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!

 

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

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. 

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 »

Scancations and the future of photography

Bre Pettis from Makerbot recently went on vacation to the Outer Hebrides in Scotland, and used 123D Catch to create some amazing 3D models of the standing stones to be found there. He makes the point that the future of photography is in 3D. It is only slightly harder to make a 3D scan of a memorable object than to take a picture.

Photo: Bre Pettis

Now it is possible to not only photograph, but 3D scan and print memorable items that you see on your travels. Even though he used a drone (those standing stones are pretty tall!), anyone can do this too, with just an iPhone or a pocket camera.

Of course, if you have a Makerbot, you can show your friends and family a physical replica of what you saw. Imagine children recreating memorable scenes from their travels with miniatures of the things they encountered!

There are some things that you can only really fully experience in full 3D, and here is another example I love. 123D user Jaime Almonacid has some amazing captures of the Fallas in Valencia: click the picture to see them in a 3D viewer:

So when you're traveling, and see something amazing, don't just take a picture! You can create an amazing 3D scan of a memorable object, and share it with your friends in 3D, and even make a physical copy. (Always ask for permission - some museums and artists may  object).

Make sure to check out 123D Catch, it just had some significant improvements for better results and 3D printing.

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

 

PLANT3D Part 2: Bike Edition

One day I was meandering through the print shop when the Instructables intern, Rachel, casually mentioned to me that she was working on a bike commuter Instructable. At that moment, my calling became apparent. I needed to 3D print a planter for mounting on bikes. After all, who doesn’t want to cruise through the streets in the company of another living, green being, conveniently mounted to their handlebars?

To build the planter, I started with a blank canvas in 123D Design. (I prefer to use the desktop version, but this is definitely feasible in the online version as well.) I started with a cube from the primitives menu approximately three-quarters of the size of my air plant.

Rachel mounted the other parts of her commuter project to her bike via ziptie, so I created a ziptie-sized half-circular hole to keep the look uniform. This was done with a series of concentric circle sketches that were extruded in a particular order; you can find a thorough account of the process in this Instructable.

Bike-mounted, 3D-printed planters are a green, simple way to pimp your ride. The file is available for download on the Instructable, so get printing and be prepared to be the envy of bike commuters everywhere.

 

Featured User : Alexander Sharikov’s Rotary Encoder Board

Featured User Image

Have you ever want a rotary encoder in your project but didn't want to design it in?  Featured user Alexander Sharikov has done the work for you and was kind enough to share it via 123D Circuits.  You can click the link to his board and order it for yourself, you only need a few components to solder down and you'll have a fantastic light-up, de-bounced rotary encoder!


Alexander found this LED-backlit rotary encoder component on Sparkfun.com and designed the board with supporting components.  The following pictures are of of his board:

PCB layout in 123D Circuits, Alexander's board, and the rotary encoder component on it's own.
 

The bottom of Alexander's rotary encoder board has screw terminals that make it easy to prototype with:
Rotary Encoder board bottom view 

Click the Read More link to see Alexander's rotary encoder embedded in the blog - and a Sparkfun video explaining how to use it.  Read more »

123D Circuits adds Arduino MICRO and ATTINY

For almost a year now you’ve been able to simulate a virtual Arduino UNO in 123D Circuits and in that time tens of thousands of people have used an Arduino board in their virtual breadboard projects.


Today we're announce two Arduino components new to 123D Circuits:  The MICRO and the ATTINY!

Having these two new components is valuable for a few reasons:

The first is that you may want to design your projects with components that are a lot smaller than an UNO and fit on a breadboard.  Your projects will look cleaner, use less wires, and if you’re also building a physical project using the smaller MICRO or ATTINY you’ll save some money over the bigger UNO.


ATTINY graphic 220 pixels wideSecondly, if you think about it the ATTINY isn’t really an Arduino board, it’s a chip made by Atmel that you can program with the same code as regular Arduino boards.  Almost all Arduino boards use these Atmel chips (called “AVRs”) so it makes perfect sense that you can also use just the chip to make your projects super small.


code editor 220 pixels wideThirdly, if you can write code for the little ATTINY from Atmel in 123D Circuits that means you can write and compile code for any of Atmel’s AVR-series chips.  This is a big deal because it opens up the possibilities of being able to design with different chips based on your needs like: How many analog inputs?  How many digital pins?  How much memory?  Does it fit in a breadboard?  Is it tiny?  Is it super cheap?

Click the Read More button to see an example ATTINY project being simulated... Read more »