Why is 3D printing called 3D printing? If you think about how traditional printing works, you take a piece of paper, put it through a machine, and a head moves across it spraying ink forming the letters that make the words. 3D printing is similar. You take a base, put it in a machine, and a head moves across it depositing resin, one tiny layer at a time, forming the shape that makes the object. Even though there are various materials used when 3D printing, most processes are based on building up an object by layering.
Designs are often created using Autodesk software via 3D modeling. A designer imagines something and expresses his idea via points, lines, and surfaces to define the geometry of the idea. But what if there was another way? Actually there are a few ways — like generative design (where geometry is generated from requirements), parametric design (where geometry is defined by equations), or reality capture (like laser scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or photogrammetry where geometry is captured from real-world objects). It is interesting that a technology like MRI captures in layers much like the way 3D printers output in layers.
With layer-based input and output in mind, let's talk about a new exhibit.
Related Software and Hardware
Autodesk and Exploratorium have teamed up to co-design the newest exhibit in the Autodesk Gallery called How You Slice It. The exhibit consists of 3 puzzles that young visitors can assemble. Each puzzle is a collection of slices that are arranged to construct a 3D object. The puzzles include:
Sphere, Football, Candlestick — various combinations/spacing of available slices create different objects
Hand — created using a laser scanner and includes a video of one being 3D printed
Green pepper — created with an MRI scan that reveals the delicate inner structure
The exhibit helps visitors understand how real world objects are digitally captured and digitally produced.
If you want to have a hands-on experience with How You Slice It, come check out the Autodesk Gallery at One Market in San Francisco. The gallery is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is a guided tour on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm. Visit us.
Slices are alive in the lab.