How we think about everyday objects is changing with accessible 3D printing, and new tools are emerging to make it easier to design and create just about anything you can imagine. Sculpteo and the Autodesk Gallery recently hosted a “Decoding 3D Printing” workshop to help hobbyists and professionals get up to speed in an afternoon.

Our very own Raffi Bedikian took the mic to talk about how Leap Motion is making 3D design and printing more accessible – including how he brought a cup from his imagination into physical form.

Leap Motion 101

The talk began with how Leap Motion technology translates hand movements and positions in space, and sends the data to an application. We created this technology because while humans have an intuitive physical understanding of how things work, computers operate on a different set of logics. For humans to be able to do more with computers, we have to reduce the gap between the two.

Our community is constantly experimenting with new ways of bridging the digital and physical divide. Projects like the Bluetooth-controlled robotic arm and hacked quadcopters from LA Hacks – or Hot Pop Factory’s 3D printed air sculptures – are just a few examples of what devs are building with the device.

Finally, Raffi digs into how we can identify and translate a user’s intentions by abstracting position and velocity, or using higher-level APIs like gestures. Featuring improved tracking robustness (even when hands and fingers are occluded) and grab and pinch data, the v2 tracking beta offers some exciting possibilities for new projects – especially when brought together with other cutting-edge tools.

Design and print in 3D: Sculpting + Sculpteo

Sculpteo is a cloud-based 3D printing service that we’ve integrated with our clay sculpting app Sculpting, so that you can design and print an object in five easy steps. With Sculpting and Sculpteo you get the opportunity to hold your unique print in the real world. It’s an odd feeling, says Raffi, who earlier this year created a cup in Sculpting and received it in the mail a week later.


3D printed Sculpting cup

The idea behind Sculpting is simple – it takes days to learn a CAD program just to make a simple object that you could make in a few seconds with clay. In turn, Sculpteo opens up 3D printing to everyone, so you can make anything from a figurine to an artificial limb after designing it on your computer. Naturally, this gets us excited for what the future has in store. As always, hope to see you at the next meetup, and keep dreaming!

Update 9/12/2014: Freeform has been redubbed Sculpting for V2.

Edwin is currently a Customer Care Manager at Thync. In his spare time, he tinkers his heart out to create motion-controlled bots.

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