A new browser-based 3D modeling tool has emerged: Leopoly. The new service presents simple-to-use methods of creating 3D objects.
Leopoly focuses on the community dimension: created objects are shared among the community, who can build new objects based on yours. Tweeting, posting and tagging ensure wide visibility of Leopoly creations.
Creating objects is quite straightforward. The 3D editor starts with an existing object, typically a simple shape like a sphere, which you can modify by pushing, pulling, smoothing and similar functions.
One feature we especially liked was the true 3D view. In the image above the model is shown in Red-Blue 3D format. If you happen to have a set of those goofy 3D color glasses like we do, you can actually see the object in true 3D.
While Leopoly offers simple editing, it doesn't have many features useful for 3D printing, at least at this time. You cannot, as far as we can tell, export a model in a format suitable for 3D printing. There are no functions for producing flat surfaces, often required for ensuring a fit to your 3D printer's bed. There is no way to specify sizing or dimensions. It's a free form tool with which you make simple organic objects.
Leopoly offers a beta test of their Windows non-browser version, which enables offline 3D modeling similar to the web version. We're hoping they include some key 3D printing features in future versions.