3D printing for the masses, designing sans CAD


Saying today's 3-D printing industry is akin to iPods with no music, a team of Cornell University engineers have developed a new interactive website that allows users to design their own things without any technical knowledge. The engineers explain that the growing fleet of 3-D printers is largely idle because the availability of 'content' for them is bottlenecked by the old design technologies like CAD that people don't know how to use or don't have access to, stifling creativity.

"Forget draft tables and complicated computer-aided design programs: You dream it. Endless Forms helps you design it," is how EndlessForms.com is described by researchers that developed it.

Created by Jeff Clune, Cornell postdoctoral fellow; Jason Yosinski, Cornell graduate student in engineering; and Eugene Doan, Cornell undergraduate student, EndlessForms.com allows users to develop objects in the manner a gardener raises roses, according to its creators. In the program, a "generation" of objects is displayed, and a user chooses objects they like, which are then "bred" to produce the next generation....
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