Friday, June 20, 2014
3D modeling represents next frontiers in technology and French startup Sketchfab wants to make it more accessible to the average internet user.
Basically, it’s a platform where users can upload their 3D models and share with others or edit and use previously uploaded models. What makes it different though is that it is free of charge and really easy to use with all the editing and stuff.
It works like this: The users bring their own models and easily upload them to the service. Once uploaded, the models can be shared or embedded in services like Facebook, Behance, LinkedIn, Kickstarter, DeviantArt, WordPress, and other forums.
The freemium model and user-friendliness seems working great for the 3D enthusiasts so far. Having attracted more than 100K users since it launched in March 2012, the company has set its sights now on becoming the universal go-to platform for publishing 3D models.
In order to use Sketchfab, users must have a 3D model to upload and 2 of the better options for creating them appear to be SketchUp Make and Adobe Photoshop.
Sketchfab claims to support 28 formats of models, so basically any content you create there can then be uploaded and shared across the web. In January, Sketchfab actually announced a partnership with Adobe that allows users creating 3D models in Photoshop to seamlessly publish their creations onto Sketchfab’s site. If publishing 3D models isn’t your thing, the site also offers allows users to browse a catalog of thousands of pieces created by others. SketchUp also enables users to embed models, but their solution does not seem to be as intuitive as the one offered by Sketchfab.
Sketchfab is free for anyone who doesn’t mind limits of 50mb per upload or using basic tools. For more serious users, the service will cost $10 per month for individuals or $29 per month for businesses.
Sketchfab graduated from the third class of French accelerator Le Camping. They have since added a New York office, but CEO Alban Denoyel tells me that they have kept most of their development team in Paris. The company is backed by $2.5 million that they obtained in a pair of rounds last year from investors such as Partech Ventures, Balderton Capital, Borealis Ventures, and a host of individuals.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Rotary Lift is expanding the digital offerings available through its free assistPRO professional facility planning assistance service.
The program offers Rotary Lift customers assistance in designing new or remodeled shops. AssistPRO helps maximize shop efficiency and technician productivity by determining the optimal number, placement and arrangement of vehicle lifts. Rotary Lift’s in-house assistPRO team works with individual customers and architects to create custom facility layouts.
The new digital offerings include 3-D SketchUp models of Rotary Lift vehicle lifts. The models will be available for download through SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse athttps://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/ later in 2014. Rotary Lift currently offers CAD blocks, 3-D BIM models and written specifications for its products through ARCAT, and the SketchUp models will give architects and distributors an additional easy-to-use resource for helping customers.
“Dealers and independent shops have recovered from the recession and are starting to invest in their facilities again,” said Larry Kendall, assistPRO technical information specialist – facility planner for Rotary Lift. “No matter if they are expanding, moving into new buildings or just upgrading old equipment, it pays to utilize assistPRO. When you include lifts in your shop layout upfront, there is less of a chance you will need to go through a costly redesign and delay the project.”
After determining a facility’s intended use, the assistPRO team draws a floor layout with lifts placed for maximum productivity. Turning radii and traffic flow are matched to the types of vehicles serviced so technicians will be able to quickly pull into and out of the bays. Rotary Lift provides assistPRO layout drawings in CAD or PDF electronic formats or as color prints, based on customer preference. Turnaround is fast (usually seven to 10 days), so users can get to work on their new spaces as soon as possible.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
The Boulder-based developers of SketchUp set off to build a 3-D modeling software program, they sought to create an application that would make 3-D modeling more accessible and they wanted to make a living in return.
"Honestly, we could've never imagined in our wildest dreams how that played out," said Brad Schell, co-founder of SketchUp developer @Last Software, which was acquired by Google Inc. in 2006.
While SketchUp led to Google and, later, Trimble dropping anchor in Boulder in recent years, it also fueled concept3D — a burgeoning Boulder-based company that is making significant moves in arenas such as interactive mapping and energy auditing and assessment.
Concept3D, which got its start thanks to some involvement and funding from SketchUp employees, recently raised a $1.25 million equity investment — a round funded in part by Schell.
The money will help boost concept3D's efforts in expanding its CampusBird interactive mapping program and software, and bringing its simuwatt energy assessment application to market.
"We still touch on our 3D roots through everything we do," said Oliver Davis, concept3D's co-founder and chief executive officer.
The company, which has offices in Boulder and Denver, plans to add to its 15-person staff and bring the company to 25 to 30 employees in the coming year.
That would complement some management moves made within recent months. Concept3D brought on Market Force Information Inc. co-founder Rushton McGarr as president and chief operating officer, and marketing veteran Lisa Harris as vice president of marketing.
The growth could push Concept3D out of Boulder. Company officials say they're looking for new space in Boulder, Boulder County and around Denver.
The privately held Concept3D, which does not disclose financial details, expects to have revenue in the "low-to-mid seven figures" in 2014 and to record "nominal profits" in 2014 because of the ramp-up in hiring, said Rushton McGarr, president and chief operating officer. The company essentially was break-even last year, he added.
Investor Schell said he will not be involved with concept3D in any official, boardmember role; however, he'll serve as a resource for the firm.
"They're at a point where they're stepping up to another level, and I wanted to be a part of that," Schell said.
Mapping opportunities: Concept3D started as a services shop, but eventually evolved into an outfit specializing in software development.
"We realized that we wouldn't be a valuable company without embracing software-as-a-service as a platform," said Oliver Davis, co-founder and chief executive officer of concept3D.
During the past three to four years, concept3D developed and honed its Atlas program, a database-driven map content management system. Atlas serves as the umbrella for CampusBird, software that allows universities and entities to develop maps with rich graphics, interactive capabilities and the ability to customize and update information.
More than 75 entities have used CampusBird, including Duke University, Walt Disney World Resorts and the Harvard Business School.
The CampusBird business is projected to grow four-fold this year with the added expectation the company will have a position in new markets, Davis said, adding that the software could apply in industries such as commercial real estate, resorts and economic development.
"There's a lot of fertile ground out there that we haven't really approached," Davis said.
More companies are able to incorporate 3D mapping as the technology has become easier to use and more affordable, said Joe Francica, editor in chief of Directions Magazine, which follows the location technology and geospatial industries.
"People want that realistic look, or that semi-realistic look," he said.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Sketchup is a great tool for performing solar study analysis perfectly. Follow the processes given below for developing a solar study with sketchup.
Visit Window>Model Info>Location
If you are not familiar with the geo-location of your site, take help from Google. Finding proper location of the site is vital to ensure that the shadows are perfect. If you can’t find the accurate coordinates, just put in the general city.
After that you should have to specify the date and time of day: Window>Shadows
Concentrate on the Time and Date.
The Summer Solstice, June 21, consider as the longest day/shortest night, December 21, as the shortest day/longest night, and the Equinox, March 21 and September 21, is where the days/nights are identical.
One will get a clear picture of the extremes and median of the shade and sun of your site by animating these three dates.
Make a scene on the hour, every hour begins in the morning. Window>Scenes>Add Scene
While choosing a scene in the Scenes window, press the refresh button and update the shadow settings as well as the camera angle to replicate scenes for the solar study, or to arrange the animation scenes one time, and then import a new model into your solar study template.
Ward Lester has presented some exclusive videos through which he shows how to use sketchup for making solar study animation of a great room of the designed house. The animation is created with the shadows and scenes window of sketchup.
Monday, June 16, 2014
The small world of animation seen 3D printing with kindness. Gradually emerging projects and the web will quickly find themselves overwhelmed by the possibilities offered by these new tools of choice are 3D printers.
Amateurs and professionals of animation will be able to express themselves without having to deploy large financial resources .
Disney and Google with the animated film Blank Vynilmation Love Story, the musical clip Cut / Copy or last month, hypnotic work of this bear on stairs : Bears on Stairs are all feats that give 3D printing , its pedigree in the world of Stop Motion ( motion animation ).
Today is " Paradise Found " created by Jon Patrick Barry and Jenny Chen is honored. All the accessories and the puppet present on the screen were modeled with Google Sketchup and are straight out of a 3D printer.
If you want to try 3D modeling and subsequently the animation , you can download Google Sketchup.
The Video Link is http://www.sketchup-ur-space.com/2014/april/mini-film-made-on-google-sketchup-and-a-3D-printer.html
Sunday, June 15, 2014
3D printing in schools has only recently become a reality. While there are many schools around the world that have already had the opportunity to bring 3D printers into their classrooms, the majority of schools are not quite there yet. The reasons are quite simple. There are a lack of funds, a lack of knowledge, and in most cases, not enough motivation from students, teachers and faculty.
However, this isn’t entirely the case for one school, located in the mountains of Northern California. Portola High, a small school with 17 teachers and 237 students, has more than enough motivation, but is lacking the required funds.
Fortunately for Portola High, they have one teacher, Bran Freschi that is bent and determined to find a way to get a 3D printer for his school. Freschi, who was hired last year as a Learning Specialist, to work with students with learning disabilities, came up with the idea to pursue 3D printing at his school this past fall.
After attending a STEM conference in Sacramento in the Fall of 2013, myself and a few teachers got to see and touch a real 3D printer,” Freschi told 3DPrint.com. “I instantly fell in love with it.”
That 3D printer was a MakerBot Replicator, and the MakerBot saleman at the conference gave Freschi a 3D printed nut and bolt that had been printed right in front of him. According to Freschi, that’s what sealed the deal.
“Since that day, I have showed that little toy to hundreds of people, and their reaction is always the same: Their face gets scrunched up and they say ‘Wait…what?’,” explained Freschi. “Then I get to explain to them how a 3D printer works; like a big hot glue gun with a weed eater line in the back of it, materializing objects in all three dimensions”
We asked Mr. Freschi, how this 3D printer would get used in his school, and he was more than prepared to answer. We could tell that he has huge plans on integrating the MakerBot Replicator into his classes, as well as the classes of other teachers. He informed us that he has one ‘career tech’ teacher and one math teacher on board. The career tech teacher would offer a 3D printing and Sketchup class, while the math teacher plans to create some mathematical lessons around the printer.
Freschi plans to utilize the 3D printer in his classes by designing and printing items that can be sold, in order to give his students life skills centered on work ethic, communication, and financial topics. He also sees uses for the printer in other areas of the school, including art, science, and technology. He hopes that art students can print out art work, as well as useful tools.
“I have a grand plan of implementing a recycling program at our school that would utilize a grinder and an extruder to make our own ‘recycled’ 3D printer filament,” Freschi told us.
Finding funding for the printer has been the largest hurdle. Freschi has approached the school board indirectly, about getting funding, but was unfortunately shot down. However, one of the school’s administrators really believed in the idea, and encouraged Freschi to continue to look for funding sources. Finding funding through the PTA or Boosters was not an option in Freschi’s mind, as he didn’t feel that they had money to spend on a device that none of them probably understood. So, he came up with the idea of funding the printer via Kickstarter.
“I thought of Kickstarter pretty early on, and lots of kids showed interest in the process,” explained Freschi. “I started building the campaign way back in October. After the campaign was finished, literally ten minutes before we hit the launch button, the district office put the brakes on it, telling me that they needed to be the recipients of the funds, and not me personally. Long story short, I eventually got around this district policy by soliciting the assistance of the Booster Club. They agreed to take the money from the Kickstarter campaign, buy the printer and then donate it to the school.”
The Kickstarter campaign launched just a little over 2 days ago, and it has already raised over $1,000. Freschi informed us that it has been received very well by the entire community, and all of the schools in the district are “buzzing about it”.
Backers of the campaign will be awarded with one of several items, including decals, t-shirts, customized 3D printed phone cases, other 3D printed items and more.
Help Mr. Freschi, and his school raise funds for this project by donating as little as $1 to the cause, via their Kickstarter campaign page, or by sharing this story. Discuss this project, and let us know if you have donated to the cause in the ‘Portola High Kickstarter Campaign’ thread on 3DPB.com.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
After years of working with universities to develop interactive maps and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop energy assessment software, Concept 3D is setting off to explore new territory.
The Boulder, CO-based software and services company has closed a $1.25 million funding round, according to SEC documents. Concept 3D co-founder and CEO Oliver Davis said the startup will use the money to continue product development, amplify sales and marketing efforts, and roll out its software into larger markets.
Concept 3D has two products, and it has high hopes for both, Davis said. CampusBird, an interactive mapping program used by more than 75 universities, is the farthest along and the biggest revenue generator. It creates maps that feature custom media including 3D models, 2D overlays, street-view imagery, and video. The company expects to triple the number of customers that use CampusBird within the next year, Davis said.
Among Concept 3D’s customers is Harvard Business School. Its map includes 3D renderings of each building on campus, 360-degree panoramic images, and links to descriptions of points of interest.
CampusBird is built on top of Concept 3D’s Atlas map management software and is the first of what Davis said could be many “enterprise mapping” products. Potential new markets include residential and commercial real estate and economic development, Davis said.
“We have a lot more opportunities outside of higher ed to sell the mapping platform,” Davis said.
For the past two years Concept 3D also has been working with NREL to develop an energy modeling and management system named Simuwatt. The cloud-based software can be used for energy audits that incorporate the 3D geometry of buildings to create better energy usage models.
NREL said Simuwatt, which can be accessed on mobile tablets, could cut the cost of energy audits by up to 75 percent.
Simuwatt also can be used to create 3D models of solar panel installations that are added to the roofs of commercial buildings. Davis said the software will generate a cost estimate and an estimate of the system’s energy output, and the company says the program reduces the cost of building a solar system.
Concept 3D is about to bring Simuwatt to market and already has 300 sales prospects interested in the product, Davis said. Concept 3D received a $1.3 million grant from the Department of Energy to develop Simuwatt.
The funding round is not large, but Davis said that’s part of the company’s strategy. Concept 3D raised $500,000 when it launched, but since then it has remained “scrappy,” as Davis said, and relied on its services side to provide revenue.
“We generate revenue and cash today, so we didn’t have to do a big raise,” Davis said. “We might look at raising capital potentially down the road, but we’re a little old fashioned when it comes to running the business. We want to generate cash and work with customers and grow that way.”
Concept 3D does plan to expand its staff from 15 to 25 by the end of the year, he said. The new hires will predominantly be added to customer support, sales, and marketing, Davis said.