Online 3D modeling tool Clara.io is shutting down.
The online tool was created in 2013, and I first tried it way back in 2014. I haven’t used it for many years, which perhaps tells you something about why they are shutting down.
The tool is pretty comprehensive as far as 3D design goes, including a variety of creation features. It uses the CSG approach for modeling, and provides a number of base primitive solids to build with. Solids can be modified with tools like “mirror”, “symmetry”, “twist”, “taper”, etc.
Once a design has been created, it is possible to export it in a variety of formats, as shown here.
For 3D printing, the most useful format would be OBJ, which can be easily converted into STL or 3MF with other tools.
However, Clara.io was really targeted at the gaming market, with the idea of having users create 3D assets for use in games. There is quite a bit of emphasis on colors, lighting, rendering, etc., which are largely irrelevant to 3D printing applications.
That market is quite crowded with alternatives, and indeed even tools addressing 3D print needs are frequently found. It’s a very competitive environment.
This this week I received this notice from Clara.io:
“Hi Clara User,
This is a notice that we are retiring the Clara product and services on December 31, 2022.
If you have files that you would like to continue using, please download that content before December 31, 2022 because it will not be available after.
We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for using Clara.
Clara Admin Team”
It doesn’t provide a lot of information, but more than likely the company is simply giving up after nine years, having not grown sufficiently.
Competition is tough, and it’s very challenging to compete against so many rivals, some of which are extremely well-funded and have alliances with bigger players.