Everyone's now aware of 3D printing, but to print something, you need a CAD model. For people who want to learn 3D modleing themselves, the learning curve for an average 3D modeling software is anywhere from several hundred hours to weeks.
Kenan O'Keefe, a recent graduate student from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and a long time CAD/3D Printing user has developed Honeycomb, a free, parametric CAD that let you instantly create robust 3D models.
Similar to expensive programs like Inventor and Solidworks, Honeycomb allows you to draw 2D sketches and turn them into 3D models with features like Extrude and Revolve. Honeycomb is also striving to create a feature-tree like work environment where you can go back and edit the mathematical steps you took to create you model. 3D models on Honeycomb will be able to be downloaded locally as an STL, or uploaded to popular 3DP services like Shapeways and Thingiverse.
"My story begins 9 years ago in high school when I discovered CAD and 3D Printing as the perfect tool for my desire to build things." says Kenan. "Thankfully for me, my school had amazing resources for students to access CAD/3DP in a pre-engineering track. I took advantage all four years and learned AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor. I enjoyed using these robust, parametric CAD tools for school and personal projects, but I was sad to discover that after my graduation my student licenses were going to expire."
"I looked at my options post-graduation and I was stuck between paying up to thousands for advanced programs like Solidworks, or using free CAD applications like SketchUp that for me, are too primitive. I found many other individuals in a similar position and I saw a growing need for accessible and robust CAD modeling to compliment the boom in desktop 3D Printing.
"While in graduate school at Carnegie Mellon last year, I conceived the idea to solve this problem myself through utilizing a new technology that allows 3D rendering in the browser called WebGL. Over the last 3 months I have developed a prototype of Honeycomb - a free, parametric CAD program that runs right in your browser."
Watch the demo video of the prototype below:
You can currently sign up for access to the pending Beta program at honeycomb3d.com. Honeycomb will be completely free to use and users will be able to purchase extended features and functionality. Kenan is currently searching for a fellow technical co-founder and seeking initial seed funding.
"I want Honeycomb to allow students and "Tinkerers" like myself to be able to build both creatively and collaboratively. We are in an exciting time with the growth in personal manufacturing revolution, and Honeycomb wants to give you the CAD tools to make it happen." says Kenan.
Posted in 3D Software
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