Did you know you could design your own uniquely complex 3D models with the help of Nervous System’s set of generator apps?
We first encountered Nervous System’s work years ago on Thingiverse, where they posted some rather unusual bracelet designs, which have now become iconic test articles for 3D printing. These bracelets have a strange almost-biological appearance that could only have been generated - or perhaps evolved - and certainly not hand designed.
Nervous System still provides those and other free downloads, but they also offer a fascinating set of 3D model generators for several types of objects. Included in their suite:
Cell Cycle, a jewelry generator, capable of creating magical rings, bangles and cuffs.
Generative Jigsaw Puzzles, where you upload an image to be converted into a laser-cut jigsaw puzzle. You can even select a set of piece shapes that will be interspersed inside your puzzle. (Yes, this generator is not 3D printing, but it is fun.)
Kinematics is a generator for a folding wearable, perhaps as a necklace. The generator permits selection of the style and frequency of folding components.
Kinematics Cloth generates an entire 3D printed dress! You can specify a number of parameters that affect the dress style, an example of which is shown at top. To be effective, however, you’d need to import your body scan that would be used to form the shape of the dress. The Body Shape Explorer tool doesn’t actually scan your body, but instead requests a number of easily obtained measurements. The output of the tool is then imported into the dress generator.
Think about this: you can ACTUALLY order a precision-fit 3D printed dress. Right. Now.
Radiolaria generates a design for stainless steel earrings. The results can be startling, but you’ll need to play around with it for a while to create the right item for you. Basically, you’re distorting a matrix of cells with several adjustors, as seen at top.
All of these products can be saved after generation and ordered for actual production on industrial 3D printers. Pricing is variable, depending on materials and sizes, and it looks like the price for the dress is negotiable, as the site only asks to “contact us” for information.
One generator does offer free downloads, and that’s the Kinematics@Home app, which provides a way to design a home-printable 3D bracelet made from a flexible design. This bracelet is actually printable on virtually any desktop 3D printer, even with non-flexible material. The design is such that it flexes on a number of joints. Just get the size right and it could fit anyone!
Via Nervous System