What if you could stick suction cups on your oculars and move models around on the screen with your eyeballs? Yeah, and, what if you could stick suction cups on your chest, hands, neck and elbows to do the same thing? Oh yeah. Well, what if… you didn’t need suction cups… BOO.YAH.

We’ve talked about Microsoft’s Project Natal making your 3D CAD hands dance, but what about Apple? Houston Neal from Manufacturing Software Advice has some ideas and shows one way your massive brain cage could harness 3D.

You may have heard about Apple’s 3D head tracking patent last month. So how do you think it would look if used with a 3D CAD program? or… How would you look sitting at your desk, trying to see around your model? Like this…

Yes, the CAD program on the screen is indeed Autodesk Inventor. Inventor on a Mac? Not quite yet. The Inventor screen is super-imposed on the Mac. Currently, you’ll have to use NX, Rhino or Ashlar products to whip up native models in a Mac.

Step away from the Keyboard

Hands-free control really doesn’t seem the most practical, but as this tech develops, we could apply a few attributes of this interaction to the 3D designs we currently create using chunky keyboards and mice. The best part in this video is the few seconds at the end where it shows the person switching from using their body to rotate the model, to using their hands to rotate the model. It’s little aspects like that, which make you wonder how software and hardware will work to differentiate the body from the hands (or other objects) to provide a intuitive and easy-to-live-in 3D environment. I’m convinced the worst thing that could happen is your models having spasms along with your muscles as you revive them from your current keyboard-mouse atrophy.


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, 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.