Traditionally, CAD software was usually something only design professionals and students learned to use. But in recent years, the rise of virtual reality and 3D printing technology has begun to inspire a whole new generation of hobbyist and hobbyist 3D designers. Unfortunately for them, most advanced CAD software is prohibitively expensive for a single user, and cheaper or cheaper options tend to be limited in their capabilities. But this growing interest in 3D design has encouraged new startups and software designers to start developing low-cost, easily accessible options that have all the functionality of professional software without the high price tag.
Although there are several popular and high-quality 3D design software suites on the market today, the company to beat is usually Autodesk. The Northern California software developer has several design, drafting and CAD programs available for a wide variety of industries and users. But a few former Autodesk software developers have launched a new startup called uMake, and they’re looking to take on their former employer in a big way. While a startup looking to take on bigger, more established companies is nothing new, most of them don’t have $5.2 million in seed funding or the backing of companies. ‘Apple.
We first got a look at uMake when it was featured in Apple’s keynote showcasing the iPad Pro and the Pencil stylus. The app seemed almost tailor-made for the iPad Pro, so it’s no surprise that when it launched on iTunes in early November, it was quickly touted as the Editors’ Choice. Using an iPad Pro or any Wacom tablet, users can easily sketch a simple image and uMake uses depth-sensing algorithms to turn the sketch into a 3D design. The resulting 3D object can then be wrapped with imported textures, images or even logos.
The uMake app is ideal for on-the-go designers and mobile technology, a feature that will be increasingly important for the next generation of designers and 3D artists. The program is almost comically easy to use – which doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the same design power as other programs, it’s just much easier to learn to use than your typical CAD program. And of course, by being completely cloud-based, any designs you work on can be instantly shared with other users or easily sent to other programs where uMake 3D sketches can be used in other applications.
Here’s a video of uMake being used with an iPad Pro and Pencil:
“On desktop you can find similar approaches, but it’s not that common and it can be expensive. We really believe in the mobile platform, we know the desktop is important and will be around for years to come, but less more people will be using it, and significantly kids today will be using it much less in 5-10 years,” uMake co-founder Evi Meyer told Techcrunch.
The San Francisco and Israel-based company was founded by former Autodesk employees Evi Meyer and Erik Sapir, who designed uMake to fill what they call the shortcomings of current design software. Gaps such as 3D printing, hobby makers, and the growing market for easy-to-use CAD software are all areas where more established programs tend to be more difficult to use. While many of these software suites work hard to fill these gaps and make their software more user-friendly, attracting inexperienced users is an uphill battle when they also have to worry about alienating established users.
The uMake app is free to download and has tons of features that make designing simple and straightforward with an intuitive user interface and features designed to work with new design software users, not against them. There’s also a “pro” option for $14.99 per month that unlocks more robust tools and features that make the program a good alternative to more expensive industrial programs. While it’s probably not a Fusion 360 killer, Autodesk should still be concerned about the loss of casual design users, as it’s pretty obvious that uMake was created with that exact market in mind. ‘spirit. Discuss this cloud-based software in the uMake forum thread on 3DPB.com.