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Modelling moves into the mainstream

Published 28 November 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: shapeways, philips, ponoko

Online open 3D print site Shapeways has been around for a few months now, but has now added its own Creator engine, allowing anyone to go online to design, model and print.

The latest step towards making 3D design more mainstream, Shapeways, the offspring of Philips Research sponsoring bills itself as ‘the next generation of consumer co-creation’. It joins a number of sites, including the impressive laser-cutting based Ponoko, that offer anyone the chance to grab their mouse and create anything onscreen to be built and shipped to them.

CMO of Shapeway Jochem de Boer, said:“In today’s world, consumers are universally less and less satisfied with the choice that the usual shops offer. Instead, they are looking for ways to reflect their personal identity in the objects that they choose to have around them.”

The sites gallery shows this clearly, with the greatest uptake beginning to produce seasonal items; Christmas Tree decorations, Nativity scene candle holders and snowmen ornaments hoard the pages and fill the niche of the personal gift, with the benefit of having someone else make it and having a 10-day shipping period.

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3D design battled out to the death*

Published 27 November 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: autodesk, autodesk university, cutandpaste, au design slam

I might be missing out on the weather, the casinos, the showgirls and something called Autodesk University in Las Vegas next week, but the AU Design Slam by the guys behind Cut&Paste is something I’d really have loved to have seen.

The live on-stage design competition is going to be the first to feature 3D design, with teams hacking out designs against the clock using Autodesk Maya, AliasStudio, SketchBook Pro, and Revit Architecture software.

20 minute rounds mean competitors are pushed to use their wits and showmanship to entertain the crowds as their progress is projected in real-time onto massive screens.

In an interview in the build-up to AU, Cut&Paste executive director John Fiorelli, said: “It’s a live battle between industrial designers and between architects, it’s very similar to the digital design series we do for graphic designers around the world. We’re working with Autodesk University to bring it to industrial design and architecture for the first time this year.

“The idea is to do in 3D what we do in 2D: Give people a chance to see what the creative process is like; give people a chance to see what industrial designers and architects do in real-time,” explained John. “In essence the show is pretty straightforward. We put designers on stage, we give them a theme or a brief and they create work alive in front of your very eyes on LCD projectors. You can watch every brushstroke, every mistake, every scratch-out, every revision, and it gives you the chance to see what people do using Autodesk tools.”

The design briefs are issued to contestants a week or so in advance to allow for concepts to begin developing, but organisers throw in extra elements just before the battle begins, adding a bit more spice to the events.

In case you’re wondering where I’ll be while the rest of the D3D team apply their factor 30, bare their pale flesh, and delve into the 3D battles in Vegas; I’ll be reporting back from deepest-winter Frankfurt. Chilling.

*might not constitute actual death

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Autodesk does Apple…

Published 25 November 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: autodesk, visualisation, autodesk showcase, marketing, hyphen design

It seems like its a good day for looking at how different organizations are spreading the word. If these are old, my apologies, but I hadn’t come across them before. if imitation is the sincerest of flattery then Autodesk just LOVE Apple.

“here’s red. or not so red”

Here’s how Hyphen Design use Showcase:

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How DS could learn from SolidWorks

Published 25 November 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: solidworks, design, discovery channel, prototype this, rock n roll

The comparison between the post below and this one couldn’t be greater. I was just looking to see if the Discovery Channel had confirmed a UK air date for its new Prototype This show when I came across this little nugget (its via AOL, because the Discovery Channel web-site is doing wonky things with video at the moment - the original discovery channel link).

I don’t know if SolidWorks pay for the position of the product in these shows, I kind of hope not. But, when all is said and done, it doesn’t matter if they did. What matters is that it’s through shows like this that we’re going to build the next generation of designers, of engineers. It has to be shown to be the fascinating, challenging career that it is. The passion that the majority of people involved in developing products feel has to be communicated and the way to do that is through inspiration and yup, the plain old fact that it has to look cool.

PS: there’s a good one on 3D printing..

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