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.

 

MeshMixer 101: 3D Printing

 

The Meshmixer 101 playlist is a series of videos to get you up and running with Meshmixer.

This video will show you a typical workflow for healing a capture from 123D Catch, then printing with a 3D printing service.

MeshMixer 101: MeshMix

The Meshmixer 101 playlist is a series of videos to get you up and running with Meshmixer.

In this video, learn how to drag and drop parts onto your model to create a unique 3D mashup.

How to easily generate 3D Printable enclosures for your electronics projects in 123D Circuits

We've been blogging a lot recently about 123D Circuits projects and users but it's time we talked about the "3D" in the name.

While circuits are typically designed in a 2D UI the 123D Circuits app will generate a perfect-fitting 3D enclosure for your Circuit.  Check out this 3D printed example of an enclosure generated by 123D Circuits: The Theremin.Theremin with Enclosure

Keep reading to check out how easy 3D modeling an enclosure can be with 123D Circuits.

Read more »

The Mighty Midwest presents: Tom Burtonwood

 

On this week's installment of the Mighty Midwest we have fan favorite, Tom Burtonwood. Tom is making great strides in showcasing Chicago as an epicenter of art and innovation. Tom, a Tinkercad and 123D Catch user, is an artist residing in Chicago, and he uses 3D scanning, 3D modeling, and 3D printing to transform the way we understand objects. Tom shares his knowledge of 3D printing in a number of capacities, including giving classes at the Art Institute of Chicago, teaching students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and helping people new to the 3D printing at the Firecat Projects gallery. Tom also joined us in San Mateo for the Bay Area Maker Faire this last May. If you saw our video from last week then you got a little sneak peek of Tom's work.

Earlier this year we had the chance to visit him all over Chicago to see how Tom helps diverse groups of people understand this new 3D printing technology that's sweeping the nation.

 

Be sure to keep up with Tom's latest projects on his website and on his Thingiverse account. 

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.

MeshMixer 101: Selection

The Meshmixer 101 playlist is a series of videos to get you up and running with Meshmixer.

In this video, see how to select objects, multiple objects, and face selection for different editing capabilities.

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 »

Multitouch Tinkercad and 123D Circuits for Windows

Have you heard the news?  The first releases of Tinkercad and 123D Circuits with multitouch just hit the Windows App Store!  Like their browser-based counterparts they're totally free and they'll run on any Windows 8.1 computer.

Let's dig into it!  Tinkercad for Windows 8.1 with multitouch now lets you Pan, Zoom, and Orbit with two fingers, which is as intuitive as it gets.  You can also drag, position and manipulate shapes just as you normally would with a mouse - now with a stylus too.

Check out this awesome hands-on video with Tinkercad:

Tinkercad with Multitouch

With 123D Circuits for Windows 8.1 you can now pan and zoom with your fingers and design and edit circuits with the stylus.  It's a great way to design using two hands and if you don't have a Windows 8.1 PC with a touchscreen or touchpad you can still download the apps and run them with a mouse as you would their browser counterparts.

Check out this video of 123D Circuits multitouch:

123D Circuits with Multitouch 

These are first-releases so if you have a Windows 8.1 PC and you use Tinkercad or 123D Circuits, we'd love to hear your feedback in the comments section below.

The Mighty Midwest presents: The Art Institute of Chicago

 

When it comes to 3D printing a lot of media attention is paid towards the coastal cities of the United States. California has Silicon Valley with its exponentially growing startup world, while New York has long played host to a thriving art and technology scene. And yet between the two lies Chicago, a hidden gem in the world of fabrication and customization. Recently we had the opportunity to explore the many maker spaces, museums, and makers themselves all dedicated to revitalizing the values of their City's past through embracing the technologies of the future.

The landscape of America is changing, and signs of this are everywhere. The midwest may be the largest indicator: where once the titans of industry stood, now stands what looks to the untrained eye like ramshackle warehouses and long-abandoned factory lines. But through the ashes blooms the new industrial revolution, the engine that is driving our society forward. 

 

Over the next month we will showcase a new aspect of Chicago's maker scene every week, starting with the extremely well-regarded museum, The Art Institute of Chicago. They are using 123D Catch as 3D scanning technology to provide a brand new experience to their visitors, a practice which will surely be adopted by institutions worldwide once they see how the AIC visitor experienced is transformed in such a positive way. Watch the video above to see firsthand how 3D scanning, modeling, and printing technology is playing a role at the Art Institute of Chicago. Be sure to check back each week this month for more.