It almost never fails. You find a nice secluded beach, a tree deep in the forest, or a pile of shredded newspaper to call your own, when suddenly, giant color blobs of 3D start appearing around you. It would be ok, except for one thing… the person creating the color blobs is YOU.

You’re doing it with Scrawl from augmented reality phenom group, String. Scrawl is a new app (releasing in the next couple months) that allows you to layer 3D sketches on top of your environment with nothing but your meaty nub. Here’s a fast look at how it’s happening and what 3D real-time AR design may be like in… the future.

Scrawl is powered by String, and the app is built in Unity 3D. It took one programmer just two days to build and another two or three to tweak.

Real-time 3D Design?

Whatcha think? Part of what we do with our 3D modeling programs is contextual, but many times we’re missing that context or have to build it from scratch. That takes time. Being able to utilize your surroundings, or literally bang ideas against the head of others could have some very nice outcomes. For one, you’ll get the sense of scale. You’ll also be more likely to come across issues that could mess with fit or functionality of the design – something that should be left until the the product is manufactured.

Mobile may not be the most practical approach to design, but you gotta admit that being able to take the model on site, whether it’s in the shop or in it’s own environment, is dang attractive if you don’t have to re-create that environment.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.