Tinkercad is a very fast and simple way to start 3D modeling, lowering the barrier to entry with it's intuitive austerity. The refined interface has no clutter with (currently) only four basic tools: Add, Sub, Workplane and Measure on the left side with basic navigation on the right.
With the limited tool-set you are not about to start modeling complex organic forms but if you wanted to teach somebody the fundamentals of solid 3D modeling you would be hard pressed to find a simpler starting point: Extrude a form, Subtract from form, repeat process, 3D print (with Shapeways .
Tinkercad uses WebGL and is currently supported in Firefox and Chrome but apart from that is operating system agnostic, requires no downloads, all you need to do is register and you are ready to start 3D modeling.
Shapeways Helps Users of Autodesk 123D Make Their Awesome Ideas Real with 3D Printing.
We are super excited to announce while we are mixing it with the 3D modeling glitterati at SIGGRAPH that users of Autodesk 123D can use the power of Shapeways 3D Printing to make their awesome ideas a reality.
123Dis a free 3D modeling software program based on the same Autodesk technology used by millions of designers and engineers worldwide in software such as 3Ds Max, Maya and Inventor. With 123D's simple yet useful interface you can 3D model your own designs ready for 3D printing with Shapeways.
Once you have created your 3D model in 123D you can export your model in STL for most of our 3D printed materials or VRML to 3D print in full color.*
123D works as a solid modeler with tools ideally suited for creating objects for 3D printing. You can start from a sketch or you can download and modify an existing design, this is a great way to get started if you are new to the concept of 3D modeling and 3D printing. There are also a number of tutorials to help you get started or to just introduce you to the tools and how they function.
Head on over to 123D and download it for free and give it a try, at the moment they only support windows but there are some rumblings in their forums asking for a Mac version which would be awesome. Also, when you download 123D keep an eye out for updates, 123D is in Beta version and they are rapidly adding cool new features and squashing bugs.
*There is an issue in the current build whereby when you export a file the scale can be too small by a factor of 10. If you face this problem you can use the scale tool to scale your model up by 10 in 123D before exporting to correct this for now, but the bug has been reported and will be implemented in the next build soon to be released. Also, you can export full color VRML's but there is currently no provision to export the bitmaps in a way to make it suitable for 3D printing with Shapeways. You can assign color to geometry and print that in full color but no maps for now.
We are happy to announce the beginnings of a new Open Source
toolkit for 3D printing, called AbFab3D. Shapeways is already the host of a wide set of tools that enable you to create and customize products without the need of 3D software. We call them creators. AbFab3D is designed to help speed
the development of these creators and other 3D printing tools.
The goal is to make software development of 3D creators easy. We are curious to see what
sort of creators people will want to create. Can you make the first creator
to fab a million products?
Why are we doing this? Shapeways is looking to accelerate the 3D printing revolution. AbFab3D
greatly simplifies the creation of 3D creators and printing tools. These 3D creators (made using AbFab3D) will enable a
new class of Makers and Shapers to take the
next step on the way to transforming manufacturing. Using an
Open Source model allows the community to reuse common code together.
Shapeways is releasing this code to kick start the community of editor creators.
As a part of the toolkit, we're releasing a sample creator for you, called the Image Creator.
This creator takes a base shape, embosses or engraves an image and then applies
a connector. The creator is good at creating custom pendants. By
customizing this creator you can easily make it work for Dice, Phone Covers, LightSwitch Covers,
Drink Coasters and Trivets. Perhaps you'd like a jewelry box with a custom top? All
of these variants are easy to create with the toolkit.
Inspired yet? It's quite easy, grab the toolkit and start creating new editors. Make something
cool and then open your own shop at Shapeways.
Here are some items we're working on next for the toolkit:
Hollow Out - A set of tools for hollowing out a model.
Remove Unattached - Remove parts of a model that will fall off.
Automatic Upload to Shapeways - Calls to the Shapeways API to upload models, get price etc.
Come visit the SIGGRAPH 2011 Web3D Tech Talk on the exhibition floor this Wed 5pm - 6pm to see
the new toolkit in action (near the Shapeways booth #816)
The name you ask? Let’s say I’m a fan of British Comedy.
While we are in Vancouver for SIGGRAPH we thought it would be a good time to get to know the local Shapeways community a little better. Join us at The Mill Marine Bistro for a 3D printed show and tell accompanied by a beer or two with views of the harbour Monday the 8th of August, 8pm.