Scandinavian software developer Uformia is working on a new tool: MeshUp. The new product complements their existing product, Symvol, which operates as a plugin to Rhino3D, the popular 3D modeling software package. MeshUp offers similar functionality but in a standalone application without the requirement for Rhino3D.
But what does it do for you? Many useful things, if you're into 3D printing. Like a few other tools, it performs mesh repair. It can perform shelling, where the interior of a model is removed to significantly save on material and print time.
It also provides sophisticated mesh mixing, where you can join meshes or parts of meshes together to create complex and unlikely objects, such as combining a modeled object with a 3D scan.
The most interesting feature to us, however, is MeshUp's ability to create internal microstructures. It will automatically generate very complex networks of support placed within shelled volumes (see image above for an example.)
Microstructures enable the printing of objects with significant strength, yet still lightweight. Think of the internal structure of bones and you'll get the idea.
We're not certain if any other inexpensive tools are able to produce this effect. If you'd like to try it, you cannot yet do so, since the product is still under development. However, you can pre-order the software for €150 (USD$200) right now.