Let’s talk about Shapr3D. So first off, what is it? It is a 3D modeling tool for mechanical design. It’s actually a fair bit different from your traditional offerings. It is mobile first.
What does that mean? Today, it runs on an iPad Pro and you actually use an Apple pen with it and multi-touch gestures. But it has an extremely short learning curve because it uses a very different interface. It shows you the simple capabilities first and exposes advanced stuff through multi-touch gestures, which is a fairly efficient way to get up to speed and actually be efficient with the tool itself.
The other thing is that it uses the Siemens stack. This means it uses Parasolid’s modeling kernel. It uses HOOPS for data exchange. It uses a D-Cubed for constraint management for sketches and even with the direct modeling capabilities that it has. It has this stable platform. It is an app that you download onto your iPad Pro. It’s a very, very easy to use CAD tool. We’ve heard this before.
Shapr3D Development and Deployment Capabilities
The thing that I guess surprised me and makes me think this might be a little bit different is their development and deployment capabilities. They really focused on creating a polished UI. On a weekly basis, they have a new prototype. They have 10 live tests of that prototype per week. For any new capabilities that they want to put into Shapr3D, they have to have five successful live user tests before those features go in to the app.
This forces them to make sure it is a usable UI and that it is intuitive and natural in terms of its interaction. They capture a lot of those tests through a large automated test suite. They use continuous integration, which is another development approach that supports that as well. So this is really meant to be 3D modeling first. They don’t have documentation capabilities in terms of creating drawings and that type of thing out there right now. They’re going to be adding that in the near future. But in the world where 3D modeling is going to a model-based definition where the 3D models is used as the central source of truth. A tool like this and making it accessible to a wide variety of users. There is a lot of benefits to that.
Use Cases for Shapr3D
If you have CAD users split out from engineers, this could be used by engineers fairly quickly and easily. If you have folks that are on your shop floor that maybe are designing jigs and fixtures, this is a tool that you can find more accessible than maybe a full-blown CAD application. There are all sorts of people like that in the company that may need to model simple things in 3D. They want to get up to speed very quickly. But just as importantly, they’re probably not going to be able to invest continuous time over the long term in learning and maintaining their knowledge with a CAD application. So lots of different use cases might be applicable for you. You should check it out. It’s in the App Store for Apple right now.