I am excited to share with you a significant milestone in 3DTin’s life. We just crossed 100,000 user signups. We are honoured that 100k users liked 3DTin and created an account to try it out.
Since its humble beginning 3 years ago, 3DTin has grown into a mass repository of Creative Commons 3D models. It’s a tool that more and more people are using for different purposes. Among our users are many young students who make models in 3DTin and print them on 3D printer. We are glad to play a small role in introducing them to the technological revolution that 3D printing can be.
Our success is not without the help from our star users. Our special thanks go to them. You may know their work from our Facebook page or Twitter feed. Here are some recent examples of how they have pushed 3DTin into building something truly awesome!
Ipercar by icevipergt http://www.3dtin.com/ware
Ipercar by icevipergt
BioShock by Akin http://www.3dtin.com/yznw
BioShock by Akin
A Wrist watch by Vijay http://www.3dtin.com/o8te
Wrist Watch by Vijay
There is more on the horizon. We are working hard on technologies that will make CAD more accessible via the cloud and browser. Stay tuned for updates.
Meanwhile enjoy building!
Please note that after latest update of Google Chrome, WebGL has been accidentally broken. You may find 3DTin not working. We will keep monitoring the fix in Chrome WebGL, until then you can use Firefox to access 3DTin.
Here’s the message
Update1: The problem seems only limited to Google Chrome on Mac OSX
Update2: A temporary fix is to launch Chrome from command line with this command:
open -a "Google Chrome.app" --args --disable-gl-multisampling
Update3: The bug was fixed in Google Chrome version 26.0.1410.65 for Mac OSX.
I haven’t written any new posts on this blog for a long time. That’s very unusual, given how regularly I used to write earlier. Today we all heard about the closure of TinkerCAD, the only other 3D modelling tool that works in browser like 3DTin. The silence on 3DTin’s blog may sound ominous to some, in the light of TinkerCAD’s departure. So I just wanted to clarify what’s happening at 3DTin.
We are very much here and we are not going anywhere!
I haven’t written in a while because we haven’t added any new features to 3DTin in past few months. And frankly I don’t know what to write when there is nothing to write about.
Over 3 years we have built a simple 3D modelling workflow in 3DTin. A lot of users who find traditional 3D modelling tools too daunting, use 3DTin to quickly put together their ideas. We have built a well thought interface for this crowd. At one point we reached a feature-complete state for 3DTin. It became clear that adding more functionality to the existing tool without careful thought is going to spoil it for our existing user-base. So we have decided to spend more time in planning phase.
We are diligently maintaining 3DTin though. We also actively respond to any customer queries that come our way. We actively promote the awesome 3D models that our community creates day in day out. Please subscribe to our Facebook, Twitter or Google+ pages to see the awesome models our users create.
Most importantly, we are working on CAD more advanced than you see in 3DTin today. We are constantly learning what it takes to build a professional CAD tool and how to do it in browser and leverage cloud for it. We will have some important announcements to make in coming few months. I’m very excited about it. So do stay tuned.
Until then, Happy modelling!
(And our best wishes to the TinkerCAD team in their next venture.)
We have been adding features for past few months to enable you – 3DTin users – connect with each other in better and more meaningful ways. We have added comment notifications – email and realtime, live chat, activity feeds; all to make sure that you discover more interesting 3D models and their cool creators. Continuing in the same vein we are happy to announce yet another community building feature – Follow.
This feature was requested by some of the most active 3DTin users. They wanted to keep posted if the 3D artists they admire created new content or recommended other’s content with ratings/comments. This is a very reliable way to discover new and interesting content every time you visit 3DTin.
So how can you follow other users?
Just click on their name and open their account profile, you can’t miss the big green “Follow” button.
Click it and now you are following the user. Next time you open the community window, you will see a unified activity feed of all the users that you are following.
I’m following @icevipergt and @Akin, so I see their recent activity in my community window in the above screenshot.
Isn’t that cool? What do you think? Let us know what more you would like to see.
Wednesday’s menu: New grid and some helpful eye-candy.
The measurement cues include display of dimensions of currently selected geometry. You no longer have to calculate the extents in your mind from the readings in the position bar. We do it automatically for you and show it in proper context.
Another visual aid that we’ve added comes into play when you move a geometry. A geometry can at any time move only in a single plane (the one that you are currently looking into). Sometimes it’s not obvious though. Therefore we have added motion lines which show the displacement of the geometry from its original position as you are moving it. This clarifies exactly which plane the geometry is moving in and by how much.
And what do you think about the new grid?
Do you realize that everything created in the 14 billion years’ history of Universe – stars, planets, mountains, plants, brain – was created by simple laws of nature; but only in the last few thousand years have things been created in a different way? From Wheel and Fire to iPhone and Porsche, everything has been intelligently designed by the human brain. The creative power of human brain is unprecedented in the 14 billion history of the universe. Imagine that!
If we don’t know what is our purpose in this world, we can at least be certain that by creating something unique and new we are bringing something to the world that didn’t exist before. This was one thought behind why I started building 3DTin instead of all the other kinds of software one can build in today’s world. I wanted to create a software that will help others to create something out of it.
If there is one gift we can give to our children to empower themselves, it will be to inculcate creativity in them.
The DIY movement that is gaining strength around the world in past few years is popularizing the ethos of Do-It-Yourself. There is creativity in all of us, only it’s hidden in varying degrees from person to person. The DIY movement is helping people discover the hidden creative selves inside them.
So when I learnt about diy.org yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to learn what they are doing to encourage creativity in kids. For starters they have designed one gorgeous website.
The idea is to gamify DIY activities for kids, thus prodding them into making something on their own.
DIY.org enlists a wide variety of skills ranging from Astronomy, Chemistry to Sculpting and Rapid prototyping. Each skill category has handful of challenges. Kids can pick a skill of their choice and a challenge that they would like to tackle. They can work on their idea under that challenge and post a photo or video of the final result to their profile. Kids can rate each other’s works which earns them points.
The part I like is that the challenges are not puzzles; but rather a suggestion of a tool or a generic problem description like “Grow a Bacteria Culture” or “Design an Object with CAD“. This encourages open ended thinking in kids. 3DTin features as one of the challenges under the RapidPrototyper skill set. Kids can design a 3D model in 3DTin and post a screenshot of it to their DIY account as a project.
There are already tons of projects that kids have posted. Take a look at this one “da vincis katapult” or this “Erector helicopter“.
Go ahead and introduce your kids to DIY.
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We are glad to announce today one more new way to create 3D objects in 3DTin.
Many 3D shapes are better expressed by their projections in 2D plane. Sometimes you want to draw a two dimensional figure and extrude it along third dimension. Sometimes you imagine a side profile of a figure in the form of a curve and would like to revolve it around an axis to create 3D solid. The new feature we are unveiling today is meant to help in such cases.
Here’s how you can get your hands on it. Click the new button added to the Shapes bar to launch the 2D editor.
The 2D editor presents you with a smooth curve along with bunch of control points (circled red). By moving the control points around you can change the shape of this curve.
There are two ways in which this curve can be used to build a solid.
First is Extrusion
When you hit Build, the curve is automatically closed and extruded along third dimension and a solid of specified thickness is ready to add to your main sketch. This is how the solid of above curve looks like.
This is a very powerful technique. It opens doors to creating any arbitrarily shaped objects and putting them together into really interesting models. You can increase the number of control points up to 30, which lets you add more and more details to the curve.
The second option is Revolution
When you hit Build, the curve is revolved around the shown axis of revolution and you are presented with the final solid to add to your sketch. You can imagine this curve to be a side profile of the final solid. When added to sketch the above curve looks like this.
You can use this trick to create objects like Pots, Vase or any other shape that is circularly symmetric.
We are very excited to see what you make of this new way of building 3D shapes. Head over to 3DTin and try it now.
(The objects created with revolution can be little too heavy and sometimes with some undesired artifacts. We will fix that aspect in future. For now we wanted to deliver the new feature to you to get your early feedback.)