3D Printing and Piracy – Is your IP dead?


An emerging breed of machines lets us “print” a real-life object, like a toy or a gun , is highlighting 3D Printing and Piracy in the same way we can print a document at our desk.

Is your IP Dead? – now you can print or copy 3D objects and as the technology develops you could print many  ojects that will call into question your own IP  and brand ownership. The technology heralds a new era of manufacturing but is also striking fear into the hearts of brand owners.

In a must-read story, the Economist explains how cheap 3-D printers could one day let knock-off artists crank out shoes, gadgets, watches and any type of prized design. While counterfeiting is already wide-spread, it could increase dramatically with the machines:

But while the [traditional] pirates’ labour rates and material costs may be far lower, the tools they use to make fakes are essentially the same as those used by the original manufacturers. Equipment costs alone have therefore limited the spread of the counterfeiting industry. But give every sweatshop around the world a cheap 3D printer coupled to a laser scanner, and pirated goods could well proliferate.

File-sharing platforms such as Pirate Bay already aspire to be exchanges for 3-D goods . In other words, kids may one day go from swapping not just MP3s on the internet but iPods too.

The Economist notes that 3D printing is likely to touch off a new intellectual property debate between those who want to label the devices “piracy machines” and those who see them as a technological revolution like the advent of personal computing.

It’s early days yet and, for now, the objects being replicated are dumb pieces of plastic. This means that, in the immediate future, it may only be firms like Lego or Oakley (not Apple or Porsche) that may have to worry.

But if the “print-me-anything” devices take off as predicted, we will eventually be able to copy most things around us. When that happens,  the debates over copyright will look like a tea party.

Maxwell Render Fire Support


Maxwell Render for formZ Technology Preview


A technology preview of the new Maxwell for form•Z 7 plugin is available now. This update incorporates numerous new features and improvements, including:

  • Maxwell Fire support for real-time previewing of views, lights, materials and objects
  • Maxwell Grass support
  • Dramatically faster scene export
  • Significantly enhanced Materials and Lights support
  • New Resource Manager which automatically detects and corrects missing file dependencies, even when moving between workstations
  • Part1Image

The technology preview plugin is available to Maxwell customers from the Next Limit customer gateway located HERE.

Please provide feedback on the technology preview forum located HERE.

We look forward to hearing from you!   form•Z Model Courtesy of Craig Williams, Becker Morgan Group, Inc.


formZ 7 30 Day Trial version available

In formZ 7 you will find a modern interface with a lot of new functionally along with enhancements to existing formZ functionality. With the new interface many steps have been automated, interactivity expanded, and performance increased which all means less clicking and more doing. You too can join the growing community of formZ 7 users. This Trial software download is available on our site software review by clicking HERE.

formZ 7 Released


formZ 7 Released!

August 8, 2012



formZ 7 logo

FormZ 7 has arrived and Smart Technology is providing an easy upgrade path for existing users of formZ or users of bonZai3D to upgrade. FormZ offers a form generating environment much more powerful, dynamic, intelligent, yet easier to use than any of its previous editions. Not only can you build any form you imagine with formZ, it can also ignite discoveries of forms that you may not have thought of otherwise.



Here are the main ingredients in formZ 7: To download the formZ 30 day Trial: download
  • You start with a smart interface that senses what you intend to do and protects you from unwanted actions. This includes automatic picking and automatic guides that assist you in drawing accurately.
  • Fully parametric and dynamic generation of 3D formsthat can be further manipulated at any time after their initial generation.
  • Reshape tool that, by capitalizing on real time Boolean operations, offers more sculpting actions that produce robust solid models that can easily be fabricated.
Faucet Nurbs Blend
Reshape Example
  • Totally overhauled suite of NURBS tools combines unprecedented easy of use and power. The new NURBSanalysis features aide in the evaluation and refinement of your design
  • Powerful formula tools create complex curves and surfaces based on mathematical formulas with ease. The included predefined library of shapes is a launching point for a whole new method of form creation.
  • Components are enhanced symbols that include the ability to edit the component directly where it is placed. Components are also embedded in project’s making them less dependant on external library files.
  • The complete interface and the tool palettes are fully customizable, including the newly introduced favorites palette, where you may place the tools you use frequently for instant access.
  • Newly introduced workspaces group related tools and palettes together making it easy to switch between tasks. User defined workspaces allow for creation of custom workspaces.
  • The traditional formZ drafting and modeling environments found in previous versions have been merged combining the power of both in a unified environment. This powerful combination yields long desired features such as dimensions, hatching and line styles to 3D.
Interface Example
Interface Example 

  • Layout sheets can be used to compose different views of a model and/or sections and/ or construction details together with notes and dimensions and have it printed to send to the construction site.
  • The modeling interface has been enhanced with a new shaded working environment. Traditional wire frame, hidden line, shaded full and doodle rendering are included. Photorealistic, global Illumination and sketch rendering is available with the optional RenderZone plugin.
  • Dynamic clipping planes allow for non-destructive cutting of models. This real-time dynamic interface allows for complete inspection of a design.
Interface Example

  • The new Sun Palette enables the quick evaluation of natural light in a building on any given day or time. Quickly create animation of the sun light through a day or an entire year.
  • Present your designs interactively on line with the new VR creation features. These allow you to create web ready interactive panoramic and 360 object movies of your design.
  • Interoperability, a traditional strength of formZ, has further been enhanced with updated translators and a new Rhino import feature.
  • Models can be animated within formZ to produce movies for presentation purposes. Or they can be fabricated using any of the contemporary 3D Printing, Rapid Prototyping, CNC, or Milling machines.
Metro Rail
Come ride along with us!
Metro Rail
formZ 7 Trial version HERE.FREE use of formZ for 30 days

Learning simplified with Webinars Available On Demand

Watch and learn formZ anytime, at your leaisure. Click HERE to select a session to familiarize yourself and master the tools at your command!

formZ 7 Upgrades

form•Z Users on the family plan and those that have purchased formZ 6.7 recently qualify for an automatic upgrade to form•Z 7. Instructions on how to download your software along with new installation codes will be emailed to you shortly. If you are interested in purchasing an upgrade please visit the Smarttec purchase page here or contact sales@smarttec.com.au  and for those that BUY or upgrade before August 31 and use the Voucher code ‘formz7‘ at checkout will get a 10% discount.

Image CreditsFormula Surface and Faucet Blend, by Matthew Holewinski; Taiwan DayformZ Interface and Mongol Junk, by John Alexander; Willow2D to 3D, by Matthew Holewinski; Metro Train, by Matthew Holewinski.

Tim Masons formZ Image Gallery


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Tim Masons formZ Image Gallery

Tim Masons formZ Image Gallery was created by Tim Mason who has been a power user of formZ RenderZone  for over ten years and uses his many talents and the software daily to conceptualise and help close the design concept.


Concept development as a strategy as a visual form by using such tools as mind maps

– cut and paste – pencil – marker
– computer modelling using formZ RenderZone
– model and prototype manufacturing – Team building.
– Targeting the right client.

He was Point of sale Designer for ‘EDA Point of Sale Solutions’; where he was placed as the Head Creative to win and maintain clients requirements for such clients as

LOREAL -Coty – Coles – Vittoria Coffee – McDonalds etc.

He now works at: Popp Unlimited as a Designer


3D Rendering and Social License



Dr. Ben Guy
Managing Director, Urban Circus
(+61) 07 3255 3847

A tram overpass in Adelaide had been stalled for a year. Why? Because the community couldn’t visualise the impact of the new overpass on their environment, and therefore wouldn’t support the project. 3d Rendering, endless expensive photoshopped drawings, handsome architectural sketches and engineering plans – all to no avail as the social license was withheld.

Winning the ambiguous and unofficial ‘social license’ can be as important as the environmental, safety and functionality conditions in many projects. And sometimes it is even more important.

When it goes wrong, and you’re unable to get the social license, we see an increase in complaints and projects stalled. The bigger the community dissatisfaction, the more intense the reactions become – to the point of people marching in the streets.

The fear of community anxiety, resistance to change, and backlash has been noted in recent COAG cities reports as an inhibitor to some projects. Even though the projects may be critical for productivity and urban quality, they are just too hard to get off the ground.

Public servants also want to avoid unhappy communities and stakeholders. It is the bureaucrat who receives the complaints from ministers and mayors, and is asked to respond promptly. Each response can take many days, as they try to explain how the situation will exactly play out from the objector’s viewpoint. This can be tedious and unsatisfactory work.

Our educated population wants to know what is going on in their environment, and they expect best practice. This is not just a NIMBY (“not in my backyard”) phenomena – it is a growing social conscience of what is good planning and design, and outcomes for the city, state or locality.

And why should the population trust the ‘experts’? Poorly-executed buildings and infrastructure have depressed areas for generations, created ghettos, encouraged crime, and even caused deaths. Over the last 50 years we’ve seen trams removed from cities, a failure in social housing, riversides destroyed by roadways, and a mentality of the city as a machine.

As our population ages, and if they ever get to retire, the ‘non-experts’ (residents) will become even more engaged in projects, planning and design in their vicinity. Therefore, in future, we can expect the social license to be even harder to win, and the bar to rise. Perhaps this is an opportunity for crowd-sourcing in city planning.

But how do you gain the social license from a community? Often we see the engineer personality at community events with impenetrable plans and an inability to socially engage, the architect defending the glory of their monument from selected viewpoints, and the army of wordsmiths with a pile of reports and brochures.

There is often a complete lack of trust, and sometimes of respect, between communities and experts. We all know how much the information is presented in its ‘best light’ – the 50 revisions of the brochure full of weasel words.

One of the keys is to enable complete, open transparency. To allow people to see how a new project will directly influence their life and environment. And to do this in the most easy way. Why should it be hard? Why should they need to sift through hundreds of pages or assimilate abstract drawings in their head?

They want to know – how will this new road look from my back door? How will it affect the sidewalk, or the park where I walk my dog? What if it rains? How does it integrate with other facilities? Will it add or remove value for the local area? Will my neighbourhood be better for the change?

In order to win the social license, you need the community and the stakeholders to be convinced that they are completely aware of the environmental change – from every experience and perspective of interest.

When we provide full visibility, even when the most drastic changes are being proposed to people’s previously sedentary life, people buy-in to the project. Take away the razzle dazzle of the over-manipulated information, and make it open and immersive. And remove the need to convert and interpret abstract plans and drawings.

Across thousands of experiences with community members and other stakeholders, including industry professionals, we see the light bulb go on, anxiety and worry vanish and the immediate realisation of understanding. People despise not being able to understand something – it makes them anxious. So the sooner you can truly create understanding, the sooner you can win the social license.

A neighbourhood planning process in Brisbane was pleasantly surprised when community members said, “Yes, you should really bulldoze our houses along this transport corridor and put big buildings here. It is the right thing to do for the place, even though we have lived here for decades.”

When projects and plans are transparently revealed in a simple and easy manner in a virtual replication, anxieties are eliminated, people become calm, and objectors become evangelists. Residents aren’t intentionally hindering your work – they just need to understand. And the easiest way to do this is through seeing how all the pieces fit together, clearly and simply.

Maxwell Render Special Offer

Next Limit logo July 2nd, 2012
MWSU image

Maxwell Render Special Offer

Viva España!

After Spain’s astonishing 4-0 win against Italy in the final, Smart Technology will be offering a Maxwell Render Special Offer with 50% off all standard, node and upgrade purchases until 8th July!

Maxwell Render RenderSuite 2.7  currently ships with 5 FREE  Rendering nodes to add to your productivity by allowing you to render on an additional 5 networked computers. This latest version running on Windows 32 /64 , MacOSX and Linux also now includes a beautiful Grass Renderer. There are many plugins for most 3D applications and most video compositing software.

Use the Promo Code ‘EUROCUP WINNER’ at the Smarttec.com.au checkout by the end of July 8- this offer extends to upgrades and RenderNodes


For more details call 1300 030655 but be quick to get this amazing offer.


For more details call 1300 030655 but be quick to get this amazing offer.

Just go to ww

formZ beta 7 update


Using formZ beta 7 Update

I’ve been using Form Z  7 beta for some time now and I have to say it’s been an absolute joy. An update patch (#8457) has been released on June 14  that corrects a number of stability issues and other irregularities that have been reported, as noted in the second half of this post.
This version is being released as an Update Patch. To access this update, run the previous formZ 7 Beta 8 (build 8441), go to the Help Men, choose Check for Update, and follow the onscreen prompts.

There are a few known issues with this automatic update that will actually be fixed with this update. However, for the current update, you should make sure that you do not have any Layout projects open when you apply the update. Also, there is a small possibility that the old version might crash when quitting before applying the update. If this happens, just repeat the steps in the previous paragraph and then it should update properly.


If you have not yet signed up for the formZ 7 Beta, or do not have the 8441 build, you can sign up for the new beta version HERE  that adds a few things and fixed over a hundred issues:

  • Many of the corrections address stability and improved memory management.
  • The Axial Sweep tool now has the Scale parameter previously found in v6.
  • The Trim/Spit tool now keeps the proper portion of the model.
  • Display resolution slider now works with the Round tool.
  • Importing a symbol library with the same name as existing component folder no longer fails.
  • Certain SKP SketchUp v8 files now import properly.
  • Export image now exports the proper view to eps/hpgl.
  • Import and Export DWG/DXF improved.
  • Multi Copy with Make Component fixed.
  • Components can now be renamed easily.
  • Clipping Planes in Shaded mode are more stable.
  • The Template File preferences have a separate option of Layout projects.
  • Controls for Layout Frames now highlight properly.
  • Gutters work properly in Screen Size Dimensions.

Maxwell Render access to free 3D Rendering online training


Smart Technology offers this 3D Rendering training online by clicking image above –  this Maxwell Render tutorial is provided through Digital Tutors, they will be teaching you the essential workflows, terms, and techniques to help you get started using Maxwell Render with Maya. We will start off by learning the basic approach to rendering anything in Maxwell Render, and some important concepts to be aware of whenever starting out with Maxwell. We will then learn how to control the amount of render time that goes into our scenes, we will discuss the Maxwell camera attributes, which play a critical role in the appearance of our rendered images, we will learn how to begin using the physically-correct Maxwell materials to help push our renders to deeper levels of realism, we will discuss the process of creating and controlling light sources, as well as many additional topics and workflows that will help you to get started with Maxwell Render.

3D Printer popular at CEBIT show



3D Printer Systems Attracts Crowds

Posted on  by Neerav Bhatt


CeBIT exhibitor 3D Printing Systems launched the new UP! Mini 3D Printer as a world first at CeBIT Australia 2012. With it’s full metal, temperature stabilising enclosure and groundbreaking pricing it’s no wonder their Stand I15 attracted large crowds of visitors throughout the day. Smart Technology provides the local sales and support at contact tel: 1300 030 655  and has the 3D Up Printer and it’s 3D  design software formZ and bonzai3D

The UP! Mini is based on the simplicity of a traditional inkjet printer, with a snap in printer head, slip in build table and clip in consumable roll.

3D Printing also known as additive manufacturing, has seen huge growth in the last two years.

3D Printing Systems have sold their desktop 3D Printers to Primary schools, where students are creating 3D printed projects out of plastic instead of the traditional paddle pop stick projects.

This is the manufacturing of the future and Australian students could learn a lot if given the opportunity to be able to use this type of cutting edge technology to create and innovate.

Universities around Australia use the UP Plus 3D Printers, as they are a fantastic educational tool to demonstrate additive manufacturing process and to be able to rapid prototype their own designs. Thinking and creating outside of the box has never been so easy.

Electrolux have been using the UP Plus 3D Printer for two years as well as many other leading businesses for prototyping and testing product design. The savings are huge (+/- 80%) for prototyping in house as opposed to sending parts to be printed at a bureau. Additive manufacturing methods are also faster than and cheaper than one off moulds or getting a part CNC machined.

The other advantage of printing parts in ABS plastic, the same plastic that is used in most consumer parts today, is if you wanted to fix a broken plastic part on your dishwasher or stove, you can do that easily. If you wanted to make a custom mount for your phone in your car or bicycle you can do that too.

With the introduction of the UP Mini 3D Printer, launched first at CeBIT 2012 in Australia, it has been designed for the consumer in mind, bringing manufacturing to the home or hobbyist at a price that has to be seen to be believed.

formZ 7 3D modeling video


Flexible 3D modeling design in formZ 7

Discover the ease and flexibility of 3D modelling software creating smooth modern 3D forms using the new interface and tools of form•Z 7. In this webinar you’ll be guided through an exploratory journey in the conceptualization of a modern Metro rail project utilizing modeling, rendering, and animation.
You will experience:

    • The new interface which allows for greater design experimentation and “playing” with complex 3D forms.
    • New techniques to smoothly blend details into organic forms.
    • Various methods to dynamically control continuity between surfaces, which help you control the “razor-sharp” or “smooth-soft” feel of your design.
    • Quick ways to add contemporary structural details derived from your 3d forms by harnessing the information that is automatically inherent in your smooth shapes.
    • New analysis tools to analyze the aesthetic appearance of your design surfaces in “real-time”.
    • Witness the ease of filling openings or closing gaps in your surfaces while maintaining continuity with the original form.
    • And many other new or improved nurbs and smooth modeling tools, which make modeling contemporary modern forms easier than ever before in form•Z 7.