It has been a long-standing holiday tradition at Limulus Systems (well, alright, it happened once, last year) to give our faithful blog readers a gift this time of year. Surely, you deserve something for all that wasted time reading these posts. As always, the question is, what to give? I could stand out on a street corner and hand out money, a sort of Anti-Salvation Army, but that would be crass and not particularly thoughtful. Clothes? Jewelry? Small furry animals? Naah, it’s all been done, and besides, I don’t know your size and color preferences. Something different….
I was inspired in this years’ gift by reading Makers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson (yes, the same C. Anderson mentioned in my last post). It’s a terrific book, all about the approaching DIY future, where manufacturing will be in the hands of anyone with a computer and an interest in getting ahead in the world. To quote from the Amazon.com book description,
In an age of custom-fabricated, do-it-yourself product design and creation, the collective potential of a million garage tinkerers and enthusiasts is about to be unleashed, driving a resurgence of American manufacturing. A generation of “Makers” using the Web’s innovation model will help drive the next big wave in the global economy, as the new technologies of digital design and rapid prototyping gives everyone the power to invent — creating “the long tail of things”.
It’s where digital meets hardware, where atoms are manipulated like bits. Yes, it’s the future – and you can be part of it. Yes, you. The only thing you need is a computer, the interest to create, and the proper software. The software, you say? Tell me more, what software?
That’s what I’m here to talk about.
My holiday gift to you is to point you towards the very useful, very cool, and very free 3D modeling software at Autodesk. Using their 123D Design app, you can design anything you can dream up, and your dream can be made physical. Perhaps you want to produce an action figure of yourself as a gift for friends? Create a 3D image of yourself with 123D Catch! Perhaps you want to make 10,000 action figures? That’s OK, too. Or maybe you want to make an artsy filigree skull sculpture and print it out with your 3D printer? Say no more! There’s a whole world of 3D production awaiting you and all it takes is your imagination.
P.S. – Are you one of those poor unfortunate souls stuck with an Apple computer? Don’t despair! You can download Autodesk Inventor Fusion, 123D Design, and 123D Make from the App Store. Alternatively, you can use 123D Design and 123D Catch online through your web browser. Heck, you can even make 3D stuff on your iPhone and have it reproduced with the 123D Make Intro iOS app! Go Wild!
P.P.S. – And if you’re wondering what to get me for Christmas, you could do worse than a 3D printer. I’d be the first on my block to have one!