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
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).
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.
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.