Tinkercad finds a new home at Autodesk

The future is looking solid for rejuvenated browser-based modeler

Fans of the 3D modelling app Tinkercad are turning their frowns upside-down with the big announcement that the company is back in action, and we’re certainly getting excited… because Tinkercad has been acquired by Autodesk.

What exactly does this mean? Well, not only is it great to see Tinkercad back in action; but with the might of this industry juggernaut behind it, Tinkercad looks to be locked into a secure future as elements are slated to filter through into the innovative suite of 123D apps and more.

Tinkercad’s revolutionary Gen6 geometry kernel played a significant role in sealing the deal with Autodesk. The strength of this browser-based solid modelling utility has already proven to be a hit within the Ponoko community. One of the notable success stories of the Ponoko API, Tinkercad makes generating SVG outputs that are ready for laser cutting or 3D printing so easy, it is literally child’s play.

With Autocad at the helm, the Tinkercad free account now has unlimited designs and full import/export functionality, making it that much more appealing to new makers and educators.

“..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.”

Click through to see the full press release from Tinkercad.   (more…)

No CAD skills? No problem. Formulor lets anyone create lasercut designs.

Turn your design ideas into real products.

Berlin-based company Formulor was founded by a team with over ten years of experience in laser-cutting and design. Formulor launched in 2010 and became our first manufacturing partner in the EU.

With the release of the Personal Factory API, the Formulor team began working on a whole new site and improved user interface.

The new Formulor site is now live and features a great built-in design tool that lets you create your design right on the page.

Just pick your material (25 to choose from), select a size and thickness, then start creating your design with the various shape, text, and line tools.


Apps for the Maker Movement — 3D fabrication from molecules to motorcars

Changing the way things are made.

Last weekend at Maker Faire, Wired editor-in-chief and Ponoko advisory board member Chris Anderson took center stage to talk about the new industrial revolution and the next phase in that revolution: apps.

Just as the personal computer, the desktop printer, and software applications came together to democratize the printing industry, this same combination is democratizing manufacturing.

This democratization of manufacturing is what Ponoko is working towards. We’re on a mission to make it easier to make things. And the key to empowering everyone to make their own products is a new market of product creations apps.

To enable this market, we released the Personal Factory API. Our API allows developers to integrate Ponoko’s manufacturing solutions into all kinds of applications.

Announcing 4 apps that will change the way things are made.
We are proud and endlessly excited to announce the first four apps to be built using the Personal Factory API.

Local Motors Fab Shop

Make custom car parts with the Local Motors Fab Shop. Design your part with Solid Edge Design 1 or other CAD software. Upload your design to the Fab Shop, and Local Motors manufactures your custom part with precision waterjet cutting. Knocking down the barriers between you and the car of your dreams. Find the Local Motors Fab Shop in the Personal Factory App Gateway.


Autodesk releases 123D Make Intro mobile app — turn 3D models into 2D build plans

3D design into 2D diy kit? There’s an app for that.

Just when you thought it was easier than ever to design and make stuff using Autodesk’s 123D suite of apps, today Autodesk has released an iOS version of their model-and-make software tool, 123D Make.

123D Make Intro iOS app is FREE and available for the iPhone and iPad.

123D Make is also available as a web-based and PC application, and — as of today — as a Mac OSX application.

So what does it do, exactly? 123D Make is all about converting your 3D models into 2D pieces for easy assembly, complete with animated instructions. You can print out the patterns and cut the pieces yourself or — thanks to the Ponoko Personal Factory API — you can have your pieces lasercut & shipped to your door.


Autodesk announces updated 123D site plus what’s in store for 123D app suite!

What’s new and what’s coming soon from Autodesk 123D

Autodesk, creators of some of the most popular design software on the market, recently announced a completely updated 123D site — where you can turn your design files into real products.

The company has also released news on what’s coming soon for the 123D app suite, a collection of 4 free and easy to use design tools also available on the 123D site.

Autodesk 123D + Ponoko Personal Factory API

Autodesk’s 123D website uses Ponoko’s Personal Factory API to handle the magic that happens between the digital design and the real-life product.

Since the beginning of our partnership last year, we’ve been pairing Ponoko’s pioneering technology and expertise in the make-it-yourself movement with Autodesk’s ingenuity and talent for developing powerful design software.

We want the Personal Factory API to create a whole new market of product creation and customization apps; so we are really excited about the continued development of the 123D site and expansion of the 123D app suite. Here’s break down of what’s new and what’s coming soon from Autodesk 123D!


PotteryPrint: the new 3D printing iPad app for kids

With the right technology, 3D printing is child’s play.

PotteryPrint is a truly exciting new iPad app that lets children use a virtual pottery wheel to create completely unique works of art ready for 3d printing.

The PotteryPrint team is currently seeking funding through Kickstarter to take their prototype to deployment.

They’ve got 20 days and $10,000 to go. You can support the project for as little as $1, and they’ve got some great pledge rewards including a home-baked dozen of your favorite cookies!

I talked to Brian, Cameron and Shlok from PotteryPrint to find out more about this app, their inspiration behind the project, and their thoughts on the intersection of technology and childhood education.

First up, can a kid really use a 3D modeling app?
Kids can do amazing things if given the right tools, but until now the majority of 3D design software has been created using traditional CAD-based software which is often complex and takes some training to use effectively.

The amazing thing about tablets is that the touchscreen interface just clicks with kids. I (Cameron) have a two year old and four year old — both can easily navigate the family iPad: pointing at something comes far more naturally to children than using a mouse. The combination of touchscreen and the malleability of clay makes PotteryPrint immediately accessible to kids. It calls on something natural, something primitive. Your hands, making something.


Ponoko announces Tinkercad 3D design app in the Personal Factory App Gateway

plus a chance to win a sample pack of 3D printing materials!

Tinkercad has just released the latest version of their browser based CAD and 3D modeling application, and this version allows users to send their designs to Ponoko’s 3D printing services directly through the app.

Tinkercad’s got a new look, a new logo, and an improved user interface designed to get things done fast and to be quick to learn. With only three basic tools you can create a wide range of useful things. And best of all, you can send your designs to be 3D printed — all within your browser.

“We’re seeing a whole new range of CAD products being developed that make designing in 3D easier than ever,” says Ponoko CEO David ten Have. “Integrating those products directly with fabrication services means it’s also easier than ever to turn those designs into final products.”

Ten Have is very excited to see the addition of Tinkercad to Ponoko’s directory of product creation apps — the Personal Factory App Gateway.