3D Printing Solutions using formZ

formZ Guitar

3D Printing Solutions using formZ

When the UP Box was first announced our CEO Michael Tyson knew we had a 3D Printing Solution using formZ one that would utilise the larger build area of this new 3D Printer and to take advantage of the 3D design power of formZ. The first thing that came to mind was a 3D Printed Guitar!

The body was designed and printed in four parts on the new UP Box 3D Printer using a unique PLA filament called PolyMax PLA, due to its high strength and resistance to warping. The project was successful due to the combination 3D Design skills by Michael Tyson and some helpful advice from myself.
This guitar is a hybrid of the latest 3D Printing Technologies with traditional Guitar Luthier techniques, utilizing a maple neck and mahogany block fitted in the body to provide traditional tonal qualities.

To create the 3D Design we used FormZ 3D Design Software  and if you want to modify the design this is the design software to use. We find FormZ really easy to use and it exports to perfect stl files ready for your 3D Printer. By using FormZ and 3D Printing we were able to add designs to the body which would be difficult with conventional wood working techniques. The playing card suite design is a good example of this.  In addition we have designed the guitar so you can easily change to different 3D Printed Bodies in under 45 minutes. You will never get tired of your guitar.

Having personally made a 1959 Gibson Les Paul replica from scratch we have found printing the shell of the body out of PLA with a Queensland Mahogany block dramatically streamlined the process of making the body.
We had 6 days to finish the guitar before we had to leave Adelaide to go to Melbourne to showcase our guitar for National Manufacturers week. In that time we had to paint, finish the electronics and cut the Queensland Mahogany to insert into the body of the guitar. SPOILER ALERT… we succeeded. We painted the guitar with a coat of plastic primer followed by a coat of high build primer. After some light sanding we added a base coat of blue metallic paint with a clear coat of lacquer. We were pleased that when we plugged the guitar in for the first time there were no electronics issues with minimum fret buzzing. With some TLC and truss rod / bridge adjustments we were able to fix the fret buzzing and set up the guitar with the right action and intonation tuned to D Standard. These are all processes and things you need to tackle when making a traditional guitar made of timber, so there were no red flags.

After a stressful week finishing the guitar, we traveled to Melbourne for National Manufacturers week and showcased our 3D Printed Guitar for the first time at the UP 3D Printer Stand! People were amazed and for the first hour some patrons didn’t even notice it was 3D Printed. With Mikes quick ingenuity we managed to make a low budget sign explaining the guitar for those who thought I was a lost busker. Unfortunately we only had one day free to showcase the guitar but it was a great experience and it was great to meet up with some of the key people from BuildTak and Polymaker!

formZ Guitar

The following weekend we had a stand at the Mega Toy Fair, it was a great event and with the help of our distributor we had a competition to give away an UP Mini 3D Printer. It was great to see so many people take an interest in our Printers and our guitar.



Adelaide based photographer Vueey Le was kind enough to help us out and took some really amazing high quality photos of our guitar for us to upload onto our social media pages. We also uploaded a Youtube video showing off how the guitar sounds! A few days later our good friends at PolyMaker wrote a great indepth article on our guitar which spawned some great online attention and discussion including an article from 3ders.org. We were even featured in a 3D Printed electric guitar face off article on 3dprintingindustry.com!


It was great seeing this project receive so much attention in Melbourne, Adelaide and online, and it was a great opportunity to get people excited about the possibilities of 3D Printing.
If you’re interested in making your own 3D Printed Guitar on the UP Box or on another 3D Printer, you can download the STL files for this print here! For the best results we recommend you print with PolyMax PLA as it is stronger and more durable then ABS and standard PLA.

3D Printing Solutions is pleased to provide the STL Master files for our 3D Printed Guitar. This project has taken the internet by storm and we have had so many requests for the STL Files it was hard to resist sharing them.

Important Conditions of use

By downloading our 3D Printed Guitar STL Files you agree to the following:

  • 3D Printing Solutions 3D Printed Guitar SLT file are for personal use only.
  • You will not upload or pass these files on to any other person of party
  • You will direct other interested users to our internet site to download the stl files
  • You will not sell or profit from these files
  • You will not sell or profit from any Guitars that you may make from these files
  • These 3D Guitar STL files are copyright (2015) and the property of 3D Printing Solutions
  • You will not upload our 3D Guitar STL file to any Website or Internet resource with out our written approval

Hope you enjoy the printing your own 3D Printed Guitar go to their site for these details:



The other was a serious tool for real Business and Consumer applications created by formZ PRO and printed on the 3D Up Box Printer. With new materials like the new PC-Plus PolyCarbonate 3D Printing filament products that need to withstand high tensile strength can be made on desktop 3d printers thanks to high tech 3D Filament manufacturers like PolyMaker.

We thought it would be fun to design and print a Car Style Scissor Jack for our PolyMaker PC-Plus PolyCarbonate challenge.  We designed the Scissor Jack from scratch using FormZ Pro 3D Design Software. The FormZ Pro Software made the task of creating the Nuts and Bolts a breeze and to create the gears that keep the jack stable as it rises we used the FormZ gear making tool which saved a lot of time. We Printed the components using PolyMakers PC-Plus PolyCarbonate filament using Our UP Box 3D Printer. This jack was printed at 0.10mm resolutions using the finest fill settings.

We decided produce the entire Jack using 3D printed materials as we did not want the results influenced by materials like steel. All of the jack components were printed with PC-Plus Poly Carbonate with the exception of the white non slip cap which was produced from PolyFlex.

The test result was fantastic with the Jack lifting 240kg (almost a quarter tonne). Further more the Jack showed no sign of strain or stress after the lift.






formZ Jr Video Overview


formZ Jr Video Overview


This is the formZ Jr video overview and features formZ Jr the replacement for bonZai3D, now renamed as part of the well known formZ family and sits above new free downloadable entry level version called ‘formZ free‘ and the high end formZ PRO.
formZ Jr is a powerful hybrid modeller with the ability to handle solid polygon, ACIS smooth surfaces, NURBS, parametric models and the new Subd surface models.
Get your new copy of formZ Jr now or older users upgrade your old bonzai3D today!
formZ subds

Introducing form•Z Free


formZ free released


formZ free

Introducing form•Z Free!

form•Z Free is a great way to start exploring the power of design with 3D solid modeling. With form•Z Free you can quickly create 3D solid models that can be presented using sun studies, real time rendering effects, sectioning and dimensions. form•Z Free features a subset of the tools found in form•Z Proand form•Z Jr with the same easy to use dynamic interface. The internal solid modeling reperesentaion maintains an accurate representation of 3D models which is ideal for 3D printing. This version has no restrictions for professional, academic, or home use.

Join us for a webinar introducing form•Z Free Wednesday November 19 1:00pm-2:00pm (18:00-19:00 GMT). In this webinar we will demonstrate the form•Z Free interface and powerful interactive modeling features. We will also show how form•Z Free can be used for 3D printing.

Download your free copy of formZ free today.

With formZ free released today now completes the full suite of formZ 8 packages as there are now 3 choices including formZ free, formZ Jr and formZ PRO ( See comparison list below ) for your all your 3D modelling.

Starting with formZ free

formZ Jr – the replacement for bonZai3D ( same interface but much extended toolset with Subd organic modelling tools.

formZ PRO – with all the high end modelling tools for complete hybrid modelling, polygon solid, smooth ASIC surface, NURBS, Subd surfaces, Parmetrics with layout, shaded render and animation

With the release of formZ free we also have integrated the full line up under the existing name formZ with formZ Jr replacing bonZai3D and formZ PRO completing our professional line up.

See our site or click above to order and for all the details including upgrade pricing

Feature Comparison Chart – your full list of all the different type of formZ and their capabilities

Working with Maxwell Render plugin


Working with Maxwell Render plugin

MaxwellWebinarImage300x290-1Here is an online webinar (~30mins) that covers working with the Maxwell Render Plugin, in this case from within the powerful conceptual 3D modeller formZ v.7.

Don’t forget that Maxwell Render seamlessly integrates with the major 3D applications.  ONE Maxwell Render license purchase comes with ALL of the following plugins:


  • Maya
  • 3ds Max
  • Rhinoceros
  • SketchUp
  • ArchiCAD
  • Revit
  • Softimage
  • modo
  • After Effects
  • formZ
  • Houdini
  • bonzai3d
  • LightWave
  • MicroStation
  • NUKE
  • SolidWorks
  • Photoshop

Third party supported plugins (not included as they are not developed by Next Limit) include:

  • Blender
  • SolidThinking
  • Inventor

This webinar covers many of the new and unique features that Maxwell Render v.3 introduces over it’s previous release v.2.7.




Among the features covered are adding realistic grass to ground planes, scattering trees and other objects easily over models using the new ‘instancing’ feature that does not add to model overheads, adding realistic sea and volumetric lighting effects.

You will experience:
• An overview of using Maxwell v3 with form•Z or bonzai3d to render your models.
• How Maxwell controls are accessed from directly within the modeling application.
• An architectural exterior project example set up and rendered in Maxwell.
• How to set up illumination in your exterior 3d scenes using Maxwell Physical Sky.
• How to apply form•Z and bonzai3d materials to objects and adjust their placement
with easy to use controls.
• How to set up and render Maxwell Grass, use Reference and Scatter objects, place
Sea objects, and use Multilight to get multiple lighting scenarios to produce many
different useful images from the same render!

bonzai3D 3.1 Released



bonzai3d 3.1

bonzai3d 3.1 released this week is a major update to bonzai3d with over new features including 14 new tools that add functionality for fabrication, 3D printing, NURBS modeling, shape editing, texture mapping and component management.

This Upgrade is available as as a downloadable upgrade for as little as $105 + GST if applicable – Click here for details (prior to Feb 1, 2013)

The existing bonzai3d tools have been improved and tweaked to make them even more powerful and flexible. Similar improvements have been made throughout the interface such as the new Sun Position palette that makes creating shadow and sun studies a breeze.

Extensive internal changes have improved the performance throughout bonzai3d making it even faster to produce great results. The following is a summary of the changes found in bonzai3d 3.1. Following each summary is a link to the on line manual for bonzai3d 3.1 that contains all of the details of the particular feature. Please note that in order to make certain improvements, support for some older technology could no longer be maintained. OS X 10.6 is the now the minimum supported version for OS X and bonzai3d 3.1 no longer supports machines that use Power PC processors (G5, G4 etc).
This latest version now takes bonsai3D a significant level up as tool that can tackle the needs of 3D designers, modellers and current or prospective Sketchup PRO users.


For windows users, Windows 8 is now supported 

download pdf for access to more detailed tool links in file
For those who want a 30day FREE Trial
click here

UP 3D Mini Printer


3D Printing revolution with UP 3D Mini Printer



The UP 3D Mini Printer allows you to print quality 3D models right from your desk for visualisation, collaboration, and functional prototyping testing from your model designed in formZ, bonzai3D or other 3D package.

The UP Mini Desktop 3D Printer is simple and affordable. It uses an additive manufacturing technology to lay down successive layers of ABS to build up a printed three dimensional model. 3D Print whatever you want, whenever you want and as any times as you want.
The printer is assembled and ready to go out of the box and you’ll be printing models in 15 minutes. No need to spend weeks tinkering or fiddling to get average quality 3D prototypes with a cheap DIY 3D printing project, the UP! Mini 3D Printer is ready to go out of the box for either personal or professional 3D Printing.

In order to create super large prints, simply slice your 3D models into sections, then print as components and glue together with nail varnish remover (acetone).


For more info call 02 9939 4000

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.

More users experience with bonzai3D vs Google Sketchup


I have had a bit of a look around the forum and documentation, also downloaded the trial version of Bonzai and have only one burning question; Is there a viable way of creating construction drawings (for houses) that remains linked like they do in SU Pro?

I really like how Bonzai works, very intuitive and well thought out, but can see myself losing productivity if I have to use a 3rd party program for the final prints (and the obvious hassle of redoing exports if there are changes)

I notice that alot of users are exporting to Revit for this stage, but it doesn’t solve the problem with the drawings being divorced from the original model.

i don’t really want to go with SU pro due to the other work flow related issues (no tools for windows, doors etc, slow work flow) and can’t justify (at this stage) going for a 2K lite version of ArchiCad (It looks a little too crippled as well)


– Andrew Jones

response from autodessys Inc


Bonzai3d is designed as a 3d modeling program, and it can generate plans and sections that can be exported in 2d (or 3d) to a dedicated drafting program — such as AutoCAD, Archicad, Vectorworks, etc. As you note, this can require extra steps if there will be multiple revisions, and we are currently working on the Drafting Environment for formZ 7 — which will integrate the model with the documentation as you are requesting. 

formZ 7 will also use the bonzai3d interface (plus a lot more) so that modeling will be as quick and easy as it can be. If you would like to sign up for the Beta version and give it a try, you can do so here: 


Right now, the Drafting Workspace is a bit of a work in progress, but Hatches have just been released, and soon Line Styles & Weights will be implemented — along with the full Layout Environment so that you can create full blown construction documents. And — if you make a change to the model, the documentation will be updated automatically. :-) 

Does this help? 

I haven’t test driven formz yet, it sound cool to have the bonzai features in it too. Is it possible to purchase bonzai and upgrade it later to the full formz program? Or perhaps buy the 2D drafting/ plotting environment as an add on? Anyway, that does answer the initial question. sorry to add more 🙂 I’ll have a look at the beta version, thanks.

– Andrew Jones


response from autodessys Inc

Yes, you will be able to upgrade from bonzai3d to formZ 7 in the future — but details have not yet been set for that. (The details for this will be available closer to the final release of formZ 7.) 

We are not sure if we will be adding a 2d add-on for bonzai3d in the long run — but it will not be available in the near future. If you know you will want integrated Drafting (beyond basic notes and dimensions), you should most likely choose formZ over bonzai3d. 


Ok, that makes sense. Had a bit of a play today with Beta 7, love the roof building tool! Love the way the drafting tool set can be selected easily, and the quality of the icons and descriptions is fantastic, great work.

I’ll keep poking around.

So I’m thinking the best option would be to buy bonzai3d now (so I can start learning the tools etc), and upgrade when fomZ 7 is released…anyway, sounds good either way.

– Andrew Jones

bonzai3D is the newest entry point for entry into 3D modelling


What is bonzai3D?

It is a true 3D program with powerful 3D modelling tools from the Smarttec eStore, spline based surface, solid modelling ( great for 3D Printers ), and inbuilt file translation formats that make it a perfect day to learn modelling program that when teamed with other renderers available – RenderZone and Maxwell Render Suite 2.6 now produce high quality imaging.

brochure front

Why use Sketchup Pro when you can use a true 3D modeller with more features- yet still imports .skp file format as components or full models.

It also provides a path to enhanced rendering modules and the high end formZ 7 package currently in FREE open public beta testing.

brochure 2

How to make a Sliced Solid and Wireframe rendering in bonzai3D


How to make a Sliced Solid and Wireframe rendering in bonzai3D – by Evan Troxel

Wireframe render section

Here’s an example of one of those stylistic renderings of 3d models where there’s a combination of solid and wireframe halves coming together at a section cut in the model. I’ve been doing this type of rendering for a long, long time1 and I thought I’d make a video showing you how to do it too. It’s a fairly easy process that involves your 3d modeling program and an image editor like Photoshop.

Once again, this is one of those things you can do in several different modelers but it’s one of the reasons I prefer working with solid models in Bonzai3d because when you cut through the model, the objects are automatically filled and the Clipping Planes make it easy to make this kind of imagery.

Now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what you can come up with. Maybe you can take it to the next level and make a sweeping, organic section cut through the model to make it even more dynamic.