Grant Diffendaffer

Design. Make. Educate.

Are you enjoying Autodesk Memento? Now is your chance to give some feedback to the development team via the Stanford Creative Ignition Lab.

We would be grateful if you would Take the Survey.

What might you do with Memento? I modeled these giant freighters automatically from just 150 photos:

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This video was created automatically by Memento by setting “Key Frame” views for the camera to fly though (an option presenting opportunity to filmakers and animators). Video can be exported at ultra high resolution (up to 4K).

The original model was a carved wooden horse. I used the photogrammetry option in Memento, to make an automatic 3D digital recreation from a collection of photos. Once the model has been generated, the user can export video or still images, directly 3D print, or send the model to digital sculpting software or CAD.

Here are a few examples of the various views available to you for Memento 3D models. Note the shift between Textured (layered with photo detail), Wireframe (displaying polygonal surface geometry), and Solid (white with shadows).

Have you tried Memento yet? It’s free, and the Stanford Creative Ignition Lab is asking for your feedback.




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I’ve been having a great time viewing and downloading models of the ancient artifacts that have been  3D scanned and posted at Smithsonian 3D and African Fossils.  I can’t wait to print this lion skull.  Great stuff to mash-up into my own 3D designs.  Reality computing and 3D viewing is coming to an internet near you!  What do you plan to do with digital 3D? Did you know that you can make your own 3D models from photos?  Check out Memento and let me know what you think!

by anvesoft
on Sketchfab


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I am in the midst of a thrilling new project involving 3D scanning and reality computing.  I’ve been selected to join the Innovators Program of the Stanford Creative Ignition Lab. Our mission is to explore developing technologies such as reality capture and augmented reality as they relate to the creative process and to innovate real world solutions.

As it happens, I have been using the core technology for some time in my own creative work.  The lab is hosted at Autodesk, where we have been exploring the use of a piece of Beta-stage software called Memento.  Currently available as a free download, Memento allows users of minimal technical ability to create photo-realistic 3D models using either plain photos or data from a digital scanner as input.

Since I don’t have a 3D scanner yet, I have been a heavy user of the photogrammetry features.  If you are not familiar with photogrammetry, it is the use of cross-referencing of two or more photos to infer distance measurements to and between every visable point in the photos. It is a technique that has long been used to manually calculate the location of geographic survey points and it has now been adapted to create detailed and accurate 3D models that can be used for digital fabrication, animation, and much more.

You may remember the bronze belt buckle I made for my friend Dan–the one with his face superimposed on a foreboding cityscape with lightning in the background.  I created the model of his face using 17 hastily captured photos and the “Create 3D” photo function in Memento.  To that I added a few sketch-up models for the cityscape and combined the whole thing in Zbrush. Finally, I brought the whole model back into Memento to use it’s automated mesh repair to ensure that my model was 3D printable.

So where do you come in?  We at the Stanford Creative Ignition Lab want your input!  Download Memento for free and try it out!  Send me an email at and let me know if you like it or not.  We would love to follow up with you with a brief survey to gather your opinions.

What would you use Memento for?  Let us know!  What features would you like to see in Memento? Please tell us!

I’ll be posting a bit more about Memento, but for now I’ll leave you with a bit of media.  Here is a model I made of a carved wooden lizard that you can navigate in 3D and even download to 3D print:

Here is a shot of the 3D printed lizard–after only two simple operations in Memento:
Printed Lizard
Here is a video of the Fox Theater in Oakland which has been automatically generated from within Memento:

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Storied Haven at Black Rock City, 2015.

Storied Haven at Black Rock City, 2015.

A few months ago I posted some teasers on the new Five Ton Crane project, Storied Haven.  Thanks to Bree Hylkema for envisioning this wonder and leading us down the path to construction.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to our fund raising and especially for all the hard work, raw talent, and blood sweat and tears that enabled us to step in to this story book fantasy.  The boot house is two stories tall, but countless stories deep.  A glimpse of that lays on the bookshelf, a beautiful walnut piece by Gomez.  Dozens of carved out art books contain fanciful dioramas and hidden wonders, and the whole house is replete with storybook ephemera:

There is a stove of course, with a whole family of gingerbread cookies.

Boot Upstairs


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It’s been a bit since Maker Faire now and my plans to launch a kickstarter for Steadcraft are simmering on the back burner for a bit while summer plans take precedence.  I have built out quite an assortment of earrings in fine silver, bronze, and copper, as well as a nice looking round of bronze and steel married metal earrings.  Mostly I’m judging my success by my ability to re-create a single design in all three metals and to have very few pieces lost to breakage, which happens both when the delicate earrings are in their fragile bone-dry state before firing, as well as when I hammer them to their final domed form.  It’s very frustrating to break pieces–especially when they came out of the kiln looking beautiful and I pound them with a hammer and dapping punch and they break.  You know–like I couldn’t just leave well enough alone?  It’s an instructive lesson though.  I don’t want to be sending out something so fragile that it breaks from regular use.  Hammering the metal work-hardens it, forms it, and if it breaks, either alerts me to a design defect or an under-fired kiln load.  At this point I just have to fill in a few missing pieces and I will have a full set of earrings ready to go.  Have a look:

As I mentioned previously, there are other designs in the works for Steadcraft–belt buckles, pins, cuffs, pendants, and more.  As with most prototyping processes, Accomplishing a design and prototyping plan on schedule can be a challenge on limited time and resources–but it is happening little by little as I can find time for it.  As far as that goes–I don’t have any time at all for the next six weeks so it will have to wait.  I may pare back on the designs I initially plan to offer–or given a bit of time might have them in time for the holidays along with the rest of the line.

When you see some of what I’ve been working on outside of Steadcraft, you will understand my diversion (plus everybody has to pay the bills right?).  In addition to some construction and fabrication work, I have been putting time into the Storied Haven project, set to debut in just weeks.  Stay tuned for more on Steadcraft, Storied Haven, and my other project, Star Star Roadhouse, after That Thing in The Desert.



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Glad to be featured in this article about the Maker Faire this weekend!

via Make

fashion maker faire collageMF15BA_Badge

Designers are always pushing the boundaries with fashion and the place to see this happening is Maker Faire Bay Area. Every year there is always something interesting to see. People are continuously experimenting with new ways to upcycle old clothing and incorporate technology into designs that stretch the imagination.

Last year, fashiontech designer Anouk Wipprecht dazzled the crowd when she showed off her Faraday cage dress while engaging the Tesla coils onstage. This year, there will be plenty of fascinating fashion that you won’t want to miss. Check out this collection of 10+ fun exhibits and make sure you add them to your list so you don’t pass them by.


Wearable technology is evolving rapidly and Maker Faire Bay Area 2015 is the place to see the new and interesting creations people are designing. To make it easier on attendees, there will be an exhibition of wearable tech from makers, artists, designers, researchers, and inventors. Expand your knowledge on how technology can enhance fashion with the different clothes and accessories that will be on display at the Imagining Wearables Showcase.


MetaWear co-founder Laura Kassovic was inspired to combine her love for sewing and soldering to create fun wearables. If you want to be able to try out, touch, and play with new wearable tech, then you’ll want to make sure to check them out at the faire. MetaWear is going to show off many awesome projects including heated hoodies, headbands that let you know when you have received a traumatic blow, light-up and neopixel jewelry, and a sun hat that knows when you need to re-apply sunscreen. Make sure to check them out if you want to hear more about what they have done and how you can make your own wearables.


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Annika Lo has been a maker since she was just a toddler. When she was only six years old, she received the book Fashioning Technology which sparked an interest in soft circuits that has only grown over time. Her exhibit will consist of various pieces of clothing that she designed and sewed herself. She combines soft-circuits and lights powered by Lilypad Arduinos to make some pretty fun creations.


Sunol Glen School Trashion Collective first started during Earth Week in 2007. They had see Trashion shows popping up all over and were inspired to start a group of their own. They have since grown exponentially and become an annual group of K-8th graders that creates fashion from trash. They concentrate on reusing, designing, mathematics, engineering, fashion construction, and have recently explored using trash plastics in 3D printing. What started as a one time event has blossomed into something bigger because of the enthusiasm it generated in its participants. Last year they took part in the Maker Faire’s TrasHion Show and they plan to do it again this year. Make sure you stop by to check them out and be inspired.



Tatiana Elliston has been combining technology and fashion since 2006. She has made quite a name for herself since and is an award winning Bay Area fashion designer. She has a background in engineering and her experience has enabled her to make many amazing fashion designs that incorporate EL wire and LEDs. With small battery backs hidden in pockets, she is able to light up the runways with her illuminating designs. At Maker Faire, Elliston will be showing off her original costumes and accessories.



Scatha G. Allison has been participating in the Bay Area Maker Faire since 2006. Previously, Allison has found great inspiration in the energy and enthusiasm that the Maker Faire generates. Over the years, she has participated in various fashion and trashion shows, vending, booths, and presentations. She is excited to return to the faire to show off her new clothing line: Miss Velvet Cream. With her neo-couture clothing, she wants to show off her new designs that incorporate upcycled clothing and unusual materials including plastics and organic matter. Make sure to stop by to see what she has been up to.



Rajee Shah is only 14 years old, but she has already accomplished so much. In December of 2013, she started a (unregistered) non-profit organization calledTo Green And Beyond. Rajee has always loved making and it was when she started making paper earrings that she discovered what she wanted to pursue: upcycling. She began making her jewelry from recycled materials and decided to focus on the green aspect of jewelry making. From the money she earned when she participated in Maker Faire last year she was able to sponsor a girl from Tech Trek. This year, she is hoping to earn even more so she will be able to sponsor another.  


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Two great California-based companies will be showing off their fashionable leather accessories at Maker Faire this year: The Future of Festival Fashion and Steampunk Hatter.

The two inspiring people behind The Future of Festival Fashion are Arianna Feldman and Trevor Tarin, also known as the Mad Hatter. Along with their small team of Makers, they have been showing off their signature leather top hats, festival belts, and feather adornments at Burning Man, the Edwardian Ball, and numerous music festivals around America. Now, they are back to show off their amazing creations at this year’s Maker Faire.

Steampunk Hatter is the steampunk line from a bigger company: Head ‘N Home. This group truly is family-based as it all started with dad, Gary Watrous, and has grown to include more of the family including Uncle Lee, son (Garth), daughter (Heather aka Mack), and mom (Merry-Lee). Their Steampunk brand was born in 2010 when Mack started designing and developing the steampunk style. Her fresh outlook “catapulted Head ‘N Home forward into the past century.”



Judi Morales Gibson is a indie designer, firm believer in recycling, and creator of Cinder Gardens Steampunk Designs. For over 10 years, she has attended Burning Man where she has found inspiration for her upcycled steampunk clothing. She creates stunning designs using no new fabrics. She designs both clothing and accessories for men, women, and children. Some of her most popular items include Utila-Bustles, Bedsheet Bloomers, and Upcycled Wraps. She has also recently introduced quality top hats into her collection. Make sure to stop by and check out her affordably chic designs.



Grant Diffendaffer has been fascinated with ornamental, wearable arts for a long time. He enjoys combining digital technology with handcrafted designs by utilizing 3D printing, CNC embroidery, metal clay, and natural materials. At his Maker Faire booth he will be selling products and giving demonstrations of their Printrbot 3D printer, moldmaking process, and CNC embroidery machine. He’s going to have a lot to share, so make sure you don’t miss out.



You can’t have a post about fashion at Maker Faire Bay Area without mentioning the Swap-O-Rama-Rama. It is a huge clothing swap that encourages people to upcycle their used clothing into something new and amazing. This year there will be workshops by local designers to teach you fun and exciting ways to make old fashions new again. Make sure to check out the different presentations and demonstrations so you can make the most of what you have and don’t miss out on the Maker Faire’s TrasHion Show which will feature fun upcycled fashions by local designers of all ages.

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People have been asking how I model my jewelry.  In the old days it was by hand with polymer clay.  Now I mostly use digital clay, and my favorite software is Zbrush.  Have a look at this magnetic locking clasp that I have been working on for a few months.  I think this is the final design.  It’s going to print right now, and I hope to plan to have it in bronze by the time Maker Faire rolls around ( 3 days!?!?).

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