3D modeling the voxel-way

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I know what you’ve been thinking—why can’t 3D modeling be more like Minecraft? Well, the folks at 3D Slash have apparently been thinking the same thing. They’ve put together a web-based voxel editor that can export STL files for printing. The result should feel fairly natural to those with Minecraft experience.

Even though my quick little creation above is rather boxy, 3D Slash allows you to drill into each block, splitting them into sub-blocks upon sub-blocks. This allows you to model curves, defined in smaller and smaller pixels.

The editing experience was easy to grasp, though tool-changes are unnecessarily slow. All went swimmingly until I tried loading up the exported STL file. [Note that the generated STLs are in binary format, but if you need ASCII, they can be converted using the convertSTL Ruby script.] Unfortunately, most of my apps didn’t care for the generated file. Even with ASCII conversion, they were throwing errors. The only place I could preview the file was in Cura:

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Still, the idea has serious promise. As an alternative experience for modeling, 3D Slash brings something fun to the table that is easy to start with. That counts for quite a bit when talking about modeling software!

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Autodesk releases ingredients of 3D printing resin under Creative Commons

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The high-cost of Stereolithography (SLA) printing resin has definitely restricted the adoption of these 3D printers. The costs have come down greatly, which helps, but Autodesk’s recent release of their Standard Clear Prototyping Resin (PR48) may be just want the industry needs to grow.

I’m no chemist, so the ingredients are a bunch of gobbledygook to me; but that shouldn’t stop new resin manufacturers from diving in.

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Printing Custom Music Boxes

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Music Drop is a well-executed concept that re-imagines the classic, hand-wound music-box in a form suitable for hobbyist 3D printers. But rather than being a one-off art project, its designers have also built a custom web UI for composing new songs:

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The site still left me wondering how much one of these toys costs (since they print and assemble it for you); but it still serves as a perfect example for a 3D printer-backed business that costs nearly nothing to operate (since you create products on demand.)

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