Posts tagged '3D'

Printer printing printer parts

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

3D Printers are becoming cheaper every day.

3D Printers are becoming cheaper every day.

Nate Anderson at Ars Technica reports an interesting claim in this article about the legal and IP issues surrounding 3D printing technology. The makers of RepRap, an open-source 3D printing platform, claim that there are now more open-source 3D printers in operation now than there are commercial 3D printers. While the claim isn’t independently verified, it raises an interesting question: Will greater availability of inexpensive hardware create the critical mass of users that allow 3D printing to become a part of regular peoples lives? A lesson may be drawn from a similar revolution just ten years ago.
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Rolling through the dial with Radioball

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Teague's RadioballI usually prefer to write about tools, processes and methods here, but when I see a project that so completely exemplifies the values and priorities within a design process, I just can’t help but want to share it. Teague’s RadioBall is one of those projects. Go ahead and watch the video after the jump:
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Everybody Loves to Sketch!

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

ILoveSketch No-Cut Demo: Spacecraft from Seok-Hyung Bae on Vimeo.

iLoveSketch was presented at the SIGGRAPH 2009 Emerging Technology Conference in New Orleans.

iLoveSketch is similar to SketchUp in that its primary goal is to transfer the cognitive burden of creating 3D forms from the left brain to the right. Users can easily view, create and manipulate 3D forms through gestural commands on a pen tablet. Common commands such as defining drawing planes, generating curves, trimming lines and creating surfaces can be done with one hand by variously looping, scribbling and ticking. The iLoveSketch system interprets these gestures and executes commands that with any other 3D modeling application would require some combination of keyboard commands or toolbars.

From the abstract:

We present EverybodyLovesSketch, a gesture-based 3D curve sketching system for rapid ideation and visualization of 3D forms, aimed at a broad audience. We first analyze traditional perspective drawing in professional practice. We then design a system built upon the paradigm of ILoveSketch, a 3D curve drawing system for design professionals. The new system incorporates many interaction aspects of perspective drawing with judicious automation to enable novices with no perspective training to proficiently create 3D curve sketches. EverybodyLovesSketch supports a number of novel interactions: tick-based sketch plane selection, single view definition of arbitrary extrusion vectors, multiple extruded surface sketching, copy-and-project of 3D curves, freeform surface sketching, and an interactive perspective grid. Finally, we present a study involving 49 high school students (with no formal artistic training) who each learned and used the system over 11 days, which provides detailed insights into the popularity, power and usability of the various techniques, and shows our system to be easily learnt (sic) and effectively used, with broad appeal.

Watch an interview with iLoveSketch’s principal researcher Seok-Hyung Bae, Ph.D.

iLoveSketch was produced at the University of Toronto’s Dynamic Graphics Project within the Department of Computer Science.

Siemens learns about efficiency from Video Games

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Businessweek has an article by Reena Jana on a new design tool that focuses on game-like usability to increase productivity. The Game Engine Modelling system, developed by Rich McDaniel for Siemens, uses game engine graphics and physics modelling to aid factory-automation designers in designing more efficient factories.

GEM achieves this time-savings with the help of an easy-to-use editing tool that allows designers to select from a library of shapes, physics attributes, and other elements from a simple drop-down Windows menu. They can also type in specifics to match real-world measurements and actions. [...] Workers training with GEM software navigate just as they would a PC game, using commands and keys that correspond with on-screen movement

There is one detail in the article that stood out for me that I felt that Jana touched on but didn’t give the attention I thought it deserved: While simulation systems are in wide use in the automotive and aerospace industries, where tolerances and safety concerns demand it and budgets allow it, with this project what Siemens is really doing is developing a simulation technology for the masses. This ‘democratization of simulation’ will open up new markets in mid- and small-scale factory operations that might otherwise not have been able to afford Siemens’ services. Much of what I wrtie about on this site is ephemeral or pie-in-the-sky, but if this project bears out, it will be a great example of ‘sketching’ technology enabling people to create real value on an industry-wide scale. : Siemens’ New Game Strategy

Sketchup 6 is out!

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Since being purchased by Google, Sketchup has been split into two products: Sketchup Pro and ‘Google Sketchup’, the free version, and many of the features available in Sketchup 6 are available to users of both versions. Google offers an explanation of the difference between the products, which essentially boils down to: Google Sketchup is for use only with Google Maps, while Sketchup Pro is a full-featured 3D visualization tool for professionals.

Now Sketchup 6 is available, with a raft of new features. Users can now superimpose their creations into photos and match perspective using the Photo Match tool. I have been using Sketchup to pre-visualize media installations, and this tool is an invaluable time-saver. All you need is a few photos of a site and you can superimpose your creation into it.
Sketchy Lines in Sketchup 6 will suck up all your time.

The other feature that will take up much of your precious noodling-time is the ‘sketchy lines’ capability. In addition to giving users more control over the way lines look in general, you can now alter the stroke of a line and make your model look like a calligraphic painting, a whiteboard sketch or a ball-point pen drawing. Notably missing is the ability to scale the strokes, or create your own. See these instructions if you want to make your own style (it isn’t a trivial task.) Regardless, combined with the ability to set background color and watermark, it’s clear that the Sketchup team has worked hard to make sure that the world doesn’t get inundated with Sketchup renderings that look exactly the same. Long live style!

See Also:
Google Buys At Last Software

Takeo Igarashi : 3D Sketching Pioneer

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

Teddy bear animation made using Igarashi's tools.I was first introduced to the work of Takeo Igarashi at CMU in 1998, where he came to demonstrate his then-new application TeddySketch as part of the HCI Program’s Building Virtual Worlds showcase. I remember everyone in the audience being completely blown away as this young visiting researcher waved his mouse around and created 3D models seemingly effortlessly. Most of the students in that audience had spent many all-nighters that semester modelling, texturing and animating 3D models for their VR projects, and the sight of Igarashi using his tool to build cute 3D bears and birds with a few simple gestures was both inspiring and, with the memory of all-nighters still fresh, quite humbling.

As Rigid As Possible Shape ManipulationNow an Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo, Igarashi has contintued his research along the same lines, creating tools for easy animation, painting and illustration. His work has inspired many to re-think the focus of new creative tools, as it makes tangible the idea that they could emphasize grace and usability in addition to rendering-muscle and features.

Since 1999, TeddySketch has evolved into other software tools, including a GameCube and Playstation 2 game, and Igarashi was awarded an ACM-SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award at SIGGRAPH 2006.

Check out the list of projects on his website.
Video of Teddy Sketch in Action
Video of As-Rigid-as-Possible Shape Manipulation

3D Mouse From GE Healthcare – Bringing 3D back to the hand!

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

The 2006 IDEA Industrial Design Excellence Awards were announced recently, and I just finished leafing through all 108-odd winners. The award that stood out for me in terms of its potential to aid in the facilitation of creative activity was GE Healthcare’s 3D Mouse. Designed to enable surgeons to manipulate complex 3D medical images during surgery, the 3D Mouse

…combines control of six distinct, complex user movements (X, Y, Z rotations and X, Y, Z translations) into a single liquid-proof joystick, while providing the functionality of a standard 2D mouse for interaction with GUI functions.

This is obviously a groundbreaking advance in medical technology. With surgeons and medical professionals increasingly having access to a wide array of 3D patient data, the ability to easily accessing and interpret that data during surgery is truly a step forward.

With that said, it should only be a matter of a few years until we see devices with these capabilities crop up on our own desktop for use in non life-or-death situations. The ability to intuitively manipulate and control 3D data along that number of axes with only one hand will make the experience of 3D modelling a step closer to creating objects by hand.

Google Buys @Last Sotftware

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

Google has announced the purchase of @Last Software, makers of SketchUp, a 3D modelling and rendering application. SketchUp, whose tagline is ’3D for everyone,’ is designed to be an intuitive tool for creating 3D mockups and sketches.

The shape of things to come
@Last Software had created a plugin for Google Earth that allows SketchUp users to add their own models to a Google Earth application. Like the models shown above, this means that anyone could place their 3D design into the Google Earth application and users who subscribed to that ‘layer’ of data could see your building on their desktop.

This could be for architects and designers what Google’s purchase of Blogger was to writers. Google continues to expand the average person’s ability to create and share content. Of course, it could also mean endless 3D blogging of peoples’ doghouses, office buildings and summer homes, but some good may come of it regardless.

@Last Software

Link to Post

Update: This guy has a catalogue of notable real, imagined or proposed buildings that have been modelled and placed in Google Earth. A good indication of things to come.