#SHARKWEEK3D: Remix the ocean’s deadliest predator with Meshmixer and 123D

Here at 123D secret headquarters, we're really interested in sharks: after all, Great White Sharks have been spotted near our location, which is (sometimes) underwater.

Since we're all about creativity, and since this week is Shark Week, we couldn't help thinking about the things that could make the ocean's deadliest predator even more deadly, or at least, bizarre. What if sharks were crossbred with dinosaurs, bats, squid, robotic golems or even airplanes? We've just released an exciting new update to Meshmixer, so the opportunity for a remix challenge seems clear.

We invite you to participate in this thought experiment: download Meshmixer (free!) and some shark models from 123D, and see how you can remix sharks in 3D. Check out our helpful series of Meshmixer 101 videos to get started. For the rest of this month, we've removed the Premium download restriction on all of our shark related models.

When you're done, create a Project on 123dapp.com and make sure to tag it #sharkweek3d. We'll take a look at your submissions and make the best ones on our super-duper equipment here at secret headquarters.

 

Meet the Meshmixer band – musical mashups made easy

Meshmixer really is the ultimate tool for remixing 3D models. In order to learn about some of the new features that have been added, the 123D team got together to jam. We made some musical mashups based on remixes of 3D models from our gallery - and we'd love to share with you how we did it.

We made five different band members, using different techniques. From left to right: Beethoven Mechaspider, the Elefan, Guitar Golem, Keytar Kritter and Horndog.

The Mechaspider combines a model created in 123D Design, the Mechanical Tarantula, with a scan created with 123D Catch, Beethoven's head. We used the new Make Solid feature in Meshmixer to turn the spider model into a single unified part. You can adjust the resolution and accuracy of this operation until you get something that works. We added the model of Beethoven to the same project, and used the Inspector feature to close any gaps. Finally, we positioned the head using the Transform tool, and used the Boolean Union operation to join everything together. 

The Elefan started off with the Elephant Conductor model from the 123D Content Library, which is perched on a music box base. The Plane Cut function sliced off the base. Then we added a Hook'em Horns Hand, used Mirror to get two of them, and used Transform to size them and position them appropriately. Finally, selecting hands and body, and applying a Boolean Union pulled it all together.

Guitar Golem starts with the Wood Golem and the Guitar Antenna topper, both from the 123D Content Library. The first order of business was to load both models into Meshmixer, and size them correctly relative to each other. The guitar has a cylindrical fitting that we don't need, so we used Select mode in Meshmixer to select and delete. We needed to pose the Golem so we used one of the hot new features in Meshmixer - the Soft Transform. First select the parts of the limb that we want to move, then choose Deform -> Soft Transform, and select the Non-Linear option. This treats the boundary between the selection and the body as if it were rubber, and makes for a really nice way to pose models.

Keytar Kritter is based on the Metal Golem and the Keytar. Once again, the new Make Solid tool was key to make the Keytar into a single solid piece. Soft Transform came in handy to pose the Golem, adjusting both the arm position and the fingers to make it look like he is really rocking out.

Finally, Horndog starts with the Ghostbusters Terror Dog made in 123D Creature, combined with the Tambourine around its neck and the Bugle for ears. We used Make Solid and Boolean Union as before (see a pattern?) but then applied a major new feature. The Tambourine and the Bugle have very fine details that would not print well, so we went to the new 3D Print area in Meshmixer, and used the Adaptive Thickening option to make sure that there were no details less than 2mm in size.

All the models were printed on our fancy Objet 3D printers here at 123D secret headquarters, but the advanced support options in Meshmixer will let you print on a Makerbot or other affordable printers. Give Meshmixer a try - it's free, and should be an essential part of your toolbox if you're doing anything with 3D printing!

Introducing Autodesk Meshmixer, awesome 3D remixes at your fingertips

Update Feb 18, 2014: To provide you with a streamlined 3D printing experience, the Autodesk 3D Print Utility has been integrated into Meshmixer - a powerful yet easy-to-use mixing and sculpting software.  Now, when you click “3D Print…” from any of the 123D apps, your project will be loaded into Meshmixer to prepare, refine and preview your models to print with confidence.  To download the latest version of Meshmixer, please visit http://123dapp.com/meshmixer.

We're pleased to announce Autodesk Meshmixer, joining the 123D family of apps. Meshmixer is a powerful tool for working with 3D mesh files. It's been around for while, so you may have heard of it or used it, but we've made some really interesting enhancements to it.

Check out the video below and see what it can do, and read on for more.

What does Meshmixer do?

If you're new to Meshmixer, let us introduce you. Meshmixer works with 3D mesh files, which you can think of as a kind of digital clay. 3D scanning systems like 123D Catch or the Makerbot digitizer produce mesh files, as do 3D sculpting programs like 123D Creature and 123D Sculpt. 3D design files from programs like 123D Design are more like building blocks - they let you move and change clearly defined geometric elements. Mesh files are popular for 3D printing and other fabrication techniques, so all 3D design programs can produce them.

Meshmixer lets you edit and combine mesh files in many different formats in a very fluid and organic manner. It can also help you repair files from scans and preparing them for printing.

What's new in Meshmixer?

If you're familiar with Meshmixer already, here is a highlight of what we've done for Meshmixer 2:

First, we've created a brand new user interface. All the features are still there, but they're a lot easier to find and use. A row of icons along the left side of the screen gives a comprehensive overview of every feature and tool. Even if you've been using Meshmixer for a while, go ahead and take a look, you might discover something that you didn't know was there! 

Second, we've added some extremely powerful tools for preparing models for 3D printing, around the area of support material. When working with complex organic forms, you will often need to provide a support or "scaffold" to ensure that the model prints correctly. In Meshmixer, we've added tools that let you customize precise and easy-to-remove support materials for your models.  You can also analyze the strength of a model, and send your creations directly to the Autodesk 3D Print Utility.

Third, we've provided the option to navigate scenes using two different styles of mouse interaction: you can continue to use the classic Meshmixer style controls, or you can switch to the same style of mouse navigation used by the 123D apps (right-click to orbit, middle-click to pan, etc).

We're proud of this release, and we're looking forward to welcoming new users and seeing what great things you can do with it! Meshmixer is available as a free download from 123dapp.com/meshmixer