3D-printed mini lathe

Getting some serious work out of your hobby 3D printer.

It has been said that once you have a lathe you can make just about any other tool. This open-source printable mini lathe could be the perfect place to get started. With the quality of hobby printers increasing so rapidly, it is great to see complex mechanical models like this making their way out into the ecosystem.

(We’ve seen a printed mini-lathe before, but that project seems to be obsolete now.)

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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.

(more…)

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Autodesk announces updated 123D site plus what’s in store for 123D app suite!

What’s new and what’s coming soon from Autodesk 123D


Autodesk, creators of some of the most popular design software on the market, recently announced a completely updated 123D site — where you can turn your design files into real products.

The company has also released news on what’s coming soon for the 123D app suite, a collection of 4 free and easy to use design tools also available on the 123D site.

Autodesk 123D + Ponoko Personal Factory API


Autodesk’s 123D website uses Ponoko’s Personal Factory API to handle the magic that happens between the digital design and the real-life product.

Since the beginning of our partnership last year, we’ve been pairing Ponoko’s pioneering technology and expertise in the make-it-yourself movement with Autodesk’s ingenuity and talent for developing powerful design software.

We want the Personal Factory API to create a whole new market of product creation and customization apps; so we are really excited about the continued development of the 123D site and expansion of the 123D app suite. Here’s break down of what’s new and what’s coming soon from Autodesk 123D!

(more…)

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Fritzing: an open-source community for DIY electronics

Learn, build, document, fabricate, share…

Fritzing is an open-source initiative to support designers, artists, researchers and hobbyists to work creatively with interactive electronics. We are creating a software and website in the spirit of Processing and Arduino, developing a tool that allows users to document their prototypes, share them with others, teach electronics in a classroom, and to create a pcb layout for professional manufacturing.

I got introduced to Fritzing through a tipoff on the Ponoko User’s Forum and all I can say is ‘wow!’ It’s an amazing tool to support people all the way from their first taste of electronics to final production of their own designs.

Check it out!

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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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Winner of the Ponoko & Tinkercad design contest creates the Temple of Boom!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Congratulations to Rob McCardle for winning our Tinkercad design contest!

We chose the winner randomly, but how cool is his Temple of Boom? Rob, your prize pack of nine 3D printed material samples from Ponoko is on its way!

If you missed out on the design contest, don’t miss out on giving Tinkercad a try. It’s one of the simplest 3D design tools ever. It lets you create 3D models with ease, rotate your design in 3D, and get your model 3D printed — all within your browser.

Try out Tinkercad yourself. Jump over to the Personal Factory App Gateway and scroll down to Tinkercad.

A big thanks to everyone who tweeted their Tinkercad designs! More entries pictured below (click the image to make it bigger):

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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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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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Design something w. the new Tinkercad to win a pack of 3D printed material samples from Ponoko!

fun + easy CAD / fun + easy contest

Did ya hear that Tinkercad released the newest version of their awesome, easy, browser based CAD tool? And guess what; you can send your Tinkercad design directly to Ponoko to have it 3D printed!

Tinkercad is super fun, easy to use, and you can make all kinds of stuff with just 3 simple design tools. We really want you to try it out, so we’re having a little contest to give away a pack of nine 3D printed material samples!

How to enter


1. Go to the App Gateway and find the Tinkercad app.
2. Design something with Tinkercad.
3. Tweet a pic of your design to @Ponoko and @Tinkercad with the hashtag #3Dprinting.

Prize


One pack of 3D printing material samples from Ponoko. Your pack will contain a sample of each of the following materials: Durable Plastic, Rainbow Plastic, Superfine Plastic – White, Stainless Steel, Gold Plated, Durable Gloss – Black, Durable Gloss – Ivory, Durable Fine Plastic, and Glazed Ceramic. That’s 9 material samples valued at $90 when bought individually!

Deadline & Restrictions


Contest runs through the month of February and ends February 29, 2012. One winner will be chosen at random on March 1, 2012. You may enter as many times as you like, but each Tinkercad design you tweet must be original. Good luck!

Get Started w. Your Tinkercad Design


Check out this three and half minute tutorial on using Tinkercad. Then hop over to the App Gateway, click on Tinkercad, design something rad, and tweet to win!

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