Autodesk 123D Make

I’ve been mucking around with Autodesk 123D Make:

It’s a pretty good ‘slow-prototyper’. You import the CAD file and tell it how you want it made, and it produces the part files as slices as an *eps or *pdf file, according to the material dimensions you have (in this case 2mm boxboard to be cut in a laser cutter 1200mm x 600mm):

You then glue the parts/ slices together (this is the ‘slow prototype’ part). The program automatically numbers the parts and provides pin guide holes and guide lines:

It can be messy with the glue (and wiping away the excess) and because I laser cut the parts, the cut boxboard stinks as a result and there is a lot of ash on the part edges that gets all over your hands. I’ve experimented on a previous model, filling and painting, using a non-water based spakfiller (so the boxboard doesn’t swell) and the results are OK but not presentation model standard- even light sanding can cut through the paint to the primer and back to the boxboard:

One advantage is that it is really cheap, $15 worth of boxboard and $25 worth of laser cutting. I feel that this size (‘head size’) is probably the smallest you’d want to go as the resolution/ fiddlyness ratio gets too hard . Great for kids. You can also make hollow models and interlocking parts, these are really fiddly though.

None of the pics are showing up for me. Anyone else seeing them…

Yes. Browsing online.

There they are… loaded this time. Sorry…

Hmmm, super interesting.

Recalls Cubis LOM Laminated Object Manufacturing, cutting and adhering layers of paper together, solid woodlike models.

Jaime, given your experience with the 123Make process, what do you think of the Pepakura process for a similar part? I like the fact that although faceted, you have more visual flow across the “grain” of the surfaces.

Super Halloween inspiration.

Pepakura always looked too hard/ fiddly/fragile, especially that it’s paper. Stuff like this:

and every tab needs to be glued or taped together, to make this:

Pepakura software is cheap but 123D Make is free. There’s no size limits really with 123D Make, as it depends on the material dimensions and what size you can cut, and this affects the resolution quality. This is 1mm resolution:

c0mpared to 10mm:

That said though, on that link you provided (which is a great site b.t.w) there are lots of projects where they apply resin to the Pepakura paper to harden it, and then hours and hours of filler/ sanding/ painting, but they can get sensational results.

Both are for ‘makers’ or hobbyists. If you don’t have access to CAD or laser cutters etc., Pepakura only needs a printer, sticky tape and scissors, and there is a big community of stuff. 123D Make with cad skills and a laser cutter is faster and easier, and only a tiny bit more expensive.

For students making things like 1:5 scale car models, 123D Make I think is great.

Shaw, do you think you could use it for your helmet work?

123Make: For parts of the work yes, certainly quick testing a new headform fit, the negative space inside a helmet, this would be a good method to be able to experiment and fit to actual users. External volumes, I don’t see the utility so much as they are evaluated on the surface interactions. There would be a good application for building from wood layers as a basis for final modeling clay structure, offset a few mm inside.

A few years ago I used the “Contour” command in Rhino to generate the cross sections and built a layered volume model, looks like 123Make has taken a better step in automating that.

Built a set of 1:1 saddle models this last week using 123D Make, 9mm pvc foam sheets stacked and laminated. Sitting on and iterating a design with this kind of quick proofing works well. Quite cool, thanks for the reminder about this program.

One warning about 123D Make. Imported models larger than a sheet of paper arrive at a random (small) scale factor and need to be manually re-sized in order to match design intent.