I know, it's crazy. Viztu isn't the only company doing this. As I mentioned, Autodesk has similar technology and I'm sure there's definitely stuff out there that we haven't run across. This capability, along with new content creation tools and low-cost 3D printers, are going to be a huge area of innovation over the next couple of years, in my opinion.
Yes, from your coverage, Beth, it already seems there is an explosion of new technology surrounding everything 3D. Virtualization and simulation seem to be getting real traction, not to mention the reality of 3D printing.
A form of this 2D to 3D function has made it into the new release of Creo (Creo 2 formerly Pro Engineer). I haven't had a chance to play with it yet, but the tutorials and webinars show an almost Play-Doh approach to creating a 3D parametric model referencing a 2D sketch that has been imported.
The utility of this type of function has been increased from previous attempts because this method is scaleable to existing assemblies. Dimensions usually matter unless you are purely ideating, and Creo 2 allows you to scale the freeform easily.
On the rapid prototyping side of the article, here is a link to another 3D printer that extrudes plastic layers to build up a form. I don't think I've seen this one covered yet in Design News Online.
While this is a desktop unit, the extrusion buildup is similar to the approach of the gentleman who jury-rigged the Chinese robot to do the same on a large scale. http://www.makerbot.com/
The interesting thing that I noticed is that the finished bunny rabbit doesn't show any telltale signs of the layering process.
Of all the "home" systems that I have been reading about in Design News posts, this one seems to be the most inviting and accessible. And the bank of 3D shapes contributed by users is great - it helps those who have no CAD background get started immediately!
One of those Iron Man helmets might be in my future...
The minimal dimension parameters was always my problem with some of the early versions of free form design applications. It always seemed like you ended up with a random size that had to be scaled up or down in percentages.
The example in Creo showed a marker rendering that was done on an overlay of an existing assembly. So the scale was set up by the surrounding reference material.
Remember how I said you could start with just a clay mold of a given set of inchesxinches? Well, I love the idea of actually starting with a mold of a product you actually have, but just need to modify it. I mean they are doing it with pictures now and 3d, but in my idea it would be more than that. You could remove pieces of an assembly and fit on a new part....ahh..I give too much away as is...lol
Theorem Solutions recently announced the release of its newest software solution: Publish 3D. The program enables direct translation between CAD software and the PDF format, allowing engineers to spend more of their time doing what they do best -- creating.
The MOD-t 3D printer, from New Matter, is a low-cost printer that is easy to use and one of the cheapest yet. Cookie Caster lets a user design his or her own cookie cutters and have them made. It's the cloud at work!
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