Autodesk releases 123D Make Intro mobile app — turn 3D models into 2D build plans

3D design into 2D diy kit? There’s an app for that.

Just when you thought it was easier than ever to design and make stuff using Autodesk’s 123D suite of apps, today Autodesk has released an iOS version of their model-and-make software tool, 123D Make.

123D Make Intro iOS app is FREE and available for the iPhone and iPad.

123D Make is also available as a web-based and PC application, and — as of today — as a Mac OSX application.

So what does it do, exactly? 123D Make is all about converting your 3D models into 2D pieces for easy assembly, complete with animated instructions. You can print out the patterns and cut the pieces yourself or — thanks to the Ponoko Personal Factory API — you can have your pieces lasercut & shipped to your door.

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No need to tremble as SketchUp is sold to Trimble

Google sells SketchUp 3D modeling software to Trimble Navigation Ltd.

Trimble Navigation who is a leading provider of advanced positioning solutions has bought SketchUp from Google for an undisclosed sum. Google originally purchased SketchUp from @Last Software who developed the software from a start up in 2006. Google has spun it into one of the most popular 3D modeling applications – fostering a community of whom there are millions of users worldwide, through selling it as a freemium product. (more…)

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StippleGen converts any image into CNC-friendly SVG format

Time to go dotty with your CNC artwork

Halftone-styled images have a compelling power to them. Perhaps it’s the retro-nostalgia of 1960’s Pop Art, the grainy speckles of old newsprint, or maybe it’s something else entirely? Either way, there is just something about all those dots.

Evil Mad Scientists (you know, the guys behind the Egg-Bot amongst other things) have released StippleGen, a stand-alone program that converts any image into CNC-friendly SVG format.

There is a considerable amount of control as you tweak the algorithms, whether you are after a specific number or style of dots, or even a continuous TSP path. It’s all geared towards use on small CNC devices such as the Egg-Bot, but don’t let that stop you if you have larger aspirations.

StippleGen is designed to be easy to install, easy to use, and easy to modify. It is capable of producing excellent quality output with up to 10,000 points.

Click through to EMSL for a thorough run-down on just what this neat little software package is capable of.

via Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

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Tutorial: Gears & Joints with SketchUp and SketchyPhysics Part 2

Mechanical modelling with free software tools

Following on from last week’s introductory tutorial, here’s a bit more information on how to make mechanical models in SketchUp with SketchyPhysics. By the way, here’s a great resource if you want to learn more about mechanical linkages, gears, and all that good stuff (hat tip to Edgar Castelo for the link).

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Tutorial: Gears & Joints with SketchUp and SketchyPhysics

Continuing my commitment to using free software even though it drives me up the wall sometimes

Following my recent obsession with drawing machines, I’m working on a new project with lots of gears and linkages. I figured it would be a good time to learn how to do mechanical modelling in SketchUp. Sketchy Physics is a plugin for Google SketchUp that allows you to simulate mechanical models. It is very capable but also very frustrating!

Figuring I’m not the first person to get frustrated on the way to creating meshing gears in SketchUp, I wrote this tutorial. I hope it will help some of you get up the steepest part of the learning curve.

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon.

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Parametric voronoi bookshelf

An experiment in interactive generative design

Voronoi shelf

Inspired by the likes of Nervous System, Alan Rorie of Hero Design has created a generative software bookshelf application with Processing based on the voronoi pattern algorithm. The software allows users to determine variables such as overall size, shape and depth and then automatically generates the appropriate 3D geometry which can also be flattened and saved as a PDF in 2D for cutting out via the selected production process i.e. laser/waterjet cutting or CNC routing.generative (more…)

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A sophisticated program to create laser-cuttable 3D forms

The next generation of automatic slicing tools.

Kristian Hildebrand, Bernd Bickel, and Marc Alexa of the Technical University of Berlin have created a program to automatically  produce slotting laser-cuttable templates from any 3D model. While several tools are available to slice a 3D form for laser cutting, this program is far more advanced than any I have seen.
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Software apps let you create halftone images with CNC routing

Software for cutting images into materials with CNC… Software developer Jason Dorie has created a couple of Windows applications – Halftoner and Reactor that allow people to create halftones images for CNC routing from ordinary image files. They both require the Microsoft .NET framework, V3.5 (more…)

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PotteryPrint: the new 3D printing iPad app for kids

With the right technology, 3D printing is child’s play.

PotteryPrint is a truly exciting new iPad app that lets children use a virtual pottery wheel to create completely unique works of art ready for 3d printing.

The PotteryPrint team is currently seeking funding through Kickstarter to take their prototype to deployment.

They’ve got 20 days and $10,000 to go. You can support the project for as little as $1, and they’ve got some great pledge rewards including a home-baked dozen of your favorite cookies!

I talked to Brian, Cameron and Shlok from PotteryPrint to find out more about this app, their inspiration behind the project, and their thoughts on the intersection of technology and childhood education.

First up, can a kid really use a 3D modeling app?
Kids can do amazing things if given the right tools, but until now the majority of 3D design software has been created using traditional CAD-based software which is often complex and takes some training to use effectively.

The amazing thing about tablets is that the touchscreen interface just clicks with kids. I (Cameron) have a two year old and four year old — both can easily navigate the family iPad: pointing at something comes far more naturally to children than using a mouse. The combination of touchscreen and the malleability of clay makes PotteryPrint immediately accessible to kids. It calls on something natural, something primitive. Your hands, making something.

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More 3D scanning fun with ReconstructMe

Testing the limits of this easy-to-use software

More 3D scanning fun

ReconstructMe, the free tool for creating 3D models with a Kinect sensor, was released to the public a few days ago. I wrote a post about testing it during the private beta, and today I’ve got more scans to share.

Since my first scan was a bit uncontrolled, I wanted to work with some smaller objects that I could fully walk around and capture on all sides. The first one is a small head model that was originally part of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition package. It’s a recreation of the ‘Soap’ MacTavish character’s head, that acts as a stand for the night vision goggles that were also in included in the package.

The original, sitting on the back of my chair: (more…)

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