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3MF in the wild – Shapr3D!

The 3MF in the Wild blog series highlights creative applications of the 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing 3MF standard. In this post, we’d like to introduce Shapr3D!3MF in the Wild

Shapr3D is a groundbreaking 3D modeling software for product designers, engineers, project managers, and other design experts looking to revolutionize the CAD market. They’re putting their efforts towards developing a 3D modeling software that users will love—instead of restricting them—to give clients the freedom and flexibility to create in any location, anytime, with whatever tools and materials they like.

We recently spoke with Shapr3D and got into how the 3MF specification aids in implementing their software.


What are the biggest challenges facing the 3D Printing/AM ecosystem?

Shapr3D is the very first professional 3D modeling app for iPad and Apple Pencil, with its macOS and Windows versions also available for their users. The app offers a quick and precise way to create solid models from simple sketches in minutes. Fueled by the industry standard Parasolid engine, the app sports a super intuitive UI with massive modeling capabilities. This ensures that no matter the complexity of a project, Shapr3D handles all modeling actions with ease. 

Shapr3D is a great fit for engineers, industrial designers, woodworkers, and other design professionals. Thanks to its short learning curve and interoperability features, getting from concept to actual manufacturing becomes quicker than ever.

What are the biggest challenges in the 3D Printing/AM industry?

A booming 3D printing industry begs for a similarly modern modeling solution. Certain CAD programs aren’t necessarily capable solid body modelers, but they support surface creation, leaving you with invalid or non-manufacturable bodies. This gets you nice-looking models, but there’s a chance you won’t be able to 3D print them. Shapr3D is poised to offer a solid body modeling tool that gets users through the 3D modeling part fast and without pain, thus putting back “rapid” into rapid prototyping: anything they create and then export will result in printable objects.

How does your product take advantage of 3MF?

Our modeling app is constantly being tweaked, and we’re adding new features to attend to our core audience’s needs. A huge chunk of this community includes people who don’t simply stop at the modeling part – jewelers, industrial designers, and even 3D printing hobbyists need a modeling tool that fits well in their workflow and gets them to 3D printing quicker. 3MF liberates users from being tied to the limitations of STL, and it’s an absolute must-have for any modeling app that wants to appeal to creators who heavily rely on 3D printing. STLs leave you with mistakes in the geometry, plus it’s not able to store any additional information about the object (e.g., colors, materials). 3MF gives you a much more reliable geometry, which means that you’ll print exactly what you modeled – with details that STL isn’t capable of storing. 

Why do you feel 3MF is important to the 3D Printing/AM ecosystem?

We’re convinced that 3MF is the future industry standard of 3D printing. By carrying way more information than STLs, it renders them obsolete. At Shapr3D, we feel that our mission to revolutionize an industry that got stuck in the past very much resonates with what 3MF is doing in the additive manufacturing industry.  3MF simply elevates creators and their workflow: compared to STLs, 3MFs are open-source, enable repeatable and reliable results, and save a lot of time and effort to 3D print precisely the model they wanted to have while modeling it. 


What exciting developments do you expect to see in 3D Printing/AM over the coming months or years?

With the rapid development that defines the industry, we’re excited to tag along and cater to creators working with 3D printers. New 3D printers also reduce printing time and costs dramatically: this is a welcome tendency from our perspective since the very mission of Shapr3D is to get as fast to manufacturing as possible. On top of that, more and more end-use products are being printed these days, which means that users need to iterate more and more often – be it on the shop floor, at home, or on the go. 

What specific 3MF capabilities do you support TODAY & what are the benefits?

Shapr3D currently supports 3MF export. This allows our users to create, tweak, and export their designs quickly while retaining a higher quality of their models’ geometries. This means that anything they design in the app that gets exported in 3MF and forwarded for 3D printing will have a definitive edge over other file formats like STL.

What advanced 3MF capabilities do you want to support in the future (color, lattice, volumetric?)

The next step on our roadmap is adding an import feature to the mix. In addition, we’re planning to add the materials and properties extension, which would allow our users to set custom colors and various materials later on.