3D printing, or personal fabrication from a broader prism, are used to produce a wide variety of objects, some useful and some not so. But 3D printing often have much impact because of its enormous capacity to stimulate the collective imagination and sense the enormous potential to create things differently. But sometimes even surprising place, the context in which your application can be particularly innovative and useful.
In fact, one of the areas where 3D printing is having the greatest impact is in the field of science, where the ability to customize and instantly create a tool or a new medical device for example, has shown that this is something really disruptive. From small laboratories around the world, researchers are using 3D printing technology to advance their knowledge and do their jobs more easily.
Blokify: Simple 3D Printing and Modeling Software
Due to the constant rise in popularity of 3D printing, experiences programers are beginning to develop applications with this expectation in mind. In the past, 3D printers used already-existing 3D modelling software formats and templates–which often meant expensive software–but innovators are beginning to bring that cost down.
In the World Maker Faire exhibition in New York in September, Jenny Kortina and Brett Cupta, the co-founder of the startup demonstrated their new creation Blokify: a simplified iOS application for 3D modeling, which allows everyone, including children, with little effort to create their own 3D models for printing.
Blokify has an advantage over others in sense that its custom 3D modeling program make it easy for users to interact with each modelling components. Users can easily create any 3D model on the screen, and then send them to a three-dimensional printing on a home printer, or use 3D printing service from Blokify.
To construct a virtual model, user will use the blocks by moving them using the touch screen. It is worth noting that the application is very simple, interesting and fun to use. Even a small child can easily create a model of a house or other item.
“Our goal is to deliver 3D modeling software anyone can use, which means there are no tools in our software, just blocks. Every motion is a gesture — we spent weeks building our gestures, making sure each one is a natural way to interacts with the blocks,” Jenny said to Make:.
Currently, the program is still under development, but already Blokify can be used for a full “cubic” models. The official release will take place in December 2013.
Design and Print in 3D Format for Any Needs
A hundred years ago, mechanical toys, which are the real embodiment of cartoon characters, such as the clockwork dancing duck or the Eiffel Tower, were very popular. To create just such an automatic clockwork toy that can move through all kinds of gears and joints, requires considerable skills in designing. But now a team of scientists from the Disney research as well as in the laboratories of ETH Zurich and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology managed to create a couple of software packages that allow even users with little experience to create a mechanical animated characters.
The set of tools allows the designer to place the model desired character in the program, and then select the number of switching points the character models and outline a series of curves that will show what kind of movement should be able to perform a character in a given point.
Disney’s other research work AIREAL is particularly exciting in that you can create haptic (touch) sensation in midair without the need for people to wear special gloves or vests. This technology allows you to feel virtual objects using portions of the air. Using a special device, almost all of the details are made using 3D tracking technology.
Easton LaChappelle, a 17-year-old from Colorado, has developed new arm prosthesis with a 3D printer that will revolutionize the world of prosthetic limbs. He used a 3D printer to create a fully functional prosthetic arm accompanied by a hand with the technology of robotics. Another two graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Marcelo Coelho and Amit Zoran have developed a new device called the Cornucopia that can literally type food.
Autodesk has released a new version of Meshmixer, software for processing digital grid for 3D printing. Meshmixer is a free tool for modeling and prototyping with 3D files. The company has made it a few really interesting points.
Matter.io, a startup company founded by Dylan Reed and his friends from the media lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has created a beta version MatterRemix, new 3D modeling browser-based editor software. Matter.io uses a stand-alone web application for the remixing of existing STL files you can edit, modify and print right from your browser. It’s as simple as using the Photo Filters.
Makerbot’s Digitizer is another 3D prototype that will mainly be used by those who dreamed of the possibility to scan physical objects and then print them on the 3D-printer. The simple but advanced software creates a clear flawless three-dimensional model in two clicks and ability to get the model file in a few minutes.