Benjamin Nortier of London is our hero. Why? He's taken on a huge challenge: create a 3D modelling program that everyone can use. He's performed an analysis of available 3D modeling tools and came to pretty much the same conclusion we did: tools are too hard, too expensive or not usable for solid modeling. What's he doing about it? He's creating a fully functional, easy-to-use, browser-based 3D modeling tool: "I'm building a WebGL modelling tool for 3D printing".
After acquiring a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic, he realized he'd have problems creating models and decided on these goals for the new tool:
- Accessible. It is open source and permissive so it will be accessible in terms of price and you can use it in your company. It runs in a standards-based browser so it will be accessible in term of device and operating system. It must be able to run in a school in a rural village with limited internet connectivity.
- Powerful. It must be built on a strong solid geometry foundation that uses boundary representation (BRep) to represent solid models. These models are mathematically complex and support advanced geometry operations, which is good for adaptability and longevity of the tool.
- Modern. What I mean by modern is that it must be internet-ready, it must have a RESTful API to allow others to integrate into their systems, and allow innovation. It must be part of, or lead to, an open ecosystem.
We're going to keep watching this one; it could be quite exciting.