Considerations - when buying iPad & Pencil

Not looking for Official Help but more putting out a feeler to the Community to garner some views, pitfalls, real experiences or anything else related to getting the best setup to run S3D.

I have been happy with the physical aspects of my iPad Air 2, this regard to general use but of course without the ability for it to deploy the Apple Pencil even serious Sketching was not possible. Other ‘styli’ were just not up to the job.

Any views on Screen Size and Supports suitable for use during use of S3D will be most helpful.

My leaning is toward the 2018 released iPad Pro range, based on my reading in this Forum, any comments again will be much appreciated.

Thanks for your time, best regards,


Hello, Shapr3d works great with any Apple Pencil compatible iPad and we usually recommend the iPad Pro. Other factors like screen size may vary due to individual preference.

Hello. I just bought the iPad air 5 10.5 inch screen with the 1st generation Apple pencil. It’s perfect for working with shapr… It has similar specs to a 2017 iPad pro. Cost was £598.

Many thanks to Victor_Shapr3D and mzone3d for your useful input.

I have discovered this:

Earlier S3D Discussion on this Subject

It also has proven very useful.
Pretty sure I will be going with iPad Pro 12.9" 2018, at present undecided as amount of Storage.

There seems to be little to choose when considering Cases, especially as I want to keep a Pencil 2 in the Charging Location?
Also it is a little like a lottery to choose a really solid Draughting Stand.
Any suggestions will be very helpful. Thanks for your time.

Best regards,


I would highly recommend the 12.9" iPad Pro. It is a spectacular machine, packing a serious computer (more powerful than most laptops) in a 6mm thick enclosure.

I use it with the Apple keyboard folio thing, which is a mixed bag, depending on your needs. If you mostly need the ipad for graphical/3D work, I wouldn’t get the keyboard. But if you do plan to do some typing, it’s the best keyboard out there, and the case works surprisingly well. That said, it’s quite heavy at 400g and I found it makes a big difference when holding the ipad: I can easily hold the 600g ipad, but holding the whole package at 1kg is nowhere near as nice.

For storage, I went with 256GB, because Apple annoyingly does not provide a 128GB option. 64GB is too small, as I like to have my document collection on the ipad, as well as a bunch of movies sometimes.

I would not get the smaller ipad pro, because screen size is a nice thing to have and this one has thin borders, so it is not as big as the previous model (which was a monster).

Context: I’ve been an iPad user since the original iPad and this is (I think) my fourth iPad to date.


Thanks for your input jwr, I am aiming for the largest amount of Storage affordable at present.
It will be interesting to learn what the Team think is the Minimum that is preferable, especially with the promise of the upcoming iPadOS.

May I ask if you find that with your Combo Protection Setup is:

  1. How do you support it for longer sessions of use, e.g., Hand Holding Supported by Table/Desk/Lounge Furniture Arm/etc?

  2. If applicable is the Low Level Try Fold setting is satisfactory, My Apple Case seems to be stressed with just the weight of the iPad Air 2?

  3. Does the Keyboard create any problems, or can it be easily removed wile leaving support in situ?

Obtaining more Storage may require me to find a cheap Protective Case and then I would fabricate a sturdy Stand. A few ideas are doing the rounds in the grey matter, and hopefully someone may offer a solution that has worked for them?

Thanks for your time, best regards,


I’m not sure if I fully understand what you mean by the low level fold (I’m guessing it’s the positioning where the keyboard is vertical and the device is at a low angle?), but in general the new keyboard folio is much better than the old one. I can really find very few flaws with it, apart from the fact that it’s heavy.

I do use the ipad sometimes in the low-angle “inverted” position and it works great that way, except you can’t use the keyboard and some apps expect you to be able to if it’s connected.

I very often remove the ipad from the case, because of its weight, but that’s very easy, because they got the magnets right. I’d say I put it in and take it out at least several times a day, and it isn’t a problem at all.

One thing to note is that the magnetic pencil attachment is cool for charging, but useless for carrying the ipad around. The pencil will fall off, especially if you are right-handed and grab the ipad from the right.

I used to use protective cases with ipads, but with the latest one I stopped: I either have it in the keyboard folio, or carry it around without a case, possibly sliding into a pouch for transport.

Sorry for a late response and the confusion, I am unsure of the device you are using but mean what you refer to as the Inverted Position with the keyboard hidden and the Screen at a low angle.

Thanks for highlighting an important reality with regard to the likelihood of the Pencil 2 falling off during transit. It is disappointing that Apple inform, in their promo videos, that there are magnets everywhere inside the iPad Pros (2018). Clearly the magnets, within the iPad and Pencil, need to deliver sufficient attraction effect without interfering with the functionality of the hardware or have other means of keeping it in place.
IMO Apple are failing to consider offering top quality fully functional Cases for all their products, rather than leaving it to third parties. A microfibre lined Fabric Sleeve provided as part of the iPad package would be nice especially given the value of this hardware.

The choice of Cases/Folios/Sleeves/etc is rather limited but the iPad Pro is possibly less attractive to Protection Manufacturers because of the lower level of sales?
If Apple are prepared to ‘test fit’ it is down to a choice between two Products, hopefully being sorted this week. I am prepared to accept a Case rather than a Combo Keyboard because my Mac Wireless Keyboard can be paired with the iPad when necessary. Certainly do not like the idea of an unprotected expensive piece of kit.

Yanks for your input, best regards,


Processing power of the latest iPad Pro should be highly considered. With Shapr3D it does a better job of allowing the app to render non-solid, parasolid, and solid complex meshes much much faster. I prefer the pencil 2nd generation as well, magnetic charging and pairing was definitely much more convenient that that damn lightning connector which I managed to break… TWICE. I also got the 12.9” 3rd gen iPad Pro and man is that thing a beast in a small package. Super thin, a bit heavier than the Air but it’s so worth the purchase.

EDIT: I’m not sure I even need my 2017 MacBook Pro anymore lol.

Another important consideration when purchasing an iPad to use with S3D, especially for those requiring absolute maximum performance currently available, is the seemingly unpublished fact that the top specifications are limited to the 12.9" iPad Pro 1918 - 512MB and 1TB Models. These apparently have 6MB of RAM compared to the 4MB RAM of other Models in the Range.

Screen Size:
Clearly this is very personal and will depend mainly on how and where the iPad is mainly used.
I elected to go for the largest Screen because most often use S3D with Items fully visible. This reduces the Drawing Area significantly. Personally I would be less comfortable with the same set up on a smaller screen.

iPad Case:
The ‘how and where’ situation applies also to the Case, and I have not found anything considered to be the ‘final’ solution.
I chose a Third party Case that offers full protection to all Edges, both Faces and Secure Retention of the, not inexpensive, Apple Pencil for the few times that mobility is essential.
My desire is to make the iPad the ‘goto’ computing tool and to achieve this a Keyboard will be required. The latter would need to be of the Back Lit variety for preference, it’s connectivity is less attractive than the standard Apple offering but as it would be seldom necessary for mobile use it does not have to be accommodated within an iPad Case.

iPad Stand:
My intention to create a solid Stand, to hold the iPad at the correct angle for me, remains just an ‘intention’ due to personal pressures and availability of other Hardware.
Reviews on Back Lit keyboards are somewhat off putting, apart from those ‘rushed’ into production to meet a demand, many clearly are still in a state of flux during development. Not a good time to make an investment?
The ‘stand’ will elevate the screen and incorporate accommodation for a pull out Keyboard and a compartment to house other items needed, e.g., Adaptors/Connectors/Cables/whatever.

Revisiting this Thread reconfirmed a more recent choice made to Disable Correct Spelling Automatically in macOS System Preferences > Keyboard > Text.
Apologies for ‘Try’ and ‘Yanks’ that should have been ‘Tri’ and ‘Thanks’, now if Red is seen there is a good chance that a correction will be made :sunglasses: