Creating 3D Models in Virtual Reality with Oculus Medium

It seems the world of Virtual Reality content design tools has taken another step forward at last. Now that virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift are relatively affordable, we’re now seeing a race among developers to make elegant 3D content design programs for these tools. While at the moment these tools are primarily focused on real-time animation, it’s only a matter of time before they expand onto other disciplines such as product design CAD.

Cinematography Database has recently performed a test run on Oculus Rift’s own 3D content and production tool Oculus Medium. It gives a good overview of just what these VR modelling tools can already do. See for yourself.


CAD Book Review – Designing Jewelry with Rhino By Eliania Rosetti

<Update- The publishers got in contact with me after writing this review, and helped me with some corrections to some of the publishing information and dates. The article has been amended accordingly.>

A few weeks ago, I discovered a book called Designing Jewelry with Rhino by Eliania Rosetti being out of Brazil. Since it’s become clear that more CAD jewellers need to know about this book, I’ve written a brief review here.

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i.materialise article – How to Get Started With 3D Modelling

A 3D Character Model sculpted in Blender by John Williamson

Over at the i.materialise blog, they have recently released a wonderful interview with Jonathan Williamson, professional 3D CGI modeller and tutor from CG Cookie, a training site for 3D modelling for the gaming industry.

I agree with all of his points. While his advice is more focused on CGI modelling for video and games (as shown in his choices of software, none of which I would ever recommend for Jewellery CAD or 3D printing), he does mention product design and toy design, and his advice resonates with any specialism of 3D modelling, including jewellery design. But most importantly, what he says about the world badly needing more 3D content creators echoes what I’ve previously said in my lectures and on this blog, and it is good to hear others pushing for this.

Have a look:

i.materialise Article – How to Get Started with 3D Modelling

i.materialise Article – Top 10 CAD Sculpting Programs for 3D Printing

i.materialise‘s 3D printing blog has released a nice article listing 10 popular choices using sculptural CAD for the purposes of 3D printing and product design.

While many of the choices are primarily from digital effects programs, they can all be used with some adjustments to your workflow, and with the right tolerances jewellery design will work just fine.

They’ve left off quite a bit of jewellery specific sculpting programs, however. ArtCAM Jewelsmith features 2.5D relief sculpting, while 3Design’s Shaper, and the T-Splines and Clayoo Rhino plug-ins all offer organic modelling to more traditional types of product design CAD, but this is still a helpful list.

Serpents Buckle model made with Sculptris. Designed by Michael Mueller.

Serpents Buckle model made with Sculptris. Designed by Michael Mueller.

i.materialise blog article – Top 10 3D Sculpting Programs for 3D Printing

3D Modelling in Virtual Reality

3D Modelling in Virtual Reality with VRclay, Razer Hydra, and Oculus Rift

3D Modelling in Virtual Reality with VRclay, Razer Hydra, and Oculus Rift

Now that Google and Microsoft are taking virtual reality seriously, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing some exciting applications start to appear that would be relevant to 3D designers.

As it happens, in the past few months three experimental products have appeared which capitalise on virtual reality for use in 3D modelling. It seems they have all learned valuable lessons from Augmented Reality user interfaces as well.

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i.materialise Article – 9 Free CAD Programs To Get You Started with 3D Printing

Our friends at i.materialise have put together their own list of cheap or free 3D CAD programs to help people get started with product design CAD for 3D printing.

i.materialise Article – 9 Free CAD Programs To Get You Started with 3D Printing

While not all of these choices are the easiest to learn (Blender has a reputation for a steep learning curve), and none of them are particularly designed for making jewellery specifically, it is a good list. But if we’re discussing inexpensive CAD programs for 3D printing, I would also add 3DCoat as well.

3D Printing Industry – Elements Lab and Their Upcoming Jewellery Maker App

3D Printing Industry recently wrote an interesting story about Taiwan-based 3D printing bureau Elements Lab and the Jewellery Maker app they’re currently working to build.

As with similar efforts in the past to build a simpler mass customisation tool, the idea is to make jewellery modelling for 3D printing simple enough for anyone to try their hand. They even made a trailer to show off the app’s intended capabilities:

You can read more about it here:

Elements Lab and Their Upcoming Jewellery Maker App