURSDAY Google+ hangout.  It's where they talk about cool things that they've made for 3D Printing or that they've found on the web in places like Instructables.com.  It's every Thursday at 3PM EST (noon PST) learn more about how to join or click the top banner.  Don't be shy, we'll be there too.  Pop-in, ask your questions or share your knowledge about 3D printing projects!

 

INTERN3D

After a consistently mind-boggling ten weeks here at 123D, my time as an intern has END3D (coinciding with the end of it being socially acceptable for me to use -3D puns).

If you’ll #flashbackfriday to early June with me, you’ll remember that I had no prior knowledge of 3D modeling and printing. Now — a ridiculously short two and a half months later — I stand before you as a self-proclaimed 3D printing queen.

...Not quite, but I did make a video to sum up my time here and illustrate the learning process that I’ve gone through in the hopes that potential makers will follow in my footsteps.

Like what you see? All of my projects can be replicated using Tinkercad123D Design, 123D Make and Meshmixer. You'll find detailed instructions of some projects on my Instructables account, and others can be found by combing through my blogposts, particularly: PINHOL3D, PLANT3D, and PLANT3D 2

And with that, 123D-ers, I must conclude with: don't be sad because it's over, smile because it HAPPEN3D.

123D Users Kristina and Sebastian’s Felt Vase

123D Make users Kristina Larsen and Sebastian Martin are the 123D Featured Users for the week... they're also part of the Instructables Artists in Residence program AND they've worked at San Francisco's world-renowned science museum, The Exploratorium.  Talk about impressive resumes, these two are destined for greatness.  

The project of theirs that caught our attention is this beautiful, soft and fuzzy (yet surprisingly sturdy) vase.

felt vase

What's really great about this project is that it can be replicated by anyone.  Autodesk provides free software to make it all possible, you just need a little patience while you cut the felt.

Kristina and Sebastian used Autodesk's Fusion 360 to design the vase's 3D model.  While Fusion 360 is an extremely powerful 3D modeling tool we thought this was a perfect opportunity to reproduce a very similar 3D model in Tinkercad, and here's what we got in 5 just minutes: link to model.

The left side shows the egg and two shapes we used as "holes" to flatten the bottom and carve out the hole for the glass vase in the top.  The right side shows we then selected "download for 3D printing" to get the model to open in 123D Make...

vase in tinkercad

And here's a screenshot showing 123D Make slicing the vase.

There's a lot more information in two Instructables written about this project, we link to them at the bottom of this page.  We also asked the pair a couple questions about why this project and why 123D Make...

123D: Why this project?
K&S: Part of what we’re doing in our Instructables residency is experimenting with different techniques, with the intention of incorporating those discoveries into our fabrication repertoire. We like to let the inherent properties or characteristics of materials inform our work so will push on things to see what they do when treated in different ways. Early on we hit on the idea of using the waterjet to cut very thick, dense wool felt which is normally used for industrial applications.

Felt is such an amazing material, and has physical properties unlike anything else, but when you cut wool felt with a laser it smells really terrible, like burned hair, and then the smell is really hard to remove. Plus you really can’t cut dense ½” thick felt with a laser. Waterjet cutting seemed a viable alternative, potentially clearing a path to digital fabrication using big sheets of this material. The result is even better than we imagined -- the cut edge is nice and crisp, and there’s a really satisfying tension between the machined quality of those edges and the overall softness of the material.  People can’t tell what the vase is made of when they first see it, and are nicely surprised once they figure it out.

We used the simple vase shape for our first experiment to give the project some clear constraints, since there was a lot about the process that was unknown to us. Now that we’ve seen how it works and how the material behaves we can confidently incorporate the technique into the creation of more complex sculptural objects. This way the risk and experimentation lies more in anticipating the aesthetic impact of the final piece, and less in unexpected variables in construction. We’re working on a piece inspired by topography and geology, where the layered construction will reference subsurface geologic structures, and the felt will take on the kind of soft, sculpted forms you'd expect from wool, in addition to showing the machined edge featured in the vase.

123D: What brought you to use 123D Make?
K&S: When we started this project I figured we’d have to draw the individual slices after building a form in (Autodesk) Fusion 360 software, but then discovered the slice-generating feature in 123D Make. 123D Make’s ability to quickly generate slices of any form, for any thickness of material, is such an exciting and powerful feature. 123D Make draws the slices in real time so you can play with different angles, and it simultaneously shows you how much material you’ll need to complete the project. In combination with laser, waterjet, or other computer-controlled cutting technologies it opens up whole realms of possibility for generating three-dimensional structures. Really, the only limitation is that you have to use a material that comes in a sheet.

Awesome!  To find out more about Kristaina Larsen and Sebastian Martin - check out these links: the Project387 Blog, their web site Cloudear.com, and their two instructables on this project: Layered Felt Vase, and Cutting Felt with Water.

Would you like to be a featured user?  Apply here.  Thanks Kristina and Sebastian!

 

 

 

 

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