Fixing 3D Models?

Most 3D models for 3D printing still use the now-aging STL format. That can cause problems. 

3D Design By Example

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab have developed a new twist on 3D design by creating “Fab By Example”. 

Three Cheers for MeshMixer Supports!

If you’ve been 3D printing you’ll be familiar with the challenge of printing overhangs. Now there’s a terrific solution that enables printing almost any shape on any 3D printer. 

Project Shapeshifter: How To Torture Objects

Autodesk certainly has delivered very interesting free 3D software available recently – and another that might join the suite might be “Project Shapeshifter”. It’s a web-based service that can be used to develop 3D models.    The service is terribly easy to use: start with a template and simply shift the sliders (as seen in… Continue reading Project Shapeshifter: How To Torture Objects

Uformia’s MeshUp

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… Continue reading Uformia’s MeshUp

Categorized as Software Tagged

3D Printing Pre-Formed, Expandable Structures

In what could be a preview of the future of architectural design, Los Angeles-based architecture office ID4A has created a method for creating pliable, reconfigurable 3D prints.   According to Rania Hoteit and Malek Idriss, principles at ID4A, their new method for architectural “hyper-prototyping” employs a “rigorous exchange between computational design, physical prototyping and additive… Continue reading 3D Printing Pre-Formed, Expandable Structures

Categorized as Usage Tagged

Cubify’s Software Pricing Breakthrough: Cubify Design

In a rather underplayed announcement, Cubify announced new software yesterday that deserves much more splash. Cubify Design could significantly change how people use their personal 3D printers.    Cubify Design is a low-priced 3D modeling tool, but it’s quite different from other free or inexpensive modeling tools. The key feature is that Cubify Design can… Continue reading Cubify’s Software Pricing Breakthrough: Cubify Design

Blokify: 3D Modeling for Kids

A new modeling option is about to launch: Blokify. It’s a tablet-based app that provides a very simplified interface suitable for kids to develop their own 3D models.    In an interview with MAKE, creator Jenny Kortina explained the dilemma facing 3D printer owners who want to design their own objects:    The huge gap… Continue reading Blokify: 3D Modeling for Kids

The Bld3r Repository

We bumped into another printable 3D model repository: Bld3r. The site operates as a kind of meta-layer over top of other repositories, but brings it all together in a single interface. The idea is to reduce or even eliminate any difficulties typically caused by a repository’s terms of use. You can store your models in… Continue reading The Bld3r Repository

Pushing the 3D Printing Envelope

There’s a new 3D model pattern slowly emerging within the 3D print community that should lead to much more interesting printable objects.    In the early years, 3D printers were not particularly reliable or capable. In fact, they still could be considered so, but they have improved somewhat in the past year as manufacturers tune… Continue reading Pushing the 3D Printing Envelope

Categorized as Ideas Tagged

NetFabb Private

NetFabb offers a software product specifically designed for personal 3D printing: NetFabb Private. It’s a lot more useful than their free NetFabb Studio product, which we and many others use for basic 3D model repairs. NetFabb Private offers these capabilities:    Fix complicated file errors Make late design changes Combine parts into one Hollow out… Continue reading NetFabb Private

Not Quite a Nuclear 3D Print

Some 3D models are lousy for 3D printing – they may be difficult to print, expensive or just plain dull. But this one is interesting. As you can see, it’s a mushroom cloud from a nuclear explosion. With an LED light installed in a version printed in plastic of the correct translucency, it looks great.… Continue reading Not Quite a Nuclear 3D Print

Categorized as Ideas Tagged

OpenFab’s Visionary Goal: Multi-material Objects

Developed by MIT and presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference, OpenFab proposes a way to more easily produce incredibly complex milt-material objects.    OpenFab is not a 3D printer; it is a software “pipeline” of steps that enable the creation of complex, multi-material 3D models that can then be printed on a 3D printer capable… Continue reading OpenFab’s Visionary Goal: Multi-material Objects

Apple’s Tiny Step into 3D

Shortly after we suggested Apple won’t be 3D printing anytime soon, they took a teeny tiny step in that direction.    According to a report on AppleInsider, Apple has patented a system for accepting 3D input. As you can see in the diagram (and much more available at AppleInsider), hand gestures would capture 3D movements… Continue reading Apple’s Tiny Step into 3D

Cubify Announces Cubify Sculpt

Those software wizards at Cubify are at it again. After generating who-knows-how-many 3D model generators this year, they’ve now released another new tool: Cubify Sculpt.    The new tool hopes to simplify the process of creating 3D models for printing on (presumably) 3D System’s Cube and CubeX personal 3D printers. The theme of this software:… Continue reading Cubify Announces Cubify Sculpt

The 3D-Lab Store

We’ve uncovered yet another 3D model store, the 3D-Lab Store. Like many similar ventures, Poland-based 3D-Lab Store offers shoppers the opportunity to select a 3D print from a set of models. Some of the pieces offer sizing and color choices, which is particularly useful for bracelets.    Objects are printed in various colors of PLA… Continue reading The 3D-Lab Store

3D Modeling with Leopoly

A new browser-based 3D modeling tool has emerged: Leopoly. The new service presents simple-to-use methods of creating 3D objects.    Leopoly focuses on the community dimension: created objects are shared among the community, who can build new objects based on yours. Tweeting, posting and tagging ensure wide visibility of Leopoly creations.    Creating objects is… Continue reading 3D Modeling with Leopoly

More Advanced 3D Interfaces Brewing

California-based Atheer is developing an advanced wearable 3D visual display that should be available in 2014. The as-yet-unnamed product appears to be a set of North Korean-style glasses that display 3D information to each eye.    You might think Atheer is repeating Google’s Glass product, but they’re not. Atheer’s product will be completely standalone and… Continue reading More Advanced 3D Interfaces Brewing

MakerBot – Autodesk Discount Available

If you happen to be interested in purchasing a MakerBot Replicator 2 personal 3D printer and a premium membership in Autodesk’s highly useful 123D apps, you’re in luck: there’s a discount available.    If you upgrade from the free version of 123D to premium level, you’ll receive a USD$40 discount on purchase of a MakerBot… Continue reading MakerBot – Autodesk Discount Available

Cubify Releases “Draw”

Yet another easy-to-use Cubify app has been released: Draw. It’s actually an iOS app where you can simply “draw” a shape with your finger.    The shape drawn is a 2D trace, but the Draw app expands its thickness and extrudes it into a solid shape. You’re permitted to either email the corresponding STL file… Continue reading Cubify Releases “Draw”

CGTrader’s Massive 3D Print Competition

There’s a lot of 3D print competitions lately, but this one seems to involve more prizes than we’ve seen before. CGTrader’s “3D Printing Competition” seeks fully 3D printable models to be uploaded before June 30th, when they will be judged by CGTrader staff.    What makes this competition different is the quantity and quality of… Continue reading CGTrader’s Massive 3D Print Competition

Tinkercad Lives!

Our beloved Tinkercad lives again. The very popular web-based 3D modeling service was used by many due to its ease of use, web availability and inexpensive pricing. But in a move shocking everyone, the owners of Tinkercad announced it was closing as their business moved off into other ventures.    But now, in a rather… Continue reading Tinkercad Lives!

Sculpteo’s Customizable Dock

3D print service Sculpteo has been experimenting with a variety of end-user customizable 3D models. Once customized, you can order a 3D print of the model through Sculpteo’s banks of expensive 3D printers. The latest end-user modifiable model they’re offering is an iPhone 5 dock.    The customization offered is very straightforward: you can specify… Continue reading Sculpteo’s Customizable Dock

Parametric Parts’ CadQuery

  Looking for an easy way to generate parametric 3D models? Tired of OpenSCAD? There’s a new approach from Parametric Parts that permits easy programmatic generation of 3D models: CadQuery    Wait a sec, what’s “programmatic”? It’s a method of creating a scalable 3D solid model using commands instead of visually through a graphics interface.… Continue reading Parametric Parts’ CadQuery


Oh dear. This was bound to happen. There’s now a parody of 3D model repository Thingiverse called, “Dongiverse”. As you might expect, it appears to hold actual 3D models related to its eponymous title.    The site seems to be a layer on top of Thingiverse, as it simply links visitors to selected items in… Continue reading Dongiverse

3D Modeling? Where Do I Start?

Once you’ve got your personal 3D printer working and you’ve exhausted the usual sources of printable models, your faced with a dilemma: how do I create my own 3D models?    You might ask someone trained in 3D modeling, but we think that’s probably not a good idea. We’ve found that pro 3D modelers tend… Continue reading 3D Modeling? Where Do I Start?

Testing the Customizer

The magic of 3D printing is that you can make something totally unique that has never existed before; something that’s just right for you.    But how do you get the models to do this?    One way is to make use of Thingiverse’s new Customizer feature. It’s an add-on to certain models that permits… Continue reading Testing the Customizer

Thingiverse Breaks Out In Apps!

It started as a simple free repository for patterns for personal making and then exploded into an overwhelming cacophony of 3D models. Thingiverse provides free content for 3D printing not only on MakerBot’s own line of 3D printers, but for any printer.     That changes significantly as MakerBot CEO announced Thingiverse now includes programming… Continue reading Thingiverse Breaks Out In Apps!

Cubify’s AppCreate

Over the past few months we’ve noticed that 3D Systems has relentlessly built features in Cubify to provide generative models to print on their (and other’s) personal 3D printers. You can quickly get a customized 3D model of rings, pictures, bracelets, space aliens, earrings, crowns and probably a few more things after we’ve written this… Continue reading Cubify’s AppCreate

Augmented 3D Printing

Architects have long used 3D printing as a means to better visualize their design ideas. By 3D printing a building you can “see” it much better than through a 2D screen and thus gain insight you’d otherwise miss.    But the problem is that the 3D model is, well, static. It just sits there. It… Continue reading Augmented 3D Printing

Sculpteo’s iPhone Case Maker

3D print service Sculpteo adds to the ever-increasing set of 3D model-generating apps by creating a custom iPhone design service.    It’s similar to most other apps: a basic model is display and limited customization capability is provided. Sculpteo first requires you to download their 3DPcase iPhone app. Within the app you’re presented with several… Continue reading Sculpteo’s iPhone Case Maker

A 3D Printed Camera – Almost!

The folks at RepRapCentral have just printed what appears to be an entire DSLR system on their MakerBot Replicator. This startling print by Sergey includes the camera body and a permanently attached zoom lens.    However, closer inspection shows that there is no optical lenses in the print, as one would expect.    Nevertheless, as… Continue reading A 3D Printed Camera – Almost!