3D Printing

3D Systems Stitches Digital 3D Printing Thread with Haptic Stylus, VR Game, and $50k Challenge

In addition to the breaking news that 3D Systems has acquired botObjects, as a means of releasing their CubePro C full-color 3D printer, the 3D printing leader also announced the new Touch Haptic 3D Stylus and SDK. The Touch, which is priced at $599, is accompanied by Cubify Sculpt to yield 3D models, designed with the power of haptic touch.

3D systems haptic stylus for 3D printing and virtual reality

Haptic devices offer a breakthrough method for experiencing the digital world. Responding to feedback from the user, the Touch makes users feel as though they are pushing, pulling, twisting, and poking virtual objects. Still, the haptic revolution and its connection mixed reality is only just beginning. To push the movement forward, developers can register to use the Touch SDK through 3D Systems’ new Developer’s Portal.

Peter Theran, Vice President of Global Consumer Products at 3DS, said of the haptic tool, “We are absolutely thrilled to introduce our new TouchTM haptic 3D stylus, a powerful and affordable perceptual tool for the benefit of all gamers, artist and designers.”

The Touch, however, won’t be solely used for 3D modeling and design. 3D Systems has its eye on the connection between the virtual and physical worlds, often described by the company as the “digital thread.” To showcase the possibilities of their haptic device, the company will be allowing CES visitors to play a virtual reality demo game called HapStack.

Developed by the Art School of Glasgow, Digital Design Studio via the OpenHaptics Software Development Kit (SDK), HapStack combines the Oculus Rift VR headset with the Touch to allow players to travel to Mars. The game is offered as a free download when purchasing the Touch, but, if you’re at CES, you can play the game as part of a live completion at the 3DS booth, #72225. Those with the top score at the end of each day will win a Sense 3D scanner.

3DS hopes to further develop their digital thread by partnering with TopCoder. Together, the two will launch a TopCoder challenge series to reward developers who can design Touch apps related to everything from medical and jewelry design to virtual gaming, art, and education. The challenge series will see over $50,000 in prizes go to those that can bridge the gap between the virtual and the physical, as the challenges will focus on haptics, VR, and 3D printing.

Narinder Singh, President of Topcoder, said of the partnership, “3D printing, virtual reality and haptics are three new technologies that are having a profound impact on our personal and professional lives. Topcoder is excited to help 3D Systems democratize digital design and application development by leveraging our global crowdsourcing community to generate creative ideas and quickly connect to the right talent.”

If you aren’t lucky enough to attend, you can watch all that 3DS will be exhibiting at CES through a broadcast with Avi, scheduled for 4:00 PM EST on Tuesday, January 6, 2015.