Thingiverse just featured this incredible MakerBotted model of a root structure. Thingiverse user TSDF used the iPad app iDough to model the shape above. I can’t explain the coolness any better than he did.
25 years after art school, 22 years after learning CAD, and 10 years after learning gcode, I would have never conceived that it would be possible to model complex organic geometry on a handheld device and hold a physical output in my hand 90 minutes later at such a low cost.
The app is $6.99 but holy moly does this look well worth it. It has brushes to “push, pull, smooth, move, pinch, spread, [and] flatten” your virtual clay. You can export your .obj from the app (email it from your iPad to your computer, says TSDF), and convert to an .stl in Netfab.
Here’s the final printed part:
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