3D Systems launches consumer 3D sculpting software

$129 Cubify Sculpt is based on Sensable volumetric CAD engine.  

3D Systems  today launched Cubify Sculpt, virtual clay sculpting software designed to simplify 3D modeling from a complex, skills-centric design experience to simple, intuitive sculpting. The software will sell for $129, but is currently available for a 14-day free trial.

Cubify Sculpt brings advanced volumetric CAD tools to a consumer-priced product. (Source: 3D Systems)
Cubify Sculpt brings advanced volumetric CAD tools to a consumer-priced product. (Source: 3D Systems)

Cubify Sculpt is based on the volumetric CAD engine originally developed at Sensable, which came to 3D Systems as part of the Geomagic acquisition in 2012. 3D Systems is marketing Cubify Sculpt as an easy-to-use front end for creating 3D printed items. Sensable originally sold the technology for thousands per seat along with dedicated haptic hardware, for product designers and artists.

The Cubify Sculpt feature set includes embossing with textures, adding color with paint for full color 3D printing, intuitive push and pull tools to sculpt in virtual clay and accurate symmetry settings for designing organic shapes. The mash up feature empowers users to import multiple designs to create larger and more complex objects. Cubify Sculpt designs are 3D print-ready for at-home printing or cloud printing with materials like Cubify Ceramix and Cubify Colorstone.

Cubify Sculpt accepts STL, OBJ and PLY file formats. 3D Systems plans to fully integrate Cubify Sculpt into its expanding Cubify 3D printing platform and to its Cube and CubeX 3D printer lines with direct plugins.

Our take

3D Systems has repositioned software technology that has been selling for thousands of dollars per seat and made it available to hobbyists. It is no wonder Autodesk recently announced a partnership with MakerBot, the builder of consumer-class 3D printers recently acquired by 3D Systems rival Stratasys. 3D Systems has assembled a software arsenal to match its 3D printing hardware, and shows every sign it intends to shake up the 3D printing market every way it can. Autodesk must consider 3D Systems a rival, and needed a hardware partner in 3D printing. Traditionally Autodesk views hardware vendors as tacit partners, not competitors, but 3D Systems is everybody’s competitor in 3D printing.