TLDR; Shapr3D 3.0 is here and it is based on Parasolid ®, that is the CAD engine that fuels Solidworks and most of the active CAD seats. This elevates the product to a new level, especially that it’s still just $150/year - not thousands of dollars, and still super easy to use.
Hi there Shapers,
Today is the day of the BIG LAUNCH, the public announcement of Shapr3D 3.0 - a new version of our app, that not only elevates Shapr to the next level, but also changes the CAD game. Why is that? In one word: Parasolid. If you are a CAD junkie, then now you will start screaming, and running around in little circles, but if you are not, let me put this into context.
Our story started in 2014, when I put together the first prototype of Shapr3D. No, you didn’t misread it - it was in 2014, when there were only rumors about the iPad Pro, and I expected it to be released in late 2014. Well, it happened a bit later, but finally in 2015 Apple unleashed the first iPad Pro, the first iPad that was designed for content production, not for content consumption. 3 months after the announcement of the first iPad Pro, we released Shapr3D, and it started to take off, despite it was super simple, and it only had 10% of its current feature set (and of course we are still not done). Most of our users saw its potential, and even with that very limited the first version - that had tons of bugs and awkward UX fuckups - started to create amazing things.
As every CAD system, Shapr3D is based on a geometric modeling kernel (GMK), that is basically the heart and soul of a modeling environment. GMKs are special kind of animals, there are very few on the market, and there is only one that is open source and freely accessible: OpenCASCADE. This was the reason why I decided to go with it: since it was open source, I could port it to iOS, and it was good enough to start the development of Shapr with it. Unfortunately we quickly reached its limits: despite working fairly well, it does have lots of limitations and lacks quite a few features. In order to make a step forward we had to replace OpenCASCADE. And since we are pretty ambitious, we couldn’t go with anything else, but the best GMK on planet Earth: Parasolid® by Siemens PLM. Parasolid® is the Holy Grail of the CAD industry. It’s been under development for 30 years, and it is by far the most robust and mature modeling technology on the market. It is the technology that fuels Solidworks, Siemens NX, SolidEdge, and many other 3D CAD systems. Look around you: if you see something that was designed in a CAD system, there is a very high probability that it was processed with Parasolid® at some point in the design and manufacturing flow.
But there was a tiny little problem: Parasolid® did not support iOS 12 months ago. So we started to work with Siemens to make the impossible happen: run the world’s most advanced CAD engine on a mobile device. After 10 months of hard work, I am happy to let you know: Shapr3D is now running on Parasolid®, and its performance is incredible, desktop grade - or even better. This has been a long journey, and we’ve basically rewritten Shapr3D from scratch, but the end result is pretty impressive: a super-easy-to-use, yet professional, full-featured direct modeling system on your iPad Pro.
From now on, we will release new versions every 2-3 weeks, as we did it until 10 months ago, when we started to work on this huge update. You can expect lots of improvements and new features every single month - and as always, we would love to hear about you, let us know what you think, and what you would like to see in the app.
Together with this big release, we have been working on another big thing: closing our next fundraising round. I am happy to let you know that Shapr3D has just raised $1.3M from top-tier investors. The round was led by the most amazing Roberto Bonanzinga (formerly GP at Balderton Capital/Benchmark Europe) from InReach Ventures, with the participation of Lifeline Ventures, Kima Ventures, and top notch angel investors. We are incredibly proud that such amazing people decided to join our company, and we are looking forward to (re)build the CAD industry with them.
Not surprisingly we are hiring like crazy, so if you are interested in joining us, take a look at our job openings page: https://shapr3d.com/jobs/
Ps.: here are just a some of the improvements and new features you will find in 3.0:
- Direct modeling features: move faces and parts of shapes, change and remove blends, change, move or delete any geometry, even on imported models
- Face replace tool
- Improved revolve tool with support for helical bodies
- New workspace manager
- X_T (Parasolid) import and export
- Improved STP and IGES import and export thanks to Techsoft3D’s industry standard HOOPS exchange library
- Better support for STL export
- Improved rendering performance
- Improved constraints solver
- Thanks to Parasolid, all the modeling tools are now super robust and stable: shell, loft, boolean subtract, intersect and union, replace face (new tool!), direct modeling operations, revolve, sweep etc.
- Construction geometry, construction plane and construction axis
- Brand new knowledgebase and documentation
- Free trial - try all the Pro features for free for 2 weeks
- Improved sketching flow
And many more.
We were trying to make this transition as seamless as possible, but as any huge update for any software product, it inevitable caused some problems - sorry about that. We have already released 3.0.1, that fixes most of the issues you might have experienced. We hope you will enjoy this new version. Happy modeling!
Founder & CEO of Shapr3D