INTERN3D

After a consistently mind-boggling ten weeks here at 123D, my time as an intern has END3D (coinciding with the end of it being socially acceptable for me to use -3D puns).

If you’ll #flashbackfriday to early June with me, you’ll remember that I had no prior knowledge of 3D modeling and printing. Now — a ridiculously short two and a half months later — I stand before you as a self-proclaimed 3D printing queen.

...Not quite, but I did make a video to sum up my time here and illustrate the learning process that I’ve gone through in the hopes that potential makers will follow in my footsteps.

Like what you see? All of my projects can be replicated using Tinkercad123D Design, 123D Make and Meshmixer. You'll find detailed instructions of some projects on my Instructables account, and others can be found by combing through my blogposts, particularly: PINHOL3D, PLANT3D, and PLANT3D 2

And with that, 123D-ers, I must conclude with: don't be sad because it's over, smile because it HAPPEN3D.

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. 

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:

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.

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.

 

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.