Despite the growing number of potential solutions, 3D modeling still is not easy. And with the growing convergence of VR, AR, 3D printing, and 3D scanning, it’s essential that the skill be made more accessible for general users to take advantage of these exciting technologies. Fortunately, there’s a promising new app from Gravity Sketch that may empower an even larger number of people to begin 3D modeling. And it’s just been been launched for iPad.
Gravity Sketch is an amazing and intuitive app that allows just about anyone to begin 3D modeling with no prior experience. Unlike TinkerCAD, which gives users simple primitives with which to construct models, Gravity Sketch uses the power of doodling. With a variety of simple, but powerful tools and brushes, users draw on their iPads using only their fingers. Instantly, 3D lines and shapes begin appearing on the screen, suggesting that, if you can sketch, you can 3D model.
Gravity Sketch cofounder Oluwaseyi Sosanya speaks about the inspiration for their software, saying, “As a team of designers working at the Royal College of Art, we used to get so frustrated with the existing software packages when it comes to 3D printing anything at all.” Gravity Sketch has since evolved from a project by a group of art students to a full-fledged startup, taken up by the James Dyson foundation, InnovationRCA and Founder.org.
Now, their app is ready for the world at large. Through a partnership with Shapeways, models designed in Gravity Sketch fan be ordered directly as 3D printed objects. Pieter Limburg, Head of Business Development at Shapeways, said of the app, “As 3D printing becomes more accessible to the public, there needs to be an easy, fun way for anyone to create 3D models. Gravity Sketch has huge potential to get more people into 3D modeling because it is intuitive and enabling for everyone. By bringing down a common barrier many people face, the 3D printing industry will continue to grow and we’ll see even more amazing 3D printed products come from this.”
And, via Sketchfab, users can share their models online with Sketchfab’s growing 3D model sharing community. Alban Denoyel, Co-founder & CEO of Sketchfab, commented, “As ways to consume 3D content are exploding with mega trends like VR, AR and 3D printing, there is a growing need for super easy ways to create 3D content. Gravity Sketch is beautifully answering that need, by offering a very intuitive way to sketch in 3D with a touch screen. We are very excited to get integrated in this great app as a publishing and sharing solution”.
While Gravity Sketch has already been set up with the 3D printing community in mind, the startup is also in the process of expanding its use for VR and AR. The company explains that the app is in beta testing for the Oculus Rift and in alpha testing for augmented reality. Pierre Paslier, of Graivty Sketch, explains how all of these areas will require simple 3D modeling by saying, “Gravity Sketch is on a mission to lower the barriers to 3D literacy, the ability to create and manipulate 3D content. With the lowering price of 3D printing, and the rise of virtual reality, our team really believes that 3D literacy is the key to the future for science, creativity and entertainment.”
The app can already be downloaded on iTunes and the Gravity Sketch team has uploaded what seems like an infinite number of tutorials to guide users through the creation of both simple and more complex objects. I don’t know about you, but I think I’ve found something to do all weekend.