Mixed Dimensions raises about $1 million to create 3D design tools for the masses – TechCrunch

There is an entire industry of specialists selling highly skilled 3D modeling services. Which is great if you’re a massive game studio looking to populate your next big first-person shooter franchise. But the demand for 3D modeling is likely to expand dramatically, in the coming years, with the rise of consumer-focused 3D printers.

Many more people are going to be curious about how to design 3D objects in order to print them, and this relative general public will need much simpler tools if they want to be able to personally create the things they want to be able to print. .

So step up to Mixed Dimensions (MXD), a Jordanian startup now relocated to Silicon Valley that aims to simplify the 3D design process by creating browser-based 3D design tools for the masses, as well as a cloud platform for sharing and browsing 3D objects, and locating related services.

“All design tools today require the user to learn many 3D concepts which are inherently difficult and our approach tries to make it as easy as drawing,” the startup told TechCrunch. “Therefore, users can simply draw and raise 3D shapes.”

MXD has created an HTML5-based visualization tool to view, share, convert existing models and print them. And a Unity-based 3D object editor, which allows exporting modeled content to Unity player, NACL, iOS and Android, with webGL coming soon.

MXD’s editing tools are showcased in the video below – and as with anything that claims to simplify complexity, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBQEi-MOOOo

The interface is designed to work with touchscreens as well as PCs – which MXD says makes it “one of the first if not the first to allow this”.

“If you don’t have a touch screen, we offer a ‘pencil’ function, which you can freely draw and render in 3D. Also, with other 3D software packages, the user must use additional software packages to prepare the design for printing. MXD has technology that generates 3D printing instructions directly on the fly. It not only verifies files, generates G-Code, but also repairs files that are not ready for printing,” he adds.

MXD launches its tools today, in private beta – and also announces just under $1 million in seed funding, raised from a group of venture capital and angel funds in the US , in Europe and the Middle East, including the Badia Impact Fund, which supports Jordanian startups and Ecosystem Ventures.

MXD went through Alchemist Accelerator last year. This incubator also participates in its seed cycle. MXD has already taken part in a “small” round of anonymous investors.

The new funding has already been earmarked for team expansion and patent filing. MXD says it expects a Series A round to be completed this summer.

As stated above, in addition to creating tools for viewing and editing 3D objects, MXD is creating a marketplace for 3D models, where its users will be able to share, buy, sell, and print 3D models. 3D printing services will also be integrated into the marketplace, so users can select an object and send it to a service such as Shapeways or Sculpteo to print for them, as well as be able to print locally on their own 3D printer ( if they have one).

MXD therefore builds an end-to-end offer, from the creation of 3D models, to their sharing and navigation on its cloud platform, through their printing or the search for associated services. He points to Autodesk and Sketchup as his main competitors, but says this end-to-end approach sets him apart from existing 3D-focused players.

He also argues that his marketplace differs from existing 3D object marketplaces such as Thingiverse by ensuring that all 3D models are “100% printable” – as it automates model attachment and generates the G-Code required for 3D printers. .

All models on the MXD marketplace can also be edited online, via a direct link to its editor tool. Additionally, it again lists access to related 3D services – such as “find a local 3D printer” or “find a designer” – as a differentiator.

MXD’s business model is threefold: a freemium model for the use of its tools, which goes from free to very high-end pricing, depending on features and services; a 3D service revenue stream where MXD takes a share of every model printed on the services used by its users; and an integrated API for businesses.

This will offer MXD’s tools to companies and businesses as an integration, allowing them to offer their customers the ability to customize and print products directly from their own website.

This is all to come, the startup just launched its private beta today. The startup tells TechCrunch that its product will be out of beta in early summer — so it hopes to start scaling its 3D marketplace in the coming months.