Feb.5, 2014

When Sixense showed off its MakeVR STEM motion controller at Maker Faire New York 2013, it was only a prototype. But it was already impressive. MakeVR is a user-friendly computer aided design program that allows everyone to easily create and sculpt 3D objects with their hands.

MakeVR is built around two key components: a 3D multi-touch interface and a professional-grade CAD engine. It includes the STEM System (with two controllers) as the input device, so non-designer civilians can just use natural hand gestures to build complex 3D models and manipulate objects, just like what you did in the real world.


Two STEM System Controllers (included with MakeVR)

"With two independently tracked hands in MakeVR, you can translate (move), scale, and rotate your environment in the same way you use 2D multi-touch on your smartphone, or tablet – but better." states the company. You can grab a point in space and drag the entire world around, you can also scale the environment up or down and rotate it in any direction.

When you're modeling in MakeVR, you also have access to a full suite of CAD functionality and Boolean tools, so you can "Cut; Join; Slice; Sweeps (by hand and along wires); Clone; Chamfer; Fillet; Asymmetrical scaling; Deformation; Mirror; Loft; Extrude" your models.

It also features Collaborate3D, a collaborative mode that allows up to five local or remote users to model together in real time within the same virtual environment. (Note: Collaborate3D is not included in the basic version of MakeVR).

For the more serious makers and professional modelers, MakeVR includes the precision tools for highly precise models including tessellation, healing, and hollowing. Jig kits can be snapped together in any configuration so that you can create complex models with precision.

MakeVR is compatible with the upcoming Oculus Rift head-mounted display. So if you combine MakeVR with Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset you could even navigate every angle of a 3D object and perfect each detail in a virtual world. You can go inside an object or passageway to get an ant's-eye view as you look around, surrounded on all sides by the object you are creating.

MakeVR gives people without any training or experience in 3D modeling the ability to create 3D prints. When your model is finished and ready to print, MakeVR allows you to save your file in .stl format and send it directly to any 3D printer, without any post-processing required. It has embedded Shapeways functionality so your model is automatically uploaded to your Shapeways account where you'll see a preview of what you're about to print and be presented with all the various material, color, and pricing options.

Sixense has just launched MakeVR on Kickstarter with a goal of $250,000. If you already owns a Hydra you can buy a basic version of MakeVR without controllers for $169. Basic version of MakeVR including STEM System (2 wireless controllers) costs $399. Pledge $259 you will receive the basic MakeVR with Collaborate3D included.

"The challenge of content creation is the critical barrier for consumers getting started with 3D printing," said Amir Rubin, co-founder of Sixense. "MakeVR will catalyze the consumer 3D printing market by providing the first powerful 3D modeling solution that is both affordable and easy to use."


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