Sep 26, 2014 | Alec

Anyone who has ever developed a 3D printed object from start to finish, will likely agree that it isn't something for the IT-illiterates out there. Not only do you require the necessary hardware for the actual printing, you also need to be quite handy at designing realistic and printable renderings of whatever your imagination cooked up. This, above all, takes a lot of time to realize. If 3D printers had a smart function that could transform Paint-doodles into actual objects, everyone would be currently doing it.

However, something not unlike such a smart function has just launched on Kickstarter. For this week, the guys behind the Ohio-based company Tangible Solutions launched an ambitious crowdfunding campaign for a very interesting idea: the Pango App. They hope to raise the considerable sum of $100,000 over a period of sixty days for this app, that seeks to greatly simplify the designing, scanning and printing phases of the additive manufacturing process.

For those of you who don't know Tangible Solutions, it's a high-rising, ambitious company from Beavercreek, Ohio that offers services in rapid prototyping, concept development, product development, 3D modelling and 3D printing. And they've been very successful at it; having started out as a garage-based team of hobbyists Charlie Fox and Chris Collins, Tangible Solutions has since grown to a legitimate and innovative business within a year that is turning some heads.

And now they hope to be paving the way for the next steps through this promising application. Just like their core business itself, Pango intends to offer additive manufacturing services to those lacking the skill, experience or time for CAD design and 3D modelling. Aimed at inexperienced hobbyists, entrepreneurs and smaller businesses who lack the necessary hardware, this idea is particularly promising.

This is how it works: Pango is a smartphone or tablet application that can process simple sketches and ideas into 3D models within hours. As they explained on their Kickstarter, 'you simply draw anything you want in our notebook and send it to us using our mobile app. Next, our team will start your project on its journey to be 3D printed.'

Taking the customer's sketch and instructions – however vague these might be – the team behind Tangible Solutions will then design 3D models based on them, and return the results through their Augmented Reality Software. 'Taking your smart phone or iPad and viewing the drawing you made in the Inventor's Notebook will activate a 3D model on the device. You review your 3D model and submit any changes. Once your happy with your 3D model, we will 3D print your design, in one of our nine colors, and ship to you.'

The Pango process in a nutshell.

Pango is thus effectively aiming to bring 2D drawings and doodles to life right in front of your eyes, while the revision stage will allow you to guide and alter the designs. Not only will this allow inexperienced hobbyists to engage with the possibilities of 3D scanning and printing, outsourcing the rendering phase to Pango can also save a lot of time.

Furthermore, the Pango service will also function as a '3D printer on demand' for people lacking the necessary hardware themselves. Objects can be printed on the company's two brand-new Stratasys UPrint SE Plus 3D printers. Through this service can be printed in eight different colors (and grey as the ninth one).

Their brand-new 3D printers.

While we will have to wait and see if the ambitious figure of $100,000 can be reached within sixty days, the idea behind this app is nonetheless very interesting. Of course, various (expensive) on-demand 3D printing services are already in existence, so it will be interesting to how Pango will compete with these.

However, it is a very interesting concept regardless of how it will practically function. By offering convenient (app-based) systems for creating 3D scans and prints of anyone's creative musings, services like Pango have the potential to really expand the 3D printing market. It could trigger a wide adoption of 3D printing technology throughout mainstream society. Let's just hope there's a reasonable price tag involved.

Also check out the video below further detailing the Pango project:

Posted in 3D Software

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Jackson wrote at 10/1/2014 4:59:17 PM:

After watching the video, it seems like the augmented reality part is a big chunk missing from the article, really cool technology!!

Nope. wrote at 9/29/2014 5:37:47 PM:

You've got it wrong. The app does not process your drawings. It captures a drawings made in their sketchbook and sends them to Tangible Solutions where they build your 3D model. You approve it on the app and then they send you a 3D print. It's more of a service bureau than anything else.

Julio wrote at 9/29/2014 4:39:31 PM:

What? That's just a new way to order 3d prints. There is nothing like a model from a sketch, actually you send them the aketch and a live person makes the model. Is that something new? So what Pango does? Lets you send sketches and then view the models? Boring.

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