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!

Halloween DIY: Turn your head into a disembodied candy jar :0

Our friend Maker's Muse has come up with another interesting use of our apps, 123D Catch and Meshmixer. He's really good and I recommend subscribing to his YouTube channel, as he regularly creates these insightful videos about 3D printing.

This time Maker's Muse captures his head with 123D Catch and brings it into Meshmixer to hollow out for a sliced off zombie head full of candy. Check out the video below for his process. 

If you are having trouble capturing someone's head with 123D Catch, you can refer to a previous blog post: How To Capture a Person with 123D Catch.

Happy Halloween!

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!

 

 

Meshmixer 2.9 Saves the Day!

Many of you have been writing us to say thank you for the unique ways that Meshmixer helps you with 3D printing your creations. Today, we say thank YOU by releasing Meshmixer 2.9! There are some spectacular new features in this release...

For those who work with full color models, such as those coming from depth cameras, 123D Catch or 123D Sculpt+, Meshmixer now supports maintaining the color with most tools in Meshmixer. For the geeks: UV textures are supported while editing. Now you can sculpt, remesh, boolean, erase and fill, reduce, etc all while maintaining the integrity of the color on your model.

For example, see the illustration below showing the upgraded Reduce tool that maintains the color texture of a 123D Catch capture while reducing the size and complexity of the geometry.

What is truly a game changer for this release is the addition of precise transforms and the new Pivot tool. The Transform tool now has a properties panel for precise input of position, rotation, and sizing. Now you can enter the exact location and orientation you want your objects to be.

For example, I can perfectly size and align these two objects to each other for an interesting boolean difference result.

 Also, using the new Pivot objects, I can place pivots in many different ways (optionally linking them to objects) and use them in many of the existing tools. For example I can drag one pivot to another and snap the attached object accurately for a quick alignment. 

 

Here is a list of what is new in this release:

  • Updated most Tools to properly handle Texture Maps
  • New Pivots objects for simplifying precise positioning
  • New Create Pivot tool to place Pivots in many different ways
  • Existing Tools now snap to Pivots when possible
  • Updated Transform tool with precise input of translate/rotate/sizing
  • Transform tool can use a Pivot as arbitrary center-of-rotation
  • Rewritten Align tool with many new alignment modes
  • Fast Pivot-to-Pivot interaction to rapidly position objects
  • Rewritten Remesh tool with new remeshing modes
  • New Adaptivity setting in brush tools
  • Improved support for multi-user installations
  • Improved stability, particularly startup crashes, network-related crashes, and GPU issues
  • Support for Anti-Aliased Rendering in Preferences (disabled by default)

 

Finally, everyone should check out this 3D printed short film. Filmmaker Gilles-Alexandre Deschaud wrote to thank us for Meshmixer and told us how it streamlined 3D printing everything seen in the film. More on this story soon...

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!!

 

 

Make more of Tinkerplay with Meshmixer and 123D

We love the Modio mobile app for creating 3D printed articulated toys, and were thinking about how to extend the creative possibilities it offers. Many of our apps (Meshmixer, Tinkercad, 123D Design) can work with the 3D printable STL files that Modio exports, so this opens up many possibilities for creation.

One great area to explore is to download models from the 123D Gallery and the 123D Content Library, and remix parts of them by attaching the Modio ball and socket connectors. Meshmixer is the perfect tool to do this! Here's a shark bot that I created using this very process:

 

Here's an Instructable that will walk you through the process: Make more of Modio with Meshmixer and 123D. It will guide you through the steps of making the shark bot using a model from 123D and parts from Modio.

If you try it and are inspired, why not try some other projects using the skills you've learned?

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!



 

 

MeshMixer 101: Painting and Printing in Color

 

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

In this video, see how to use the painting tools to add color to your Meshmixer project. Then, use the integrated Shapeways 3D printing service to print your painted creation in full color.

Check out the Mix-a-Monster Challenge with iMaterialise!




iMaterialise have just launched a new contest with our very own Meshmixer!  Remix or create an original monster and you might snag a 3D print and a Premium Membership with 123D.  Check out the rules from iMaterialise's blog:

 

THE CHALLENGE

For this challenge we’d like you to create your own crossbreed or hybrid using Autodesk Meshmixer software and i.materialise’s 3D printing service.

PRIZES

We will select 3 winning creations. Winners will receive a 3D print of their figurine and an Autodesk 123D Premium Membership. All participants will get 10% discount when printing their design.

Note that the jury selects upon the 3D renders you put online, so make sure to make a very clear, visible render.

WHO CAN ENTER

This challenge is open to all designers, professional and amateur, regardless of sex, age or nationality.

CHALLENGE PERIOD

Submissions will be accepted up to 23:59 Central European Time, October 29, 2014.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

There is no limit on the number of entries per contestant. To enter,upload your creation(s) below and provide a short description of your monster or crossbreed animal in the ‘description’ box. Be sure to use a screenshot from your creation in Meshmixer as your uploaded image. Entries without this screenshot are automatically disqualified. (Preferred size: 845x450 pixels)

Continued on the iMaterialise Challenge page...

 

MeshMixer 101: Make Solid

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

In this video, see how to use the Make Solid tool to combine 2 objects into one water tight object for 3D printing on Shapeways.