Blender has long supported the .STL file format used to export for 3D print and it is very welcome news that there will be additional support within the software to help modelers. As a popular, free and open source 3D modeling software package, these new features will greatly help save users’ time in finding issues with their models.
At long last, the newest version of the popular 3D modeling software hits the market.
If you are one of the many people who use Rhino, the popular NURBS-based 3D modeling software, you’ve probably noticed that the latest version, Rhino 5, has been in development for, let’s say, awhile. A very long while. Over five years, to be specific. It’s one of those things you might check on occasionally, see the “in development” label, wistfully sigh, and think about all the cool things your children will make with it.
The wait is over. Rhino 5 has been officially released with more than 2000 enhancements, apparently. From what I can see from the new features, it looks like most of those enhancements focus on making Rhino faster, smoother, and able to handle more complex models. I don’t think anyone will complain about that. There are also, of course, a variety new tools to be played with.
For those unfamiliar with Rhino, it’s notable for being extremely versatile with numerous, powerful plugins as well as support for scripting (Python). It may also be the least expensive professional-grade 3D modeling program at $995 ($195 educational). It’s still a bit steep for the hobbyist, but it could be a good investment for a maker trying to turn their passion into a profession.
123D Design is now available for OSX, PC, iPad and on the Web.
Autodesk’s free 3D modeling app 123D has been relaunched as 123D Design, available for OSX, PC, iPad, and as a web app. It’s rare, if not unheard of, for a 3D modeling program to be so widely available, but what’s more remarkable is that the four versions are interoperable. This means that you can start a model with one, finish with another, and then send it to someone else who uses a third. It’s 3D modeling, for free, anywhere.
Solid 3D modelling on Mac, Windows, iPad and on the web!
The beta version of 123D has been available for Windows PC for some time. The surprise announcement to me was that Autodesk 123D Design not only works on Windows and Mac, but also iPad and a web app! The web app version is still limited to MacOS 10.6.8+ and Windows 7 users, however. (more…)
Purpose built 3D modelling software for designing 3D models for printing
MeshUp is a purpose built 3D modelling application for 3D printing. At first glance, MeshUp appears to have similar mesh mixing capabilities as Autodesk meshmixer. However it includes much more powerful and 3D printing specific features. Developed by a company called Uformia, they claim – “MeshUp is the first real volume modeler for meshes. We want to make life easier for 3D printing and for creators. At Uformia we envision a very different experience for users, where without effort, a creator can be sure that their models are always ready for 3D printing.” (more…)
“The Form 1 marries high-end stereolithography (SL) technology and a seamless user experience at a price affordable to the professional designer, engineer and maker.”
A common complaint of current desktop printers like Makerbot, Ultimaker, and RepRap that use FDM extrusion technology, is that the print quality is too low. The Form 1 tackles this head on and the high quality results speak for themselves. Another printer in the “at home” printing market is great news for consumers too. The Form 1 promises to be “An end-to-end package. Printer, software, and post-processing kit that just works. Right out of the box.”
The price is affordable though the regular retail price has not been announced. At $2499 it is comparable to the price of the Replicator 2.
They have a kickstarter campaign to manage pre-sales and generate funds to ramp up production. The machines are selling fast! They have reached their goal of 100K in 2.5 hours.
Formlabs is a Boston-based start-up founded by a trio of MIT grads with impressive backers like Eric Schmidt and Mitch Kapor. They’ve also enlisted Dragon Innovation, a manufacturing consultancy, to assist with the production of the printers and hopefully avoid the kinds of hurdles we’ve seen other successful kickstarter campaigns face.
Nice work guys. I’m excited to see the results!
I for one would like to welcome our open-source 3d-printing robot overlords
MakerBot co-founder Zach Hoeken announced BotQueue this week:
BotQueue is an online platform for distributing print jobs to multiple 3D printers for production. As the name suggests, it allows you to create a print queue which contains jobs. Your connected bots will grab jobs and produce them. As each job is competed, the operator is prompted to remove and verify the output. Upon successful completion, the bot will grab the next job and start producing it. This continues until the queue is empty. If a bot fails, it is taken offline for repairs.
You can play with it here.
Is that a 3D scanner in your pocket?
Continuing on the theme of new ways to capture volumetric data, Autodesk’s nifty iOS app 123D Catch has been updated to include compatibility with the increasingly ubiquitous iPhone.
This means that across the globe, there are now hundreds of millions of potential 3d scanners just waiting to be booted into action. Of course, it doesn’t quite work like that… but there are sure to be plenty of iPhone users who could make use of an app that stitches photos together, uploads them to the cloud, and then returns with a neat 3D model just right for fabrication.
The new update complements iPad, desktop and webapp versions of 123D Catch that have already gained a healthy following on Autodesk’s 123D Community site. With an enhanced workflow via the web app that includes editing tools to smooth out surfaces, tweak details and prepare the model for 3D printing, this really introduces a new paradigm in DIY digital manufacturing.
Click through for a video overview of 123D Catch for iPhone. (more…)
Because gravity, isn’t always a 3D modeller’s best friend
The future meets the past with this sweet OpenSCAD project
This is a cool project: Instructables user fred27 reverse-engineered the encoding pattern for an old Fisher Price toy record player and developed a method for 3D printing or CNC cutting new records. He’s also written software that allows you to convert your own tunes to play on the forty-year-old toy. This is an excellent demonstration of parametric modeling using the free OpenSCAD software. Brilliant!