You know when you stick your hand in a jar of jelly, you’re in for a sticky mess… but you do it anyway. Maybe you do it to entertain the kids, but really, there’s nothing quite like manipulating bits of gelatinous grape paste into odd and inventive shapes.

Interactive Fabrications is bringing you the same experience, only without the mess. They’ve developed a very simple interface to manipulate 3D geometry using multi-touch gestures via an iPad. It’s called Beautiful Modeler and I must say, it’s quite beautiful.

The model itself is presented on the main display rather than on the controller itself; this prevents occlusion of the model when sculpting with the whole hand. The controller screen does not need to be viewed while sculpting, meaning the controller can be rotated or flipped to sculpt from a range of angles.

So yeah, pretty basic, but an interesting take on controlling a solid and the manipulators within. It’s nothing exact and not too practical, but what they are able to do is save the models out as an .stl file, then send them off to a 3D printer. I’m thinking Christmas presents for all the family. They’ll love’em.

Source code available on the Beautiful Modeler website

via i.materialise


Josh is co-founder of EvD Media. He engineers and designs, is the Director of Marketing for Luxion, is CSWP certified for SolidWorks training and support and excels at falling awkwardly. He is editor of and co-host of, a weekly podcast about design, engineering and what makes it all happen.