Maker’s Toolbox, Meshmixer 3.0 Lands

We’ve been working on some awesome new features and improvements for Meshmixer and its is all available for you to download and play with now (for free!). While there’s too much new stuff to describe in detail here, I can tell you that there are some innovative tools for those looking to model for multi-material 3D printing.

While these original tools cater to the needs of those with access to multi-material 3D printers, they also double for some pretty handy modeling tools for those with other intentions than 3D printing.

In fact, another addition to this release is an Unwrap tool...which is a common frustration point for many Makers- unwrapping 3D geometry to be able to lasercut or CNC out of flat material such as aluminum, wood, or fabric.

See the video below for some highlights:

 

 

There are lots of odds and ends here that were included based on your feedback…so keep it coming. You can always give it from within the app (click the “Feedback” menu) or email us at meshmixer@autodesk.com. Meshmixer is free, so you can't go wrong!

Here’s a comprehensive look at what’s new in Meshmixer 3.0, available for Windows (64, 32bit) and Mac:

- new Complex objects that contain internal partitions (beta!). Complexes make it easy to design for multi-material 3D printing!!
Generate Complex tool to create a Complex from face groups
Split Complex decomposes a Complex into separate solid shells
- new Export mode that automatically decomposes Complex on write
- new Align to Target tool to automatically align meshes in 3D
- new Unwrap tool flattens surface patches
- new SVG Export can export meshes as SVG (edges, colors, etc). Try it with Unwrap!
- new Mesh Query tool for visualizing mesh properties
- new measurement-based scene scaling workflow in Units/Dimensions tool
- new Select Intersecting action in Select tool (double-click on other scene objects)
- new Preserve Group Borders and Project To Target options in Smooth Boundary
Remesh can now automatically preserve sharp edges
Make Pattern can now clip to active Target object
Make Solid updates and new mode to automatically preserve sharp edges (slow!)
- huge Booleans stability improvements
- minor improvements to TransformSmoothReplace and Reduce
- export support for SMESH format
- Pivot-drag positioning shortcut can now terminate on any surface in scene
- new unlit-texture shader
- support for Autodesk Screencast
- crazy bugfixes
- tons of UI improvements to indicate disabled/unavailable menus and settings
- lots of [scripting API improvements]

Have fun!

Meshmixer 2.9.2: Experiments

I've been having some fun with the new version of Meshmixer (version 2.9.2) we are releasing today. I've been following fans of Tinkerplay and 123D who have experimented with 3D printing mashups using the Tinkerplay ball and socket connectors and decided to assemble my own.The result: "Foodman" (the name just came to me) which is composed of my captures of fruit and vegetables made with 123D Catch and the new Tinkerplay part libraries that are included with this new release.

Its been a pretty easy workflow with the new improvements to the "Make Solid" tool. Now, not only are mixed up objects magically turned into one 3d printable object, but also the colors are preserved! By the way, it is pretty easy to import the captures from my 123D account within Meshmixer by clicking 123D. I'm going to print this guy in color and see how he holds together...

Though a small update with a ton of bug fixes the new updates to "Make Solid" tool made this experiment with colorful captures from 123D Catch captures from my mobile and Tinkerplay parts possible. Here is a list of the new things in Meshmixer 2.9.2:

  • New TinkerPlay part libraries
  • Make Solid can now bake uv/vertex colors to vertex colors of new mesh
  • New region-growing capability in Selection tool
  • Pivot improvements (.mix import, duplicating linked pivots, new Create modes)
  • Many bugfixes! (texture support, vertex color painting, remeshing, ...)
 
It is available now at 123dapp.com, so have some fun being a mad scientist!

 

 

Introducing Tinkerplay: anyone can make 3D printed creatures and characters

We're pleased to announce a new addition to Autodesk's family of easy-to-use apps for all: Tinkerplay. I've been using this app for a while, and I'm very excited to share all the features and enhancements the team has been working on.

Tinkerplay is an app for iOS, Android and Windows that lets you design great-looking creatures and characters, and then 3D print them. It's incredibly fun to use, you can choose from a wide range of parts that just snap together, and then customize them with colors and textures.

Start with professionally created templates, or make your own creations. We'll be rolling many more exciting templates going forward, as well as new parts to make your creations more varied. Keep reading after the break to see more things you can do with Tinkerplay!

Read more »

Going beyond 3D printing

 

Reddit user sthone first heard about 123D when he 3D printed an awesome model from the 123D Gallery. You can see the finished, airbrushed version below:

 

 

Isn't that so well done? After sharing this amazing airbrushed 3D printed model with Reddit, he was encouraged to try out the new Sculpt+ app. He ended up sculpting, 3D printing, and airbrushing a creation all of his own! It's great to see people taking their 3D prints a step further, because it showcases just how useful 3D printing can be. Check out more of sthone's work below, and see his custom 3D printed computer desk project.

 

Want to bring ideas like this to life? Start making your own creations on Sculpt+ today. Read about how to navigate the new app on this blog post.

Make a 3D Printed Kit with Meshmixer 2.7

Meshmixer 2.7 was released today full of new tools for 3D printing. Here I use the new version of the app to create a 3D printed kit of parts that can be printed in one job, and assembled together with pin connectors.

To do this I used several of the new features to make this a fast and painless process. I dug up a 123D Catch capture I took of a bronze sculpture of John Muir. I found it in my dentists office, it turns out my dentist sculpted it. I thought I'd make my own take on it by slicing it up and connecting it back together so it can be interactive, swiveling the pieces around the pin connectors.

I made use of the new pin connectors solid parts that are included in the release (in the miscellaneous bin). I also used the powerful Layout/Packing tool to layout parts on the print bed as a kit of parts to print in one print job. Also, the addition of the Orthographic view is incredibly helpful when creating the kit and laying it out within the print volume of my Replicator 2X. An instructable is in progress with a how-to for a 3D printed kit such as this.

 

This new release has some other nice updates. Check em out below:

- New Layout/Packing Tool under Analysis for 3D print bed layout

- New Deviation Tool for visualizing max distance between two objects (ie original & reduced version)

- New Clearance Tool for visualizing min distance between two objects (ie to verify tolerances)

    - Under Analysis menu, requires selection of two objects)

- Reduce Tool now supports reducing to triangle count, (approximate) maximum deviation

- Support Generation improvements

    - Better DLP/SLA preset

    - Can now draw horizontal bars in support generator

    - Ctrl-click now deletes all support segments above click point

    - Shift-ctrl-click to only delete clicked segment

- Solid Part dropping now has built-in option to boolean add/subtract

    - Can set operation-type preference during Convert To Solid Part

    - Can set option to preserve physical dimensions during Convert To Solid Part

- New Snapping options in Measure tool

- Can now turn on Print Bed rendering in Modeling view (under View menu)

    - Must enter Print View to change/configure printer

- Improved support for low-end graphics cards

For your kit of parts, try out the new pin connectors included in the Misc. parts library. One is a negative (boolean subtract it when dropping the part). The other you can drop on the print bed for printing by itself. It fits into the negative hole. You can also author your own parts and they will drop at a fixed scale (so they fit!).

Let us know what kind of kits you create...maybe we can add in your connectors in a future release. (There's a free 3d print and t-shirt involved). Let us know at meshmixer@autodesk.com.

Have fun!!

 

 

Notable New Yorkers – Stern Design Works

Okay, so we know you've heard about dynamic maker duo Cameron and Rebecca Stern of Stern Design Works, whether it was on from the Maker of the Day feature back in May, more recently through 3DRV, or even way back from Reddit. We caught up with them in New York to learn more about how 3D printing has changed the way they create their products, and learned about the advice they give to new users of 3D printing technology.

 

Watch the video below to see the whole interview.

 

 

To learn more or to get in contact with this awesome husband and wife team, visit their website at: http://sterndesignworks.com/

Notable New Yorkers – 3D Heights

You may have seen a series we ran a few months ago highlighting the incredible makers in the Midwest, specifically in Chicago. This time we went out to New York and met some truly notable business owners using 3D printing to enhance their offerings. First up we have Jerry Castanos, formerly of the US military, and currently owning and operating 3D Heights, a community-focused 3D Printing shop in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood. Watch the video below to learn about how 3D Heights came to be, and what the future of 3D printing might look like. 

White House 3D Printed Ornament Contest!


When you’ve got a big house to decorate for the holidays, advanced planning is wise. So naturally, the White House is already thinking about this year’s holiday decor, and we're going to help them deck their halls. Instructables is excited to partner with the Smithsonian and the White House in this 3D Printed Ornament Challenge. Some of the winners of this challenge will have their work printed and hung in the East Wing of the White House during the holiday season. Additionally, those selected to be displayed at the White House will be featured on the Smithsonian’s state of the art 3D data platform, 3d.si.edu and will join a small collection of White House ornaments in the political history division of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

You don’t need to have a 3D printer to participate — design an ornament with any 3D modeling software and up to 8 winning designs will be 3D printed and shipped to the White House for you. New to 3D modeling? No sweat! Head over to Tinkercad and play around with making 3-dimensional shapes. It’s really fun, and you’ll learn an awesome new skill, to boot. This is your chance to make White House history and have your art featured in their first-ever maker challenge.

The model should be no larger than 3”x 3” and reflect the magic and wonder of the holidays, so think ornaments that represent winter sports, toys, activities, symbols, and anything that inspires you during the festive winter season. Want to incorporate a little twinkle to your designs as well? Design a piece that fits or clips onto a string of lights!

To qualify, you must be a U.S. resident and create an Instructable for your ornament — and be sure to include the .stl file!  Click HERE for more info.

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!