by General Fabb
3D Systems has announced a new software tool to accompany their consumer-oriented Cube 3D printer: Cubify Invent.
One of the major issues with a 3D printer is getting great content to print. While 3D Systems has Cubify.com to provide pre-made models, there is also the possibility of Cube owners making their own models. However, the target market here is consumers, who typically have no 3D modeling software of their own. Worse, good 3D modeling software is often very complex and very expensive. There are inexpensive options but they frequently have some kind of issue that consumers would see as a barrier: tricky software installation, overly simplistic capabilities, non-intuitive interface, etc.
3D Systems has bypassed that by providing what they see as a balanced tool, offering some pretty complex capabilities, but with a reasonably friendly interface. We intend on diving deep into this tool soon, but our initial peek shows a very promising interface that conveys simple 3D concepts that we suspect many end users would be able to handle.
We think the biggest splash made by Cubify Invent is its price: only USD$49 for a very capable tool. This is much less than other commercial offerings and really not much more than free. One major issue: Cubify Invent is only available on Windows. If this software is intended for consumers, 3D Systems should consider creating an OS/X version.