Oct 22, 2015 | By Kira

For 3D designers, modellers and consumers, there are two absolutely essential tools to bringing 3D prints to life: 3D modelling software programs, such as 123D from Autodesk, and content sharing platforms, model repositories or marketplaces, such as Thingiverse, TurboSquid, or Shapeways, to name just a few. A new entry to the market, however, promises a completely collaborative, cloud-based approach, that combines a multi-touch 3D modelling tool, highly searchable digital asset management, and direct integration with 3D printing services such as i.materialise, and social networks like Facebook. It’s called Diorama, and it may just change how 3D designers create and share their work.

Designed by inEvo, a software development company based in Lisbon, Portugal, Diorama is described as “Collaborative Digital Asset Management for 3D content” that lets users organize, manage, edit and print their 3D assets easily. The key features include a web-based multi-touch modeller, advanced search and object retrieval by EnContRA, 3D printing service and social network integration, and a completely seamless, cloud-based platform—all accessible anytime and from nearly any device, including tablets and smartphones. It’s all backed up by the world-class, open-source Enterprise Content Management platform Nuxeo.

In their short yet powerful promo video (which I recommend you watch to get an idea of the scale of Diorama’s vision), users are shown interacting with one another via Facebook and comments, uploading designs to the marketplace, ordering them directly through i.materialise, modifying the design with the gesture-based, embedded Destructive 3D Editor tool, printing the model on an Ultimaker 3D printer, and then uploading photos of the finished, modified print—all without leaving the Diorama platform. The video also shows users interacting with Diorama’s marketplace and editing platform from tablets and smartphones. All in all, it’s a completely seamless process, from design, to editing, to printing.

What makes Diorama stand out is the integration between its asset management, online marketplace, and embedded modelling tool. For consumers or those looking for existing 3D models, Diorama offers a Digital Asset Management (DAM) service for 3D models, compatible with the most common desktop and mobile browsers and supporting the most common 3D file formats, eliminating the need for third-party software. Its powerful search options, powered by the EnContRa multimedia information retrieval meta-framework, allows users to filter results based on date, popularity, similarity and types of 3D models. Basically, it’s a seriously advanced modular and algorithmic architecture that ensures the most accurate search results, even when searching for distinct specifications amongst a large set of uploaded models.

For 3D designers, the embedded Destructive 3D Editor allows users to choose between quickly modifying an existing model imported from the marketplace, as in the video above, or creating a new 3D object from scratch. Powered by a “non-intrusive suggestion engine”, the Destructive Editor estimates possible future states based on the current modelling progress—meaning it can automatically smooth your rough, hand-drawn loop into a perfectly round sphere. Operations include finishing 2D strokes and the transformation of 2D strokes into 3D models. It can also be used with touch-enabled devices for a literal ‘hands-on’ approach and the most intuitive, natural design process possible.

A second key feature for 3D designers is the ‘Fork’ option. Inspired by version control software like GitHub, ‘fork’ allows users to re-use a model by copying it to their own account, while keeping the relation intact. Other users who look up either the original or the modified versions, will be able to see the existing forks (alternatives, variations, or remixes) and decide which is most suitable to their needs.

Though still in its development stage with no public release date announced as yet, the team behind Diorama told 3Ders.org that they have reached an important milestone in the project, meaning it’s well on its way to becoming a reality. “We believe that this platform has some innovative aspects that can empower the collaboration between users and creation, and set it apart from other 3D Marketplaces/3D DAMS,” said Tiago Cordoso of inEvo. Currently, they are in the process of seeking clients, and have many possible solutions in the works, including the capacity to launch both the editor and marketplace as a mobile app, as an on-demand, customized platform for teams or small businesses, or as a completely public online service. The project is being partly funded by QREN, a Portuguese National Grant.

So far it’s an incredibly promising project, and we’re excited to see the online marketplace brought to life. Both 3D modelling tools and online marketplaces are essential to disseminating and growing the 3D printing consumer world. This intuitive and seamless integration between the two, as well as between 3D printing services and social networks, could become a one-stop-shop for all of our 3D model needs.



Posted in 3D Design



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blorp wrote at 10/22/2015 3:45:02 PM:

And another platform that will "revolutionize" 3D design.

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