Jan 26, 2016 | By Benedict

Autodesk has released the latest version of its Meshmixer 3D mesh software. Meshmixer 3.0 introduces a new “complex objects” feature, making it easy to prepare 3D models for multi-material 3D printing.

Meshmixer 3.0 is about to make life a whole lot easier for users of multi-material 3D printers and creators of multi-part 3D printed designs. Members of the 3D printing community will know that Autodesk’s free triangle mesh software has been a staple for makers and 3D printing businesses for years now, but the latest additions to the software should help to win over any remaining doubters.

The latest release of Meshmixer is all about multi-material design. The introduction of a “complex objects” feature allows users to manipulate and deconstruct 3D models in an entirely new way. A Complex, according to our friends at Autodesk, is “a single object that contains a decomposition into discrete multi-material regions”. Now, with just a few clicks, Meshmixer users can select internal regions of a 3D model to be treated as separate parts of the same object. Without losing the shape of the complete object, these individual parts can then be altered in specific ways.

By introducing Complex objects, Meshmixer 3.0 saves users the trouble of keeping an assembly of separate parts. Furthermore, the software will automatically infer the multi-material decomposition of a 3D model based on the markup of the surface. This helpful new feature is incredibly useful for printing with multi-material 3D printers such as the Stratasys Object Connex.

“Meshmixer 3.0 has new features that make it easy to 3D print objects consisting of multiple materials,” said Scott Sheppard of Autodesk Labs. “You can group subsets of mesh points into collections called complexes and then assign different materials to those complexes.”

The third incarnation of Meshmixer also introduces new features for users working with laser cutters. The new “Unwrap” tool, for example, allows users to flatten 3D surface patches into their constituent 2D faces—Ideal for Ikea imitators. These flattened patches can be exported as SVG files which can be sent to a printer or laser cutter.

The software also introduces a new way to precisely scale 3D a model, using the “Units/Dimensions” tool. With this feature, users can input any known measurements of particular regions of a 3D model, and the software will calculate the appropriate measurements of other regions. This feature is particularly useful when working with photogrammetry projects.

Meshmixer 3.0 was unveiled on January 19 by Ryan Schmidt of Autodesk Research at SIGGraph 2016, a conference held by the Association for Computing Machinery for the Special Interest Group on computer Graphics. It is free to download for Windows, OSX and Linux.



Posted in 3D Software



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