At i.materialise we”re working hard to lower the barriers to design. We want 3D printing and by extension manufacturing to be available to as many people as possible. We”d like to let you make whatever you want to make. This is why we”ve partnered with GrabCAD to turn your drawings into 3D prints with Sketch to 3D.

3D printers can already make many things, and even though the technology does need to be improved as well as become cheaper the one thing that is holding 3D printing back is the inability of the vast majority of people to design. The greatest benefit to 3D printing will occur when easy to use creation tools let anyone create. This will shift the demand curve for the entire industry upward and add millions of new potential users for the technology.

Luckily there are people working on solutions to turn your thoughts into products. A very easy to use 3D modeling tool is Jayesh Salvi”s free 3Dtin. 3Dtin is very simple and lets you save and share the designs you make. The tool also lets you export your files for 3D printing.

Today we”ve learned that 3Dtin has a new competitor, Tinkercad, also free. This also works in the browser via OpenGL and is another easy to use CAD tool. Try out both tools, they”re fun and you should be up and running within a few minutes. Tinkercad is a bit harder to use than 3Dtin but has more features. With 3dtin, Tinkercad and Sketch to 3D you now have 3 easy to use tools that will let you make anything. Enjoy!

via Articstartup. Thanx Franky!

  • Theres also http://www.sculptris.com/ , not browser based but fantasicly easy for organic shapes.
    (it replicates having a kinda “clay”” interface).

    As a 3D artist myself (3dsmax mostly) I think the real barrier at the moment is actualy the interface rather then software complexity – many of the clicks I make are not to model, but to change the viewport so I can merely select something, or to move the camera to move something verticaly……we need many extra buttons and steps just to deal with the 3D using a 2D mouse and moniter.

    Now imagine this; Imagine if you had a augmented reality headset that put the model in front of you as if it was really there. Now imagine if it tracked your eyes and where they converged.
    You could model by merely looking at points where you imagine the object is.
    I think it would be incredibly easy for everyone then.

    Oh, theres also this lovely concept;
    http://www.branitvfx.com/worldbuilder/