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.
(more…)

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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.

(more…)

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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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Real-time Kinect 3D scanning with ReconstructMe

Easy, practical 3D scanning for hobbyists

ReconstruceMe capture

ReconstructMe is a software tool for Windows that uses the Microsoft Kinect (or Asus Xtion PRO LIVE) to capture 3D models in real-time. The software given to testers originally just displayed device info, and reconstructed models from existing data, but now it has the all of the basic features from beginning to end.

Even though it doesn’t have a GUI yet, ReconstructMe is very easy to use, and produces an STL file that is almost immediately ready to print. When scanning myself, I only had to execute the basic repair script in netfabb Studio (to close holes in the mesh), and then crop out the portions that I didn’t want to print.

I’ve put together this video of the process, from capture to cleanup to print: (more…)

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The next innovations in CG

Can you predict the future? Have a say in the CG Society forum discussion.

Around here at Ponoko, there is often much talk about how Digital Manufacturing is our Next Big Thing. As a part of this conversation, it can also be interesting to see what else is happening in related fields. Often the developments and advances in neighbouring industries can have quite an influence on what happens in our own back yard.

Enter CG Society. An online community where many of the world’s leading digital artists get together to knock each others’ socks off. Aside from portfolios, galleries and competitions, CGS also boasts an active forum in which I recently spotted a thread asking what the next innovations in computer generated artwork will be. Not sci-fi dreamings of the distant future… but what is just around the corner.

Responses include the usual suspects of greater computing power and faster speed. But things get interesting when people talk about specific technological advances like specular lighting and motion capture that were the stuff of pipe dreams only a few years ago, yet are everyday fare for digital artists today.

Also popping up in the discussion are the more Ponoko-familiar modeling, scanning and 3D printing technologies and how to best make use of them.

The colourful conversation continues, with amateurs and experts alike sharing their thoughts on just where these technologies will be in a few short years.

via CGSociety.org

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Solid modeling with the new ImplicitCAD

Open source modeling tool written in Haskell, or, “Clobbering programming problems with gigantic mathematical hammers”

ImplicitCAD is a new, open source, programmatic modeling tool that is similar to projects like OpenSCAD and OpenJsCAD. The author, Christopher Olah, first told me about it at a party last year and now it’s ready for people to start using it!

I asked Chris some questions about his efforts: (more…)

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Free 3D Software from DAZ

Digital Art Zone now offering free downloads

It can be pretty costly to set yourself up with 3d modelling software, particularly when you’re after the good stuff.

So you can imagine the buzz that’s followed DAZ 3D’s recent release of three of their major titles as free downloads for all to enjoy.

Modelling human figures? DAZ Studio Pro will sort you out.
Landscapes and environmental animations? Bryce 7 Pro has it covered.
And the one that has us talking here at Ponoko… 3D models both for rendering/animation and ready to export as .stl files? Hexagon does this and more.

To purchase this software suite from the Digital Art Zone would once have left you on the nasty side of $800, but for a limited time full version downloads are completely free.

Now all that’s left is to fire up your imagination…

Digital Art Zone

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Ponoko + Arduino = DIY MIDI controller framework

Fantastic tutorial on how to build your own custom designs

Digital music production tools are so powerful these days that it seems you can compose and perform just about any kind of music entirely on a laptop. One of the weak points of digital production though is the physical interface: it’s hard to be expressive when you’re pushing your finger around a trackpad. You can have a lot more control if you have a few physical knobs and sliders and buttons. Enter the generic MIDI controller. (more…)

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