Create your own jewelry by mapping your favorite places with Meshu

Ponoko-made products from Meshu founders Rachel Binx and Sha Hwang

When Rachel first moved to San Francisco, she was looking for work and knew she wanted a job in data visualization. “I was using Twitter to find potential contacts,” Rachel says. “Sha was gracious enough to meet me for dinner, and the rest is history!”

The two of them hit it off, eventually moving in together in a sunny carriage house in the Mission. And yes, Rachel landed a great job at a design studio. But the story doesn’t stop there.

Last year, Rachel and Sha sat down in a tea house and started brainstorming ideas for a side project: something that could combine their skills in design and data visualization with their love of travel.

The result was Meshu — a web-based app that brings together data visualization and digital fabrication.

Meshu lets you design products like necklaces, earrings, and cufflinks based on the connecting lines of various places.

For example, you could create a design using your Foursquare checkins or the route you took on your epic road trip. And you could have that design turned into a pair of one-of-a-kind lasercut earrings or 3D printed cufflinks.

(more…)

Related posts:

Uformia MeshUp

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…)

Related posts:

Make your own 3D printed cookie cutters with Cookie Caster

Custom cookie cutters!

C is for Cookie, or so a friendly blue monster once sang while tossing great big round cookies into his mouth. But we all know that a chocolate-chip cookie is no less delicious, whatever shape may it may be. With Cookie Caster, a 3D printing initiative from Dreamforge, the rounded cookie is a thing of the past.

Cookie Caster enables you to design, share and print custom cookie cutters. The site hosts a neat little web-based vector app that makes it really easy to create a 3D model of your own cutter that can then be printed and delivered to your door. Designs are gathered in a steadily growing gallery, where they can be shared with others and even purchased by fellow cookie enthusiasts.

For those who have a 3D printer at home, your Cookie Caster model can be downloaded for free as an .stl file to print at your leisure.

A lot of effort has gone in to making the creation of a custom cookie cutter a seamless, versatile and fun process. It only takes a few minutes to whip together your unique shape using the simple drawing tools… as can be seen in the P for Ponoko pictured above.

If you’re feeling a craving coming on, click through to the source and get creative with Cookie Caster!

Cookie Caster

Related posts:

A new hi-res desktop 3D printer announced today.

Formlabs announced today the release of the Form 1, their “prosumer” desktop printer that uses stereolithograpy to produce highly detailed models.

“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!

More on Formlabs and Wired

Related posts:

Autodesk 123D Catch for iPhone

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…)

Related posts:

Software to detect structural defects

Because gravity, isn’t always a 3D modeller’s best friend

When you build small intricate 3D models in a virtual environment for 3D printing in the real world, you quickly learn 3D modelling isn’t always easy, especially if you’re making miniatures with tiny parts. Sometimes these delicate pieces can break. The key is to know which parts you need to scale up, both for structural reasons and for enhancing the contrast of small details. Unless you have a background in engineering this is usually a trial and error process.

Related posts:

3D printing explained

Industry experts lay it all out in a series of infographics

It’s very possible that you already know 3D printing inside and out, and are just as excited as we are by the possibilities that this technology holds for our future.

But even for those in the know, it can be helpful sometimes to step back and take a snapshot of where things are at in this dynamic, exciting and rapidly changing environment.

Featured above is a graphic matrix from Objet Inc’s Tuan TranPham that sets out major players in the 3D printing world, including yours truly, Ponoko.
After the break, we have two more traditional infographics; one from Sculpteo that comprehensively tracks the evolution and growth of 3D printing; and a simpler intro from the folks at Hightable. They are both well worth a look.   (more…)

Related posts:

How to: design a laser-cut box for your DIY electronics project

Who doesn’t like putting things in boxes!?

This mixer rehousing project is the perfect example of what you can do with a laser cutter and an online box-making app. If you prefer to use a tool integrated into Inkscape to make your finger-jointed box template, check out this sweet plugin.

With tools like these it’s getting easier and easier to design your own project enclosures ready to be shipped from your Personal Factory.

Related posts:

3D printed mounting boards and boxes

Designing boards and enclosures for your DIY electronics projects with free software
Rob Miles has posted a great introduction to using FreeCAD to make mounting boards and boxes for his DIY electronics projects. In this case he is using Gadgeteer hardware modules but the process could be adapted to any kind of board.

Related posts:

Force Effect for Android

Autodesk releases Android version of their conceptual simulation app

There are times when you don’t have a workstation handy; and even your laptop may be out of reach when a lightbulb-moment pops up and that tricky design idea needs your attention.

In late 2011, Autodesk released ForceEffect for IOS devices. After over 100,000 Apple flavoured downloads, the mobile simulation app is now available for use on Android devices as well.

This neat little program enables designers and engineers to quickly simulate design options at the early conceptual phases. There is an intuitive drawing environment in which constraints can be added to object elements, enabling the simulation of forces and structural behaviours under load.

Would this be useful for your digital manufacturing workflow?

A video run-through of the ForceEffect user interface follows after the break.   (more…)

Related posts: