In the tradition of "playing with the knobs," people like playing with the sliders.
Project Shapeshifter was our free technology preview created to assist designers and makers cope with the task of modeling complex 3D printable geometries in a simple way. Shapeshifter technology is built on top of a 3D Patterning Engine which offers an alternative approach to generative design, avoiding scripting of any kind. The commands (design operations) used throughout a design sequence are captured separately from the object geometry, allowing repeat, alter, or apply to any given mesh object. The commands pattern includes a parametric object builder, subdivisions, transformations, offsets, and population information. Shapeshifter technology offers a simple slider based interface for shaping a 3D mesh object parametrically based on a selected topology. The 3D mesh object is automatically converted to a cellular shell where each cell can be populated with a selected component to form a 3D pattern. The populated mesh can be exported as .obj file for 3D printing locally or through a 3D printing portal online. With Shapeshifter, exploring design alternatives is an easy and playful task. The simple and straightforward approach of Shapeshifter to Generative Design allows creating complex models for 3D Printing directly from the web browser.
The technology preview on Autodesk Labs has ended, but the technology lives on! Information about Shapeshifter can be found on the 123D site:
Thanks to everyone who participated in the technology preview. Based on your thumbs up, the technology is being incorporated into Project Spark. Stay tuned.
Graduation ceremonies are alive in the lab.