Eran Bar

Autodesk Spark | CHOP

3D Printing App

Information

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Overview

Autodesk Israel

3D printing division provides innovative software solutions for complex 3D printing challenges of companies that specialize in 3D printing.

 

The client

Massivit 3D printing technologies

is a pioneer of large format 3D printing solutions for visual communication

 

 

The Problem

Massivit large 3D printers could not fit the even larger model they needed to print.

 

 

 

The objective

A software solution with a simple interface that will allow cutting large models and placing it on the printer tray one by one with its widest part at the bottom. The existing 3D printing software did not have this specific functionality.

 

The Team

Edan Maor – Project manager

Eran Geva – Algorithm specialist (and front-end developer).

 

Timeline

This was a quick win project but our first one as a team,

We researched for 2 weeks

Designed and built in 1.5 weeks

 

 

The Process

Research

Discovery

Interviewed Gilad Arnon SW Team leader at Massivit about their current process, needs, and difficulties, who are their main staff what software do they use, etc…

Had a 2-day workshop at Autodesk 3D printing lab, with Netanel Naty Gueta (3D printing R&D specialist at Autodesk)

Read articles and blog posts about 3D printing in general: how does it work, what materials are used, etc…

 

Competitors review

Read about the different popular 3d Printing software solutions, installed and printed with them, experienced the different functionalities.

For this research, I 3D printed fins for my surfboard, I made many samples and actually used them.

 

     

 

Information architecture

Listed the product requirements and 80/20 refined them into the most important ones.
Using a card sorting technique I arranged all of the different parts into categories and subdivisions, when it was done, I had a clearer understanding of the structure I needed to fit them all into.

 

Navigation

Combined with the understanding of the user flow, I sketched up some optional menus that will support all of the needed functionality,

I decided to create a floating menu with a tab, so it will support the 3 steps flow but will still be flexible to navigate back and forth, and it will also show the user only the information that is contextually important to him at the specific point of the flow.

Design process

First draft

At this point, I had a general idea of what the interface will contain and how competitors answer similar needs. I created a user flow and used a 6 up to create optional variations of the main screen.

I used Balsamiq to create 2 instances of the main screen, brought into discussion with the team:

The first one was more advanced and based on keyboard shortcuts and a non-linear interface,

 

while the second one was structured as a wizard.

In both instances, I used some of Autodesk great 3D interface widgets such as the viewcube. After a couple of iterations, we decided on a winning combination and created wireframes for the full flow.

There is a cutting plane that can be manipulated (move, rotate, scale) once placed, clicking the CUT button will separate the model into 2 separate models and automatically place both pieces on the plane in a best-suited way for printing.

There are keyboard shortcuts for all major operations, and they can be revealed or hidden using the TIPS button.

I created the design in Photoshop and consulted with the design department, received feedback and made changes accordingly.

 

Chop eventually laid the foundation for Gcode IDE, a much bigger project with lots of functionality that we were able to develop in a relatively short time because of all the research and preparation we made with Chop.

 

Thanks for reading!

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