Learning how to design in 3D is notoriously intimidating, which is why so many programs have arisen that promise to make it as easy as drawing a picture. Paint 3D recently came out with the new Windows 10 update, allowing users to create 3D models as easily as they’d scribble a picture in Paint. Then there are tools like the Yeehaw Wand, which adds an extra layer to the 3D modeling process with augmented reality.
The Yeehaw Wand is an AR tool that resembles a multicolored wooden spoon. Open up an app on your phone or tablet, hold the wand in front of the camera, and begin drawing with it in midair; your drawing will appear on the screen in front of you, superimposed on your actual surroundings. The Yeehaw Wand comes with a 360-degree plate that allows you to rotate your design in front of you, add detail from any angle, and see it in full 3D. Once you’re satisfied with your design, you can send the file to the Yeehaw team, who will 3D print it for you, or you can 3D print it yourself or send it to any service bureau.
Currently, the Yeehaw Wand is raising money on Kickstarter, and it’s doing quite well. It has reached and surpassed two times its $25,000 goal with more than a month left; the creative, fun idea has clearly appealed to a large number of people.
“During our campaign for the Yeehaw 3D printer last year, we found that a lot of users were really interested in this new technology, but didn’t have the skills to build their own models,” said Yeehaw CEO Paul Wang.
The Yeehaw 3D printer is part of the Kickstarter campaign as well: for a pledge of $399, you can get your own 3D printer along with the Yeehaw Wand and 360-degree plate. That’s an early bird reward, and there are still several left; there’s also an early bird reward of the Yeehaw Wand itself for $99. There are also several add-on options including a phone or tablet dock, a travel bag, and an iPad stand.
The augmented reality part of the tool is courtesy of Sketchfab, whose AR technology is integrated into the app. One of the neat things about the AR capabilities is that they allow you to customize items like jewelry by actually drawing them onto another person – even eyeglasses can be perfectly fit to someone’s face by directly drawing them onto the person. You’d have to have pretty good drawing skills to actually get them even, but the possibility is there.
The Yeehaw Wand and accompanying app offer the following features:
- 2D multi touch screen gestures
- 360 degree 3D rotation
- Scaling – zoom in and out
- Mirror image strokes
- 2D fixed-plane boundary
- Color and size spectrum
- 3D mesh pre-designs
Yeehaw is building an open API for outside developers, as well, allowing them to create and integrate their own apps and services for the device.
This is Yeehaw’s second successful crowdfunding campaign; last year the company introduced the Yeehaw 3D printer via Indiegogo. The 3D printer was designed specifically for children – safe, easy to use, and affordable. It won the German Red Dot Design Award last year, and although it was made to be kid-friendly, it’s suitable for adults as well, as the Yeehaw Wand Kickstarter campaign points out; designs created with the Yeehaw Wand can be sent directly to the 3D printer.
There are still several early bird rewards left in the Kickstarter campaign, which is running until January 14th. The Yeehaw Wand is a creative, fun approach to 3D modeling that allows beginners to create in 3D without having experience and skills in traditional 3D software – and even if you’re experienced in 3D modeling, you can still have some fun with augmented reality.
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