Today we introduce 3D Builder, a free app that has been launched on the latest generation Windows operating systems (10, 8 and 8.1).
3D Builder is basically a simple 3D modeling software.
It makes simplicity its strong point, the features are not many and is still being updated. However, it has everything you can expect from a basic modeling program, with a few extra gems.
The interface lines are very clean and nice. At the beginning we can decide to work on a model already present in the library, or to load our own model. The supported formats are 3MF (specific format of the 3MF consortium, presumed future standard of 3D printing), STL, OBJ, PLY and VRML. Once you have chosen the file, you will be directed to the model editing screen, which includes the main menus.
3D Builder: controllers
The right panel concerns the selection, with the possibility of selecting or deselecting all or part of the objects, which can be divided by materials, elements and colours; the lower panel is dedicated to moving, rotating and resizing the model with the measure indicated in the centre, both in millimetres and in percentages. The upper menus are instead those that concern the management of the file and the actual editing, so they should be analyzed more carefully, but I do not want to dwell by giving the Internet yet another guide, easily found elsewhere (starting with Youtube).
We can say that in addition to dimensioning, rotating or modifying objects in a basic way, it will be possible to import different types of solids, such as cubic cylinders and pyramids, join different objects into a single solid as well as intersect or subtract them. We can dissect the structures, choosing whether to hold both or just one of the parts, color them and simplify the mesh as well as using different types of visualization.
Let’s talk about the goodies: the “Relief” command, with which in addition to adding and editing relief lettering (both positive and negative) on the object, you can add 3D shapes that the program creates on the basis of image files (.jpg, .bmp, .png), and use the Kinect.
Microsoft has in fact made 3D Builder compatible with its Kinect sensor, to allow us to perform 3D scans. Connecting it to the PC, it will be automatically recognized by the software, and we can start scanning quickly and easily. we can both move the Kinect around the object, or rotate it with the fixed Kinect. In real time we will have the 3D model in color in 3D Builder, ready to be edited or directly printed.
Once we have finished our object, we will have two ways. We can make a simple slicing from the same program and then print on our favorite printer. This section is currently very limited, allowing us only to make changes that affect the automatic addition of the base and media. There is also the possibility to print remotely through a 3D printing service. In short, the model will be sent to the 3D Systems store nearest to us, printed and shipped to our home in about 10 working days. For printing material, payment and shipping, we will be redirected to the 3D Systems Cubify website. If, on the other hand, we would like to think of a more in-depth slicing, all we have to do is save the model and edit it with a software of our choice.
A few more settings would certainly not have failed, but as a basic software to approach, and let’s remember for free, the 3D world and in view of future updates and expansions, has everything you need to start having fun and I would recommend it to those who are new to the business.
Download: Microsoft Website
User Level: Beginner
System: Windows 10, 8.1, 8 and Windows Mobile only
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