123D Design Desktop 1.5: Bringing the Family Together

The latest release of 123D Design for Windows and Mac doesn’t just have some cool new features - it actually helps to bring the whole 123D ecosystem together as a suite of tools for design and fabrication.

So what’s new? Some hints were already on the last version of 123D Design: we introduced the ability to open, insert and do some editing to meshes. You could open projects generated in 123D Catch right from MyProjects inside 123D Design, and also send to 3D print via Meshmixer using a one-click workflow.

Let me now explain what’s new with 1.5 and why it’s really great news for all of you.

First of all, whenever you import a mesh from 123D Catch, it most likely needs healing. In release 1.4, if you wanted to combine or subtract another mesh or solid, the meshes had to be watertight (meaning that there could be no gaps). Another issue had to do with the density of the meshes, which could make the operation slow or make it fail. So if you have a mesh that needs some help, you had to open Meshmixer, import the mesh again, do the necessary fixes and then import back into Design.

With the 1.5 release, we reduced a couple steps. By selecting any object in 123D Design, you will see an option to send to Meshmixer. This will automatically open Meshmixer with only that selection open, ready to edit. Then you can clean, remesh, reduce, sculpt, mash up, create patterns, or whatever else you wanted to do. Afterwards, simply export back into Design and you will then be able to reinsert the piece in the same location!

Another interesting use case is if you want to fabricate your design using 123D Make. You now have two options for this. You can send the entire model from the AppMenu > Send to > 123D Make. This will open 123D Make desktop with the file already imported. But now you can just send a selection by using the context menu. So if you have some extra pieces in the model that you don’t want to delete before exporting, or if you want to use different fabrication options inside 123D Make for different parts of your model (like interlocked slices for some parts but stacked slices for other parts).

The same criteria can be used for 3D printing. You can either prepare the entire file (from AppMenu > 3D Print or Ctrl+P) or just a selection (from the contextual menu) and send it to MeshMixer, which will directly open the 3D print utility. You can then analyze the part, create support for the overhangs, and print right to your desktop printer or order the part from different services (Sculpteo, iMaterialise, Shapeways).

This connection between the apps makes it quite easy to move across different processes. You can think of 123D Design as a path to both additive and subtractive manufacturing solutions (Meshmixer and 123D Make respectively).

Since we can now move selections across different applications, it really made sense to be able to also export a selection as a 123dx file or an STL file. This is also a quite useful new feature in 123D Design desktop.

But that's not all! For a while now, users have been asking for a better solution to create text. We've been working on it and we are now proud to present the new Text feature! First of all, it works offline, like the rest of the app. Secondly, it uses your system fonts! Last but not least, you can also throw the text into a sketch, so you will be able to perform different, independent operations with each closed profile. Not bad, right?

Just one more thing. Although you can use Meshmixer to process models for 3D printing - both at home and with 3rd party printers - you can also order a 3D print directly from 123D Design, provided it’s already saved in MyProjects. We've also added a new service provider - 3D Hubs!

3D Hubs provides the ability to connect with 3D printer owners near where you live or work. So if you want a fast delivery (or maybe even see your printer in person), you can print through 3D Hubs directly through 123D Design.

So check out 123D Design Desktop 1.5 and make sure you also have 123D Make and Meshmixer for a more complete experience! Also, keep sending feedback - most changes are directly from you guys, our rad users!

MeshMixer 101: Move Objects (with snapping

The Meshmixer 101 playlist is a series of videos to get you up and running with Meshmixer - allowing you to easier manipulate and edit mesh models. 

Building off of the "Move Objects" video, this will show you how to move and rotate objects around with snapping constraints for more precision.

PINHOL3D: 3D printing through a new lens

 

The inspiration for my first project stems from a deep-rooted love for iPhone photography. While a number of phone apps exist for the sole purpose of photo manipulation, there are comparatively few hardware accessories that serve the same purpose. Recalling my days of haphazardly taping a pinholed-cardboard square to my iPhone camera, I envisioned my first 3D printing project achieving that same grainy, vignetting effect in hardware form. Enter my first project: the iPhone pinhole camera.

freshly-printed iPhone pinholes

My first attempt at the iPhone pinhole was only minorly successful. I modeled the device on Tinkercad, essentially slicing off two-thirds of an already-created iPhone 5 case, and adding a cylinder with a small opening over the camera area to create the pinhole. This took all of twenty minutes; it’s that easy.

I then printed it on one of the many Objet500 printers here at Pier 9, using the Tango Black material. While the produced model was workable, the material was too flimsy to comfortably sit on the iPhone. Moreover, the pinhole was slightly too far to the left and needed to be manually adjusted for each picture.

Thus, I returned to the drawing board (that is, Tinkercad). This time, I used iPhone specs detailed in Apple’s developer guide to locate the center of the camera. Using Tinkercad’s ruler feature, I easily plugged in the specified measurements and there it was — a complete second iteration in less than half an hour. Total insanity.

Honestly, the longest part of this process was waiting for a fellow Pier 9 shop user’s piece to finish printing so I could load my creation onto the Objet500. But after a mere hour of watching the printer lay down layer upon layer of model material, there it was — the material version of an idea that I’d conceived of 24 hours before this moment.

Excavating the model from its support materialHot off the object

Despite my immediate urge to test it out, I needed to dislodge the piece from its support material encasing — a process that I greatly underestimated. After half an hour of chiseling away at the support material with a power washer and a variety of ice-pick-resembling hand tools, there was my glistening iPhone pinhole camera.

So here — directly from my new pinhole camera to your screen — is the world of an Autodesk intern through a Tinkercad-created lens:

I also modeled a number of iterations, experimenting with the depth of the pinhole casing as well as the number and orientation of pinholes. Follow my instructable, print your own, and play around with your pinhole images on Pixlr for extra vintage-looking, instagram-able results.

 

Innovation in 3D Printing Powered by Autodesk

With products ranging from stem cells, shoes and mini-statues, 3D printing has started to boom in China amid the industry's rapid development worldwide, and this was showcased at the 2014 World 3D Printing Technology Industry Conference held on June 19-22, in Qingdao, Shandong Province. This event is co-organized by the World 3D Printing Technology Industry Alliance, the China 3D Printing Technology Industry Alliance, the Asian Manufacturing Association, and the Qingdao municipal government. 

Autodesk sees an opportunity---and need---to speed the pace of innovation in the 3D printing industry. Standing at the frontier of 3D printing technology, we want to help make 3D printing accessible to millions of Chinese people by lowering existing barriers to entry and providing leading applications. The Autodesk 123D Shanghai team set up a promising booth at the aforementioned event and introduced all of our 123D offerings to the Chinese makers, professors, and students in attendance.

 

 

 

 

Chris Romes, Senior Director of Personal Design and Fabrication at Autodesk, introduced Project Spark at the Cultural Creative Symposium "3D Printing Technology Applied in Cultural Creative Industry". The goal of the project is to make 3D printing more accessible. He said, “We are developing Spark, an open and free software platform for 3D printing that will connect digital information to 3D printers in a new way.”  The audience was impressed by the information he shared,  and a large crowd came to Chris after his presentation to learn more details.

 

If you want to learn more about Project Spark, visit the project homepage, where you can get more information and sign up to receive updates. Check out the 123D website too, and see how the existing applications can help you with 3D printing today, and take you to the next level as Project Spark is rolled out.

Read more »

MeshMixer 101: Move Objects

The Meshmixer 101 playlist is a series of videos to get you up and running with Meshmixer - allowing you to easier manipulate and edit mesh models. 

This video will show you how to move things around in 3D within Meshmixer, allowing you to position objects relative to others, or orient them for 3D printing.

123D’s Newest Maker

Did you notice the new byline? Perhaps you did a double-take? By now you’re probably wondering, who is this new author on the Autodesk 123D blog?

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Deena - the Autodesk 123D summer intern. Join me for the next ten weeks as I embark on a deep journey of self-discovery through 3D printing… Overdramatic, but you understand.

As a self-proclaimed “maker,” I’ve delighted in the realm of fabrication, trying my hand at photography, printmaking, typography, and film. However, I have never 3D printed, and am quite excited at the prospect of 3D design and execution.

For those of you just starting with 3D printing, I invite you to join in my beginner’s experience. For those of you who avidly read the 123D blog, I’m sure you’re already far ahead of me and will delight in my inevitable misadventures, reminiscing a time when you too were a fledgling maker in the 3D world.

Having that said, I can’t wait to get #START3D. I'll be sharing my journey with you each week here on the 123D blog.

Keep your eyes peeled for my next blog post, in which I will document my introduction to 3D printing through a new lens… Literally.

 

MeshMixer 101: First Launch

The Meshmixer 101 playlist is a series of videos to get you up and running with Meshmixer - allowing you to easier manipulate and edit mesh models.

Start with this video to get the basics of the apps layout and basic navigation controls and stay tuned for more tips and tricks!

Maker of the Day – Scott Kildall (Day 27)

 

 

Scott Kildall

Why I make

Creative energy sustains me and by making physical things, I transform thoughts into form. I view new technologies as an opportunity to experiment with possibilities that is completely new, but pays homage to older traditions. 

The data crystals reflect this transformation from virtual into material using technology that wasn't available 10 years ago.

What I make

Data Crystals are a series of 3D-printed sculptures, which I generate algorithmically from various data sources. These manifest a vision of what data physically looks like — one possibility for 3D data visualization.

My source for the data crystals range from city-provided open datasets such as construction permit and crime statistics to biometric data generated by human bodies such as physical movement or EEG (brainwaves) data. 

I see data as sculptural material, like clay, plaster or steel. By using code to transform columns of numbers into 3D models, I call myself a “data miner,” where I extract data into small gems. I’m still experimenting with legibility and aesthetics. The primary question that drives this work is the question of “what does data look like?” 

 

 

Meshmixer 2.4: Collect the Gold, Silver, AND Bronze

 

Autodesk Meshmixer 2.4

Autodesk continued the full court press on 3D printing today with the release of Meshmixer 2.4. Most notable with this release is the integration of direct printing to popular 3D printing services: i.materialise, Sculpteo, and Shapeways. 

The integration of the printing services within the 3D printing section now allows you to print in nearly any material including food safe ceramic, jewelry quality gold and silver, and the lower costing plastics and polyamides in different solid colors to name a few. The pricing is interactive, so one can easily size up a model with the material of their choice and get an instant quote from the printing service within Meshmixer. Making the object smaller will make the 3D print less expensive, which makes it easy to bargain for how much you want to pay to see your creation made real. See the video below for a quick workflow of healing a 123D Catch capture for 3D printing in a silver material with a 3D printing service. A new playlist of videos here, called Meshmixer 101 will get you up to speed with the basics of working in Meshmixer.

 

Creating, editing and printing to any 3D printer is a breeze, especially if you have a Type A Machines "2014 Series 1" printer. Meshmixer can send prints directly to your networked 2014 Series 1 3D printer, eliminating the need to fumble around with memory cards. Thanks to the folks at Type A Machines for their collaboration!!

 Meshmixer Patterned Logo with Bunnies

 

Meshmixer also adds some powerful new Patterning techniques with this release, examples shown above, which creates a border based on FaceGroups. We've been having a lot of fun with this new technique to easily create variations of existing models in our library....CHECK IT OUT!

Maker of the Day – Adrian Stein (Day 19)

 

Here is a Maker Of The Day that we have been excited to share with you for some time. Everything that art, 3D printing, and the maker movement is, has revealed itself through the work of this individual. But what can we say about Adrian? In addition to his skills with Meshmixer and 3D manipulation, Mr. Stein is also a gifted writer and speaker, so we will let him speak for himself.

Adrian Stein

Why I make

This is a far too existential of a question for me to answer in short form, my attempt to condense it might be a little confusing, so I apologize in advance. A feeling of cold emptiness takes over my stomach when I become hungry for food, I can stand it, sometimes its hard, but other things distract me. When I have hunger for expression, a feeling of empowering energy, coupled with anxious necessity springs my eyes to an eternal gaze, my throat becomes clogged by the oncoming wave of thought, speaking becomes insufficient, I must make. It helps me clear my mind, by making I am able to see my emotions, feel them physically. Although, sometimes I need to make things that are emotion-less, sometimes making is forgetting, sometimes making is un-making. I came to think of it as my escape, my escape from anything I need to feel; on the other side, it became my gateway, any land I wanted to reach I figured I must make. Making, art, is my therapy. 

What I make

The majority of my practice revolves around the three dimensional object; I find this to be the realm with the least restrictions. There is something incredibly attractive about an object you can touch, smell, interact with, and look at in all angles; it creates an almost intimate dance between the viewer and the piece, creating small conversations, intrapersonal connections, brief moments of intimacy, memories, laughter and cries. Objects have a very interesting power, we deal with them on a daily basis but a lot of us seem to ignore them; when some are presented formally they take on thisrevealing, ephemeral quality. Suddenly, they become easier to “see”, the objects reveal their meaning, information that makes way for different interpretations in every revisit, it is the closest thing to a film for me, without the moving image. I figure that this came from my early addiction to Lego play sets, a driving point for my artistic development. This is where my insatiable thirst saw its beginning, merely satisfied by the low quality, yet nearly endless possibility of these small plastic blocks; I grew to become a creator, continuously imagining and then feverishly making. As I grew older I visited more materials (metal,wood, other brands of building blocks, found objects, clay) yet that thirst got stronger and stronger. It became so fierce that I had begun to loath, even hate, the amount of conformity that my materials involved, the endless drying times, the sometimes irreversible mistakes, the brittleness of some materials and the unbendable stoutness of others, my tongue had become too dry. Therefore I sought a new invigoration, I needed to change by brand of electrolytic buildable. I needed something that could be manipulated with more liberty, something that would set the creatures inside my head free. This made me recede from the physical, and into the virtual; something I found would be a turning point in my practice. Now I almost never leave my computers side, it has become my companion in life, it houses every material I ever dreamed of, any landscape I could imagined, any tool is at my disposal there; but I couldn’t touch it, I couldn’t smell it ,I couldn’t grab it and put it in my pocket, I again became thirsty. This drought did not linger for too long, I quickly crossed paths with the most awe-inspiring bridge i had ever seen, 3D printing. This new discovery completed the circle I wished forever to fulfill; I could finally bring my visions to life. I encountered programs like Meshmixer and Tinkercad, this new virtual clay wouldn’t bend with gravity (if I wanted it to), it could form to my disposal, I can choose where and why it is strong, I can combine it, scale it, transform it, and manipulate it to my will; and then, as if it were straight from the Jetsons, I can print it. Nothing but a dream come true. Currently,with around 4 months in the field, I see my practice voyaging in this fruitful ocean. 

5LDRmH on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

 

Stay tuned for more coming from this amazing maker - Adrian has been generous enough to keep in great contact with us, and we are looking forward to continuing to share his story with you as it progresses.

 

Here's a sneak peek of what's to come - a bracelet Adrian designed using Meshmixer of the waveform diagram of himself saying the words, "I Love You." Pretty neat, right?