Hands-On Design. For Real!

By on July 28th, 2009 in blog

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Josh at SolidSmack posts on a just-discovered video of a truly amazing development: using touch-screen multi-touch gestures to design a 3D model!

The software is from SpaceClaim Corp, makers of SpaceClaim Style, Engineer and Viewer. If you look closely in the HD version of the YouTube video, you’ll see they are demonstrating with SpaceClaim Engineer. According to their website:

SpaceClaim is the world’s fastest and most innovative 3D solid modeler. It gives engineers and industrial designers the freedom and flexibility to capture ideas easily, directly edit solid models regardless of their origin, and simplify designs for analysis, prototyping, and manufacturing.

SpaceClaim lets the extended design and engineering teams work concurrently, finish projects at a fraction of the cost, and accelerate time-to-market. You can edit 3D designs based on your intention, regardless of how the model was created, and experiment freely with design concepts, unrestricted by complex parameters and restraints.

Intuitive tools such as Pull and Move let you directly select portions of the model and put them where you want. The Combine tool slices divides parts into pieces and lets you merge in portions of other designs. The Fill tool cleans up small features and fills holes. Take designs where you want them to go without worrying about how to get there.

Strangely, there is little mention of touch tech on their site, yet the mysterious video ominously says “This Fall”.

As one commenter suggested, this isn’t really going to change 3D modeling much because you can do all that stuff with your keyboard and mouse already. So true – but this type of interface will be quite attractive to those who are NOT familiar with complex 3D tools today. We could imagine a company like Ponoko or Shapeways using this approach to widen their market by attracting another slice of less-technical customers.

Via YouTube, SpaceClaim, SolidSmack and Shapeways

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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