After just under a year of beta testing and a Kickstarter funding campaign, Dutch tech company Doodle3D has fully released the first version of its “Transform” design application, with free user access. The online tool, aimed at those with little or no prior knowledge of 3D printing, allows the user to realise their designs on a split-screen interface. The user can create a 2D design on one side and edit the 3D result on the other before directly printing it.
Announcing its release, Doodle3D was keen to emphasise the differences between this method of design and primitive-based or voxel-based tools, which respectively use basic shapes and grid values for creating 3D models. Additional design features for the application include a “scan and trace” tool, which allows any photo taken by a device’s camera to be turned into a drawing with the help of an auto-tracer.
The Utrecht-based company was founded by designers Rick Companje (formerly of FabLab Amersfoort) and Niko van Dijk in 2013. The company has previously found success in crowdfunding their Doodle3D Wi-Fi box. While the box allowed wireless transfer from design application to printer, Doodle3D wished to address the limitations of the original application’s interface and its inability to communicate with 3D printing services like Shapeways and 3D Hubs. With the new Transform tool, the WiFi box is no longer necessary, and a .STL file can be directly exported to a printer, removing previous compatibility issues.
3D for all
Widening access to 3D printing technology for children and the elderly has been an focus of a number companies keen to broaden their customer base and apply their technologies to education. In 2014, printer company Ultimaker released their 3D printer DIY kit, designed to be simple enough to be assembled and operated by children, and to be compatible with the Doodle 3D Wi-Fi Box and app. Last year, both MakerBot and 3Dexter announced plans for a 3D printing education program for the Indian school curriculum. Outside the classroom, companies like Solidworks and Tinkercad continue to develop applications that allow children to turn their designs into 3D using voxel and primitive tools.
Featured image: Doodle3D Transform’s interface together with a printer.