Rocksolver article in Sketchucation

One of the editors (Mike Lucey) of the Sketchucation newsletter kindly wrote an article about Rocksolver. It’s in Edition 18 here

Rocksolver Sketchucation Sketchup Catchup Edition 18

Sketcucation has 190,000 members and it’s a community-driven info site for the 30 million users of Sketchup.

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Rocksolver beta released

Rocksolver is now good enough and fast enough to solve some 2D packing problems like paving.

Below is an example of a Rocksolver layout in the virtual Sketchup world (you can get this model for free from the Intresto collection on 3dwarehouse) and below that a couple of sample solutions to packing irregular-shaped and regular-shaped 2D objects.


If you’d like to take part in the beta testing then get in touch via our contact form ( and I’ll let you know how the process works.

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3D model from 2D photos – 123D Catch from AutoDesk

The world of photogrammetry (or photoscanning) has come a long way in a short time. Last week I took 36 photos of some rocks on a beach in Royal National Park just south of Sydney and used 123D Catch to create a 3D model.

You can see a video of the model from the point of view of a camera flying around it here on YouTube

A few of the photos and the 3D model displayed in MeshLab are shown below.

photos_3D_model_in_MeshLab_from_123D_Catch_RocksolverThe good thing for Rocksolver is that this type of technology can be used to update the shape of the rock structure as it is being built so that cumulative errors are avoided in our rock-packing algorithm.

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Augmented Reality + Rocksolver = Augmented Ability

Imagine this:

You are building a rock wall and the safety glasses you are wearing have an in-built Augmented Reality (AR) display which shows you which rock to put in the wall and where to put it. So what you see would look something like this:


Just a few years ago that sounded like science fiction but now it’s close to reality with companies like the Sydney-based Explore Engage who are right on the cutting edge of this technology. Check the AR glasses they are developing here:


With AR glasses the builder of a dry-stone wall or a stone cottage will have their hands free to follow the Rocksolver lay-out plan. In addition to the enhanced ability of being able to quickly place rocks in favourable positions Rocksolver will also conduct a detailed structural stability analysis to ensure the structure meets engineering specifications.

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Rocksolver enters Ecomagination competition

I’ve entered Rocksolver in the Ecomagination competition for low carbon solutions. You can see the Rocksolver page on the Ecomagination site here or by clicking on the image below.

or if that link doesn’t work you can search for Rocksolver here

When you are viewing the Rocksolver page on the Ecomagination site you’ll see a big, friendly “support this idea” button. If you are brave and if the sign-up procedure is not too daunting click on the button and leave a comment.

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Rocksolver – coming soon video

I used PowToon’s free trial to create the animation and Freelancer to find a voice-over for this video to introduce Rocksolver and let people know it’s coming soon.



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Rocksolver semi-finalist in Australian Clean Tech Open

The Commonwealth Government has funded a competition to find the best new clean tech company in Australia then send them to the world finals of the Clean Tech Open competition in the US.

Rocksolver was chosen as one of the 30 semi-finalists who are now preparing a Business Plan for judging. All semi-finalists go to Melbourne in October to pitch to investors at the Clean Tech Open investment showcase and to exhibit our wares at the FutureBuild conference and expo.

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