Tag Archives: 123D Catch

3D Scanning for 3D Printing: How Kickstarter is Changing the Game

3D Scanning 3D Printing

3D Scanning Makes 3D Printing Possible

Last week, two 3D scanning projects were launched on Kickstarter, looking to raise crowdfunding.

  • Fuel3D, which bills itself as “a handheld 3D scanner for less than $1000″ rocketed past its target of $75,000 and is now over $200,000 raised with 23 days to go.
  • Volumental’s 3D Scan-to-Print Web App, on the other hand, is still short of its $20,000 goal (they’ve raised about $12,000 so far).

Let’s take a deeper look.

First, why is 3D scanning important?

While the popularity around 3D printing continues to rise, sourcing good designs to print remains a challenge. Sure, you can buy a MakerBot 3D printer and download some 3D designs from Thingiverse, but what if you wanted to capture something in your home or office? That’s where 3D scanning technology comes in.

New entrants to 3D scanning

On the high end, there is expensive software and equipment used by professionals. Fuel3D is directly competing in this area of the market with a much more affordable solution.

Hardware innovation blog HackThings wrote, “Fuel3D is a handheld 3D scanner that’s capable of capturing extremely high resolution mesh (250 microns) and color information of objects in 3D, for around $1000.  According to the creators, that’s an order of magnitude less than today’s commercial solutions of comparable resolution.”

On the low end, there is free software such as Autodesk 123D Catch. And MakerBot has announced plans for real-world copy and paste technology. This is the area that Volumental is competing. The web-based software connects to a depth camera, like a Kinect, and builds a model on the fly.

HackThings wrote about this solution, “It works as a combination of inexpensive sensor hardware and sophisticated cloud-based software.  Log in to their web service, plug in a $300 depth sensor via USB, walk around the object you want to scan, wait for processing and then click “print” to get a clone either via an online printing service or on your own 3D printer.”

Kickstarter campaigns comparison

It might seem surprising that the higher priced solution has raised more money to date on Kickstarter, but this side-by-side comparison gives us some insight into the mentality of crowdfunding. Supporters don’t want to fund things that are perceived to be free; instead, they want to pledge to campaigns that are changing the market. Fuel3D is reducing the cost of high end 3D scanners by an order of magnitude, while Volumental is competing with free.

If you want to back either campaign, or both, here are videos and links to each project.

Fuel3D: A handheld 3D scanner for less than $1000

The 3D Scan-to-Print Web App by Volumental


Cubify Draw App for iPad and iPhone: 3D Print Your Sketches

Cubify Draw 3D Printing App Cover

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) launched today Cubify(R) Draw, a mobile 3D printing app for iOS. Cubify Draw empowers anyone with an iPhone(R) , iPad(R) or iPad Mini(TM) device to create printable content with their fingertips. Users can digitally doodle with their finger or trace an imported picture and then enhance it with features like adjustable line thickness and height, auto-fill and auto-connect. Users can upload their drawing directly to Cubify or have the STL file emailed to them for printing. Cubify Draw is available in the App Store today via free download.

“Cubify Draw takes digital doodling to printable reality” said Sarah Stocker, Senior Director of Cubify for 3D Systems, “This boundary breaking app is our latest gamified installment in our commitment to democratize content-to-print entertainment on Cubify.”

Our Review

Cubify Draw is a very simple and straight-forward app. You trace or draw with your finger, and it creates a file for you to print. With this simplicity in mind, 3D Systems shared that “the app is ideal for drawing and printing cookie cutters, pendants, ornaments, bracelets and simple toys.”

We tried out the app and found it very easy to navigate, but hard to create models of any precision. Similar to an Etch-A-Sketch, you have one try to get your lines right or you have to clear the canvas and start over.

We imported the On 3D Printing logo in an attempt to trace the “On”. The results are in the gallery below.

It’s great to see the Cubify team extending into digital and competing with other apps like Autodesk 123D Catch. While this first app feels a bit limited, it’s free and easy to use. So if you have a Cube 3D printer, or want to quickly print a design via Cubify.com, give the app a try!



Tinkercad Acquired by Autodesk: Free 3D Design Software Lives On!

Tinkercad Acquired by Autodesk

Tinkercad Acquired by Autodesk

In what will be great news to Tinkercad fans across the globe, the free 3D design software has found a new home at Autodesk. Autodesk has a suite of pro design software and its own free software such as 123D and 123D Catch for iPad.

Tinkercad is free, online 3D design software that is popular among 3D printing enthusiasts. The team announced they were shutting down Tinkercad in March 2013.

Now, in a change of course, Autodesk has acquired the software and website.

Here’s the memo from Founder & CEO Kai Backman:

I am happy to announce that we have just signed a deal where Autodesk will purchase the Tinkercad site and core technologies. This is a great day for all Tinkercad users, Autodesk is an very enthusiastic and capable steward. There are two main impacts of this deal: the site is fully operational and Autodesk has some very exciting plans for Tinkercad.

The shutdown plan has been rolled back and effective immediately new users are again able to sign up for the site. Even better, at the request of Autodesk, we have supercharged the free plan. You can now create unlimited designs, all import and export functionality is enabled and ShapeScripts are turned on for free accounts. We have automatically upgraded all existing free accounts to this new powerful plan. This account will be offered for a limited time only so make sure you sign up as soon as possible.

Before signing the deal the we spent a lot of time talking to Autodesk engineers and product people about their vision for Tinkercad. We were impressed by the deep insight the Autodesk team had into the Tinkercad interface and the underlying technology. There is also a strong alignment on topics like furthering education and the vision of making design more accessible. But most of all we are very excited about the roadmap Autodesk has drafted for Tinkercad.

As our team continues working on Airstone I’m pleased to see Tinkercad find a safe and welcoming home. I can speak for everyone when I say that we are looking forward to using Tinkercad for a long time to come.

Yours sincerely,
Kai Backman
Founder & CEO

MakerBot Kicks Off SXSW by Unveiling 3D Scanner: Real World Copy-Paste

MakerBot Digitzer 3D Printing

“It is the best time to get into hardware.” – Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot.

At the annual SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis kicked off the show with a big announcement: the unveiling of the MakerBot Digitizer. Though only a prototype, Pettis promises that the Digitizer will enable copy and paste for the physical world. “It’s like Tron,” he told the audience. You can scan an object in 3 minutes and then print out a copy.

Pettis continued, “The MakerBot Digitizer is a great tool for archiving, prototyping, replicating, and digitizing prototypes, models, parts, artifacts, artwork, sculptures, clay figures, jewelry, etc. If something gets broken, you can print it again.”

MakerBot has setup a website where you can sign up to learn more about the Digitizer.

In addition, Pettis announced that MakerBot will be partnering with Autodesk, the makers of iPad app 123D Catch, the current leading consumer 3D scanning tool.

Autodesk 123D at Google IO

Top 3D Printing Headlines Last Week: Apple, Google, Joe Biden, $300 Printer

Apple 3D Printing

A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from June 25 to July 1.

Monday, June 25

Tuesday, June 26

Wednesday, June 27

Thursday, June 28

Friday, June 29