Real life uses for 3D printing
More and more people are talking about 3D printing, and if you have yet to take the plunge, you are not alone. 3D printing can be costly and for some people unnecessary, but with a new app, you can take the first steps of creating a 3D model with minimum effort and expense. 123D Catch from Autodesk allows you to create, refine, and print 3D models from any camera or mobile device.
The app can turn photos into extraordinary 3D model and works well with places, people, and things. You can snap pictures with any mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android) or just your everyday camera.
In order to upload, edit, and refine, you will need the PC version of the app. From your mobile devices, you can capture your objects and share your captures with friends, family, and business associates. The PC web app can also help you prepare your capture for 3D printing by uploading and perfecting your model.
This app works by asking you to take multiple photos of your subject, taking pictures from different angles and covering the entire surface area of your subject (don’t worry if you overlap; the app takes care of the picture merging magic). Over twenty photos will be needed to complete your 3D model. It may sound like a lot, but anyone who has tried to take the perfect photo knows: it does not take long to snap an entire camera roll of pictures.
Enter the magic
Once you have fully photographed your subject, you can refine and edit your snaps to make a cohesive model. If anything changes, you can always snap more pictures and go back in and edit them, taking a few moments, rather than days of waiting on something to come back from the printer/manufacturer.
This can be extremely useful for creating your own prototypes and models, in-house, without the expense of reprinting with each new revision to the design. And this is pretty cool for the amateur as well: you can create your own action figures, marketing materials, promotional items, and more, with a few quick snaps and a 3D printer.
This is pretty futuristic cool, if you ask me. The apps are free, so it is definitely worth a look, even if you just play around with the 3D model creator without printing, it is pretty neat watching 2D things come to life.