Walking around the first day of CES yesterday (dragging my 5D along), I saw a photographer with a fantastic t-shirt:
The front: “Just because you have a camera...
The back: “Doesn't mean you should use it.”
Kind of a bit like 3D printing, still one of the hottest topics at CES. Yet, as it enters 2015, it’s no longer about simply having a 3D printer. The 3D printer means little without the ecosystem that surrounds it. What are you printing? Why are you printing? How are you printing? What value does it bring? Some of you may know that in April 2014, we announced a partnership with MakerBot to start to think about these questions and more. The first fruits of that partnership came with the MakerBot Kit for MODO, which brings together two 3D environments (MODO 801 and Thingiverse) to make the experience easier, more collaborative and more efficient.
While we introduced this, my walk around CES showed many examples of the thoughtful side of 3D printing. Beautiful cakes. Chocolate. Eco-printing that allows for the re-use of printing materials (brilliant, because let’s face it, we’re all making some dog waffles).
Late in the day I had the opportunity to join some really interesting people on a panel here at CES, titled “Real-Time Prototyping and Transforming the Design Process with 3D Printing.” Lead by Jenny Lawton, the CEO of MakerBot, I had a great conversation with Natarajan (Venkat) Venkatakrishnan, director of GE FirstBuild; Leslie Perry, technology teacher at Whitby School, a pre-K through 8th grade International Baccalaureate and Montessori School; and Mo Irfan, director of Industrial Design, Hoover Floor Care.
Mo talked about how Hoover uses 3D printing to allow users to make extra pieces for their machines. While he spoke, I could immediately visualize products I’ve purchased that came with extra bits that I didn't need. Have you ever done that walk around the house with a handful of parts that have no home? Guilt prevents me from throwing them away so they pile up in a box of weird bits. With the Hoover model, if someone needs the extra bits, they just print what they need. With one initiative, waste is reduced. Pretty cool, IMO.
Meanwhile, Natarajan talked about how with MakerBot and Thingiverse, he’s able to allow consumers to essentially hack GE designs (in this case, a fridge). The end result? Better, smarter designs that can immediately gather and incorporate consumer feedback. Will this result in an open source Internet of things?
What Leslie is doing with her students is mind-blowing. Her classroom of 3rd and 4th graders created “Whitby Harbor,” a seaside landscape that featured 3D printed structures such as a lighthouse, buildings, picnic tables, and boats. Jenny teaches via integrated thematic learning, a technique that I'm a big fan of. Whitney Harbor is a project to help teach the kids about economics, trade, math and other topics all based on their fictional harbor (like drainage). The 3D printing allows the kids to create their own props which helps visualize and PERSONALIZE the project. The class isn't specifically about 3D printing but the printing component will definitely help engage the kids and keep them interested in all subjects Leslie instructs in the "harbor.” Nice.
We have a tendency to fetishize the new shiny, but the exciting thing about 3D printing isn't the 3D printing. 3D printing is just the means, it is not the ends in and of itself. As the 3D printing ecosystem matures, it has the potential to radically change the way we think about design and manufacturing. It can change the way we think about our own artistic expression. It can even change the way we teach and communicate. If we're clever it can also be beneficial for the environment. I'm a nerd so I'm excited about 3D printing but as an earthling I'm hopeful for what it means to our future. I hope Leslie's 3rd and 4th graders agree.
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Lee Bob and the Truth
Get up to some MISCHIEF!
TOR FRICK! Awesome name. Amazing skills
Snag an update to ColorWay.
Amazing new Foundry session with CityScape for archviz with MODO.
New MODO tutorial!
All registered MODO 801 users will now find Service Pack 3 (SP3) available on the My Products page of their Foundry account. 801 SP3 contains almost 100 bug fixes and improvements, improving stability and correctness.
In addition, SP3 adds the following features:
Alembic I/O has been updated to support point cloud import and export, and streaming of static and variable-polygon-count meshes and curves.
Adds a 45-degree rotation constraint when using Mesh Paint in Drop mode, by using the shift-key modifier.
Adds a 90-degree Y Rotations channel to allow rotation snapping in 90 degree increments for Replicators.
MODO 801 SP3 Details
MODO 801 Known Issues
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