Introducing #SFEscapees, an Entirely 3D-printed Public Art Project

An enigma has occupied the San Francisco waterfront for a few months now — the iconic sea lions that typically invade the docks of Pier 39 have disappeared.

But what does that have to do with my last post?

123D-ers, enter my latest project: a love letter to the city of San Francisco and the unique marriage of creativity and technology that happens here. Keeping this sentiment in mind, I 3D-printed an army of sea lions and hid them (in plain sight) throughout the city.

Should you find one of the three-inch creatures, you will notice there is a hash tag sprawled across their glossy bellies: #SFescapees. Where have the sea lions escaped to, you may ask.
 

My theory is that they’ve escaped into the digital realm, only to be materialized in plastic and placed throughout the city. So let the search commence! Once you find a sea lion (distinguishable by its unicorn horn and hash tag) upload the image and geotag it. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, pick it up and move it to a similarly visible location to keep it going. And bonus points for posting seal-fies. 

Circuit Scribe Modules and Unboxing

The folks over at Electroninks were kind enough to send us a couple of their Circuit Scribe kits to unbox and demo.  If you've been following their wildly successful kickstarter you know these are just now getting shipped to their 12,000+ backers.
If you missed out on the kickstarter you can buy a kit over at 123D Circuits.


If you're a 123D Circuits user you've probably seen a change to the home page that prominently features Circuit Scribe, and for good reason: we're the source for the upcoming kits and (spoiler alert!) the upcoming Circuit Scribe Virtual Editor (more on all that here).

In addition to the unboxing video (below) we thought it would be timely to give a little background on Circuit Scribe and Electroninks... Imagine a world without wires and the need to solder, a world where you can still create working, interactive circuits by simply placing components on paper and drawing connections between them with a conductive-ink pen.  Electroninks IS that conductive ink, and Circuit Scribe is the family of modular components that connect to create working circuits.


Each Circuit Scribe kit comes with an Electroninks pen and anyone can download a PDF of their instruction workbook - which is full of great getting started info about electronics and cool projects.

The Circuit Scribe components come in four types:  Power, Input, Connect, and Output.  Each type has several modules and we've chosen to show one of each (you can see them all here).  They're pretty straight forward:

POWER modules are power sources, they're how you add a battery or USB power to a circuit.

INPUT modules let you interact with the circuit.  Flip a switch, turning a dial, or move your hands over a light sensor.  If you wanted to control something manually you'd pop one of these in.

CONNECT modules form the logic of a circuit.  The NPN transistor above is a perfect example and we're so glad it's included in the kits.  With the NPN in the loop you can deliver lots of power with a tiny input signal, for example you can make a touch sensor circuit with one!  (see video for example)

OUTPUT modules are where the rubber meets the road, literally.  Motors, LEDs, Buzzers, connectors to outside circuits (like breadboards and Arduino boards).  

If you've read this far you're a champ, here's the unboxing video.  Enjoy and let us know what you'd like to make with a Circuit Scribe kit by leaving a comment below!

 

Like what you see?  Stop by the 123D Circuits Shop to pick up your own kits. 

Autodesk’s 3DRV Rolls Across America

100+ scheduled stops. 8 months. A million stories. Welcome to the Autodesk 3DRV tour.
Are you interested in seeing (or being) 3D scanned?  Autodesk's very own 3DRV is cruising the country finding interesting stories to share and you might just be on their schedule.   


If you're stationed off the trail you can still keep up with TJ's daily blogs ranging from 3D scanning vintage motorcycles in Sturgis, SD to a feature on the Detroit Public Library Makerspace using our favorite apps: Tinkercad and 123D Catch.

Open the official 3DRV page.

 

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:

Get Yourself Featured on 123D !

Do you like checking out the 123D Featured Users but feel like it's missing a little... "you"?   Fill out the form below and you could be the next Featured User!   The most interesting projects might just wind up here, or even on the screens of our apps.  What are you waiting for ?!?!  Hit the read more link.

Read more »

Sean Cusack’s Fire-Roasted Heart

123D user and master fabricator Sean Cusack may have a heart of gold, but in this instance he's here to melt hearts... Hearts made of half-inch (~12 mm) steel.  So don't get to close, this one's going to be hot!


What you're looking at is a welded steel heart, suspended by chains over a 12 million BTU, propane burning hot air balloon burner.  I bet you can guess what that does : turn steel red hot!

Sean says if the burner was left on long enough the steel would completely melt.  Sounds pretty cool, but we're also interested in how it was made.  Sean started with a simple 3D model of a heart (like this example, free on the 123D gallery), sliced it in half with MeshMixer, and used 123D Make to turn the remaining half-heart into slices that fit together nicely before welding.


Below is the half-heart before and after in 123D Make.  What looks like a complex 3D structure of interwoven slices was generated by 123D Make with just a few clicks.  You can download Sean's 3D Models and the sliced 123D Make from the 123D Project Gallery here's the link!

Hit the Read More link to see the process... Read more »

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

 

Getting Sculpted with Shapeshifter

If your burning desire to print complex shapes has been constantly subdued by the difficulty of intricate 3D modeling, Project Shapeshifter is the tool for you. Currently in beta, Shapeshifter is Autodesk’s free application dedicated to simplifying complex models.

Upon opening the app for the first time, fellow Autodesk intern Arnab Mukherjee created not one — but four — Shapeshifter-crafted sculptures in one afternoon. The results were impressive:

To make this sculpture, Arnab started with one of the pre-loaded templates (users can choose from vase, bowl, ring, bracelet, knot and more) and tinkered with the various slider controls until he was satisfied with the shape.

The Shapeshifter interface exists entirely within your browser, making it easy to use. Despite its simple presentation, there are many layers of customization that allow the user to fully shape an imagined object.

Sliders offer complete control over each aspect of the model, from more basic characteristics like thickness, color and spin profile to advance characteristics like wave frequency and amplitude. Pre-loaded patterns fill the bottom tray, allowing users to change the pattern throughout the modeling process.

Once the sliders have been adjusted to create the desired shape, you simply export for 3D printing and there it is: a unique, beautifully-intricate Shapeshifter sculpture.

You can experiment with the beta platform by making your own Shapeshifter object using the various controls. Or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, hit the randomize option in the top menu and print your result.

 

PLANT3D: Turning tiny office spaces into miniature gardens

How many times have you looked at the space in between your desk and your neighbor’s desk and thought, man, I wish there was a plant there? Or had a similar reaction upon viewing a groove in the wall? Or the narrow crevice between two armchairs?

Anyone faced with this predicament would have been stuck without a solution, as no manufacturer makes planters on such a small scale. Luckily, we live in a world with 3D printing! So I decided to act on my desire to turn tiny office spaces into miniature gardens for hearty, low-maintenance air plants.

News surrounding 3D printing tends to focus on the big things; 3D-printed houses, pieces of furniture, and custom prosthetics receive a lot of media attention. But the potential of 3D printing for small-scale life enhancements should not be ignored.

To make such small planters, I used 123D Design’s pre-loaded selection of primitive tools. Find my step-by-step instructable here and make your own tiny planters. In approximately fifteen minutes, you too can design crack-filling little gardens for all the cracks in your life.

Adafruit’s Noe & Pedro Ruiz Bring the Freshness

Some people need little introduction and Adafruit's Noe Ruiz is one of those people.  His projects on 123Dapp.com stand up with some of the best we've ever seen, and that's saying something!


UPDATE: Noe is part of a Duo!  Noe and his brother Pedro Ruiz get together on 3D Thursday at Adafruit to 3D model and 3D Print their projects.  They often get the party started by 3D modeling in Autodesk's 123D Design.  We highlighted one to start, check out Adabot!


Adabot can be downloaded from 123Dapp.com and 3D printed as individual pieces and assembled (with electronics courtesy of Adafruit).  Or you can open it up and edit in 123D Design.  Keep reading to see how... Read more »