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MeshUp: Mashup for meshes | Uformia


Super simple, always watertight, 3D modeling mashup tool for meshes, designed for painless and direct 3D printing.

MeshUp is the first real volume modeler for meshes. We want to make life easier for 3D printing and for creators. At Uformia we envision a very different experience for users, where without effort, a creator can be sure that their models are always ready for 3D printing.

Features

There are many features in MeshUp, but four of the most powerful and interesting are:

1) Mesh mixing

Mixing two meshes
Mixing two meshes

Create new objects by remixing any number of meshes and parts of meshes, or combining meshes with native MeshUp or Symvol models, without having to worry about vertices and polygons (see below for a description of Symvol).

2) Shelling and Microstructure

Make a one or two-sided shell volume, then combine it with microstructures to create lightweight yet structural object for 3D printing.  This shelling feature also means that you can convert ANY mesh into a volume – even meshes that do not represent any kind of solid object (a.k.a. polygon soup).

Teabunny: shelled and filled with microstructure
Teabunny: shelled and filled with microstructure

3) STL and Mesh Repair

Repair holes and other defects with your meshes either to prep your model for 3D printing, or to make it easier to convert the mesh into a volume object. Choose between a typical flat repair or the new rounded repair from Uformia, that acts more like smooth putty or clay when fixing a model.

Mesh repair in action
Mesh repair in action

4) Direct Fabrication and 3D Printing

Output watertight STL files, or even better take advantage of direct manufacturing by using vector or image slice data at the resolution of the 3D printer.  Currently not all printers take direct slice data, but we are working with manufacturers to allow for direct heterogeneous fabrication – letting designers do things that are currently not possible, due to the limitations with STL.

Image slice data from a mesh mixed model.
Image slice data from a mesh mixed model.

3D Printing and Current Polygon Modelers

CG artists and designers know very well the limitations and tediousness of modeling with polygons. Mesh models tend to have all kinds of problems such as cracks, holes and self-intersections. This is due to a disconnect between the real world being represented and the modeling software’s attempts to represent real, volumetric, complex and “messy” objects by only surfaces.  How does a polygon modeler create digital dirt and goo such as this?

Minotaur Head with Lamella: co-creation between Neri Oxman, Uformia and others
Minotaur Head with Lamella: co-creation between Neri Oxman, Uformia and others

Technology Difference

MeshUp allows users and 3D printers to fabricate directly without the need for the complex, multistage fixing process. Every object in Uformia’s system is a true 3D volume (not voxels or parametric surfaces), because the software reduces each object to a mathematical function.  This results in the ability to accurately represent real objects inside and out, opening up a wide range of new, innovative features and solutions for the 3D design space. It means we can re-imagine design, where for the first time humans can explicitly create complex objects at the scale and quality of nature.

In the future, we plan to add new features to MeshUp for assigning material properties to your objects.

Real Volume Modeling Example

The best way to understand what real volume modeling means is to look at some examples of the change in the approach and process. The Teabunny pictured below, is a combination of two iconic models in CG, the Stanford Bunny and  the Utah Teapot. Both polygonal models are automatically converted to functional volumes. This conversion can even make use of bad or broken mesh data. At this point they are first class volumes than can be modeled like any native volume in the system. After converting them to volumes it is very simple for a user to create a union relationship between the two models that can include a blending property. Once this union is created, the objects can be modified and will still maintain the union and blending properties applied, which can also be changed at any moment. This makes for a very dynamic, painless and playful modeling experience. The Teapot can simply be moved to another part of the Bunny and the two maintain a union and any blending applied while keeping the resulting model watertight at all times.

Teabunny, fresh off the printer
Teabunny, fresh off the printer

This example, while simple, illustrates the painless incorporation of existing data and of some of the fundamental changes in store for the 3D design process.

Using real volumes puts a focus on what you want to model and not how it is being modeled allowing many more individuals to participate in 3D design and printing as well as the creation of new easy to use interfaces.

Read more at kickstarter.com


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