I personally own three different 3D printers. I actually use all of them, and they all certainly come in handy when I need to 3D print several objects at once, or when I am in a hurry. Even so, I always feel that I’m not utilizing the technology to its full extent. I would love to be able to spend some time learning the various CAD softwares out there so that I could model my own objects and show them off in the physical world.
Over the last year, since we’ve launched 3DPrint.com, I have met a countless number of people who feel pretty much the same. At the same time, software has been progressing exponentially, and new more intuitive tools are becoming available. This has me extremely excited!
One such tool has just been unveiled, called Smoothie-3D. No, this isn’t a software which figures out the perfect ingredients for that smoothie you make after the gym, but instead a software which claims to make the 3D modeling process as ‘smooth’ as butter. Best of all, it’s 100% free!
“One of the highest bars to entry to 3D printing is learning how to make 3D models,” states Smoothie-3D. “Aside from buying a printer and learning how to make it work, creating something of your own, worth printing, is a whole other software and skills to learn.”
The main concept behind the Smoothie-3D software is its intuitive modeling capabilities. Users can load in images, quickly draw an outline of the various parts of that image, and almost immediately turn any 2D photo into a 3D dimensional model, ready to be printed. As you can see from the video below, the process is incredibly intuitive, placing the power of three dimensional modeling into the hands of anyone with a computer and a mouse.
- Use a background image for designing and texturing, turning it into a 3D model
- Import 3D models from STL or OBJ files
- Export models to STL, OBJ, VRML
- Send models to Shapeways, Thingiverse or i.materialise
- Symmetry management system
- Modeling from strokes
- Smooth shape design, extrusion, revolution, text and classic primitives
- Easily subtract shapes from any model
- Ability to subdivide and smooth models
The software is available for download at the company’s website, and although I have yet to try it out, it seems quite impressive judging by the video demonstrations posted online. Let us know if you have downloaded it yet, and what your thoughts are of it. Check out the additional video of the software in action below:
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