We Are Learning 3D Printing Through Our Personal Experience…
3DPrintMeetUp is a virtual expo that will be held entirely online on 04-05 May, 2015. It is open and free for anyone interested in 3D printing and you “can be there” regardless of your actual location. The 3DPrintMeetUp uses the ExpoLike platform for virtual expositions that was already used for a virtual Crypto Currency expo last year as well as some other targeted online events. The event will feature a series of lectures from leading 3D printing professionals, an expo hall where attendees can find information about available products, view demonstrations, ask questions, and receive answers from company representatives, and various opportunities to network with members of the 3D printing community. There is already a short preliminary agenda available, though more things should be added to it as the event date approaches. We are going to be taking a look at the online event in May as it should interesting to check out, so you might want to give it a try as well.
It seems that 3D Hubs has added support for payment with Bitcoins when you order a 3D print. This has been announced on Twitter on the official account for 3D Hubs, though not much details are yet available. 3D Hubs has partnered with BitPay as a payment processor for the Bitcoin payments and apparently starting today you would be able to order something to be 3D printed for you and pay with Bitcoin for the service. We like the addition of Bitcoin as a payment option and will most likely try it out very soon, what about you?
Autodesk Meshmixer is a free and useful tool for people that are not that experienced in 3D modelling and 3D printing as it gives the average user some nice tools to modify existing 3D models. The software started as a tool to mix different 3D models in order to produce interesting and even weird new ones, but has since evolved into a more powerful and useful tool. This tool in not designed for designing new 3D models from scratch like other 3D modeling software, instead it is for modifying in interesting and creative ways already existing objects and then printing them on your 3D printer.
One of the other useful features that the Meshmixer has are the set of tools that make it easy to identify and fix various problems in 3D models that may cause you trouble when printing or when actually using the models later on. So you might want to check the software out especially because of the functionality for analyzing and automatically repairing various issues with 3D models before printing them. Meshmixer does have a pretty good format support for importing and exporting, so you can open, fix and then export the 3D models before 3D printing them.
The software uses own file format MIX, but can also import OBJ, PLY, STL and SAM files. The software can either directly print to a number of supported 3D printers or export the edited model in OBJ, DAE, PLY, STL, AMF or WRL formats as well as THING format for MakerBot 3D printers. Meshmixer has direct integration for services that produce 3D prints of your 3D models as well as has built-in support for multiple different 3D printers, though the list is not that big in terms of supported brands.
The Meshmixer software is available only for Windows and even though it is a free software it is not an open source one. It has some powerful and useful features that can help you getting better 3D prints, but you will have to spend some time getting to know the software and how to use all of the functionality it offers. We do recommend you to check it out and try it yourself and also read the tutorials on how to use the various functionality available as these can be quite helpful.