Oct 10, 2016 | By Nick

A new platform wants to make 3D modeling much easier and open up the world of design to the masses and now it has the money to make it happen.

Vectary has raised $2.5 million in seed money, which was led by Berlin-based Venture Capital company BlueYard Capital and Neulogy Ventures continued its support after putting in pre-seed funding. One of the first things on the agenda for the company is to move its headquarters from Slovakia to New York.

The company has a relatively simple concept: it wants to combine the community aspect of Thingiverse with an online design tool that should become its USP.

The startup wants its users to make their designs inside a simple browser, using a series of sliders to make design intuitive, accessible and fast with subdivision modeling. So newcomers and even old hands won’t have to spend lots of time on the finer points of Computer Aided Design and can just make their visions come true.

Inevitably, this platform just doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you get with the likes of Autodesk 123D, but it looks remarkably close. Not everybody needs a professional set of tools anyway and they can be extremely off-putting for those of us who aren’t completely computer savvy.

You can refine your model with standard tools and there is an awful lot of flexibility in the sliders, so you can fine tune it without vast amounts of design knowledge. The What You See is What You Get display also means you can experiment with each slider to get the finished look and functionality that you want without getting lost in a maze of modifications as well.

But the main point is that you’ll get to that point a lot faster thanks to the simply slider system that allows you to create complex surfaces and smooth shapes with a mouse click.

We know that people are shying away from design due to the sheer complexity of the software packages and this is a real step towards full democratic design and manufacturing with the help of a 3D printer.

Vectary looks capable of taking you as far as you want to go, though, and a series of demonstrations have thrown up some seriously impressive designs. They include model cars, functional drones that incorporate third-party motors and more. Industrial designers could even use this platform for scale models of new products to streamline the whole process.

3D printers are getting better and cheaper all the time and the software needs to catch up. This Cloud-based system requires no installation or configuration. It also means you can login and get started, although the company has limited the number of people that can use the beta site for the moment and it is not open to the public.

When it does go live, as on Thingiverse, the community will have a pool of designs that you can build upon. That will save a huge amount of time even for experienced hands. It will also help newcomers produce designs that would simply be beyond them. Then they can feed their design into the community and that one design can grow in an infinite number of ways.

Michal Koor, CEO and co-founder says: “While working as an industrial designer I wanted to make designing more effective. This led me to rather invest my time into developing a parametric tool, where by moving sliders I was able to easily change shape and get interactive feedback. Later I realized, this approach combined with community would make it much easier for anybody to start with 3D modeling.”

Left: Pavol Sovis, Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer. Right: Michal Koor, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer.

Essentially it’s a standard mesh model with parametric controls and there are plans for accomplished designers to create their own plugins that they can share with the community. That should make complex designs even faster when the company opens up its API.

Vectary has real potential to change the world of 3D design and if it can keep the basic membership free then there is no reason why it can’t attract a vast number of 3D designers around the world. A solid community could spur each other on and help even the most technophobic hobbyist get to grips with the design tools at hand and that can only be good for the world of 3D printing as a whole.

We like this one and we’re looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

 

 

 

Posted in 3D Design

 

 

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