3DTin has been acquired by Lagoa

I am happy to finally share with you an exciting news that we have been working on for past several months now.

3DTin has been acquired by a Montreal based dashing startup – Lagoa.

Logo_Rectangular_BGWhite_Big_cases

For more than 3 years, 3DTin has leveraged the Cloud and the Browser to make 3D modeling simpler, more accessible and cheaper. Lagoa has achieved similar feats in the area of Rendering. Lagoa – launched publicly earlier this year - introduced a breakthrough product to do Photo realistic rendering in the cloud. With Lagoa’s products, you can work on rendering projects from your low end laptop, where it used to take a rack of powerful desktop machines before. Lagoa leverages the cloud to do the compute intensive rendering jobs. You can import your 3D models (in many different formats) to Lagoa’s Scene editor, apply different materials to the model, adjust the light configuration in the scene and create gorgeous picture perfect renders like this one.

Lagoa_Rotor_300dpi

With 3DTin, users have created a lot of beautiful models. Now they can take these models to the next step. They can import these models into Lagoa and create beautiful virtual worlds around them.

With this acquisition, our development activities have moved from Mumbai, India to Montreal, Canada. Going forward you will see new workflows that will help you make the most of the 3D models you create in 3DTin.

3DTin has thrived on the magnificent participation from its users. We are ever so grateful to you for using 3DTin and building beautiful models that have created a massive collection of Creative Commons 3D models online. Earlier this year we crossed 100,000 users. It was a proud milestone in the short history of 3DTin. We look forward to your continuing support in our future endeavours.

We have learnt several things while building 3DTin. A web browser has come a long way and has become much more powerful than anyone had imagined a decade ago. But a Webapp that is hosted in a cloud and runs in a browser, is a different animal than the traditional desktop application. When such an app does 3D modeling, the task becomes much more challenging. Only few have dared tackle this problem. 3DTin was one of the earliest ones. We started working on it since early 2010, and today we are continuing the same task. With the newly available resources, we are going to tackle more ambitious problems.

No, I’m not announcing any new feature in this blog post. We are still working. Bigger things take time and patience. You will have to keep an eye on our Lagoa blog as we bring some exciting new features to the browser.

We are also attending MakerFaire this weekend in New York. The 3D Printing community has found 3DTin very useful. I hear from many school teachers who use 3DTin to teach 3D modeling to young students. For last many years I had wanted to attend Makerfaire. This time around it looks like I just might make it. Lagoa and 3DTin will have a booth there (Booth #MP39, Pavillion C). You should come and say hello.

Let us know what you think and what you would like to see from 3DTin and Lagoa.

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100,000 users and beyond

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.

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 6.35.29 AM

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

Ipercar by icevipergt

BioShock by Akin http://www.3dtin.com/yznw

BioShock by Akin

BioShock by Akin

A Wrist watch by Vijay http://www.3dtin.com/o8te

Wrist Watch by Vijay

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!

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WebGL problems with latest Google Chrome update

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
https://www.khronos.org/webgl/public-mailing-list/archives/1304/msg00064.html

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. 

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We are here

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.)

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Follow

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.

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Measurement cues

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?

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DIY for kids

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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