When you’re thinking about squeezing those mashed taters between your fingers and your elbow skin starts to flare, it usually means one thing. You have a hankering for some completely unfettered week-night sculpting insanity. Now, you have quite a few options out there, the newest of which is Cubify Sculpt. 3D Systems announced the new program as part of their Cubify community site which offers up 3D printing and 3D printers.
Last week we saw SketchFab’s web-based sculpting tool SculptFab hit the web, an app based on open source sculpting software. Cubify Sculpt is based on “3D Systems’ volumetric CAD engine” which means Geomagic Freeform, the voxel technology acquired from the Sensable 3D Design and Haptics Businesses in April of 2012. In fact, you’ll find reference to the Geomagic/Sensable patent in the Cubify Sculpt About info.
With Cubify Sculpt you can start with a preset primative (cube, sphere, cylinder, cone) or import .stl, .obj, .ply or .cly (clay) format. You can also export the same formats along with ZCorp .zcp, Actify .3D and KeyShot .bip. The interface has your basic sculpt tools– sculpt, stretch, smooth, smudge, emboss, tug and mirror with draw, pipe, emboss along curve to help guide your shaping tool. Cubify Sculpt won’t give you the capabilities of higher end software like ZBrush or modo, but at $129, it’s a good intro software for producing 3D geometry on the fly.
For 3D Systems this continues their content-to-print plans, laying a clear path from ideation to creation. It also get’s the idea across that they are a better solution to make that happen. Think about it. What 3D software developer can say they have a grip on the entire product development process from modeling (software) to printing (hardware). None. None in the traditional manufacturing sense or the new ‘manufacturing revolution’ sense. That’s not to say 3D Systems isn’t lacking. They’ve got the platform covered, the software covered, the hardware covered–you could do it all online… if you didn’t need file management or large amounts of storage.
That’s where the other 3D software companies become more relevant, Autodesk among the rest. Autodesk has the 123D platform with the software that sits in the same niche. They bring in file management, file storage and increase options with cloud-based services. However, that’s all part of the separate Autodesk 360 platform, plus they lack machines. I surmised in the past that Autodesk may consume Makerbot, but as we know, that prize has gone to Stratasys, a company grounded in 3D printing equipment and service. For an exclusive product development workflow to work the platform is paramount, the software and the hardware are integral. All should work together. 3D System has all the components in place, now they can start integrating their acquisitions and extending the capability–which they’ve already begun to do. The all-in-one development pipeline. It’s a direction we’re heading toward more each day and 3D Systems sits out in front.