No Technical Know-How Needed: Endless Forms Web Site Helps Users ‘Breed’ 3-D Printable Objects

Forget draft tables and complicated computer-aided design programs: You dream it. Endless Forms helps you design it.


Cornell University engineers are allowing anyone to point, click, collaborate and create online in the evolution of printable, three-dimensional objects. They aim to transform the design of art, architecture and artificial intelligence.

Their new, interactive website EndlessForms.com, allows users to design their own things — from lamps and butterflies to furniture and faces — without any technical knowledge and using the same principles that guide evolutionary biology.

The Web site was developed by Jeff Clune, Cornell postdoctoral fellow; Jason Yosinski, Cornell graduate student in engineering; and Eugene Doan, Cornell undergraduate student in the Creative Machines lab of Hod Lipson, Cornell associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and computing and information science.

EndlessForms users can develop objects just as gardeners raise roses — a “generation” of objects is displayed, and a user chooses objects they like, which are “bred” to produce the next generation. Over time, objects evolve and users can publish these objects. Others can further evolve, share and rate them, creating a collaborative exploration of designs that, according to Lipson, represents an entirely new way of thinking about design. Users can then have their objects made by 3-D printing companies in a wide range of materials, such as silver, steel, ceramic or sandstone.

The concept eliminates the need for skilled engineers to draw in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) programs, which can be complicated and non-intuitive. These new design tools free people to focus creativity, instead of being mired in technical details, Lipson said.

Now that 3-D printing is taking off, the goal is to unshackle the design process, flooding the industry with objects that are truly one of a kind. Lipson likens the 3-D printing industry to iPods with no music — the printers exist, but the availability of content is bottlenecked by the old methods like CAD that few people know how to use and that stifle creativity.

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Go to EndlessForms.com to try it out yourself!!

Make Your Own 3D Glasses in 10 Seconds

You’ll need a pair of 3D glasses with red and blue (to be more precise, cyan) lenses to watch any of the 3D videos that are available on YouTube or this pool of 3D images (anaglyphs) that’s on Flickr.

For instance, here’s a 3D clip from the popular Avatar movie that you’ll only enjoy if you have the right colored glasses.

Create 3-D Glasses at Home!

The basic 3D glasses are available for around 99¢ on eBay but if you want them right now, you can build your own using a spare CD jewel case and some permanent marker pens.

Just scribble the transparent side of the jewel case with red and blue marker pens* large enough to cover the width of your eyes. The blue (or cyan) color lens is for the right eye while the red color will cover the left eye.

photo via labnol.org

read more:  http://www.labnol.org/home/make-3d-glasses/13776/