Anyone can create a drawing viewer; heck, we had them back in the late 1980s (tip of the hat to Vince Everts and Cyco). A new computing platform demands new ways of interaction, and finally in 2013 we are starting to see some breakthroughs. I've written already about IMSI/Design's TurboSite ($500) that takes advantage of most sensors in an iPad; here's another breakthrough:
Geometros's Furniture 3D Constructor ($3) lets you design rectilinear furnishings, like cupboards. What is fascinating to me is how they split the 2D and 3D paradigms. And it's not today's (well, 25-year-old) paradigm of construct a 3D model and then take off 2D drawings.
The Traditional Role for 2D and 3D
No, Furniture 3D Constructor works like a craftsman does: sketch out the design in 2D, and then construct it in 3D. The craftsman is initially interested only in the size and function; details like color and style of hardware come later. (See montage below.)
In Furniture 3D Constructor's 2D mode, you lay out the basic design. You use the icons along the bottom to select parts of the cupboard, such as shelves, feet, doors, and handles.
You create dimensions as grid lines by dragging the rulers, and then place the generic items along between and along the lines. You don't size the parts; the grids lines do. (See figure below.)
When you switch to 3D mode, you choose specifics, such as the type of wood, the look of the feet, and the style of the door handles. Swapping is as simple as choosing the existing item (a handle) and choosing a new one from the 3D icons along the bottom.
In addition, simple editing is performed in 3D, such as rounding the edges of shelves. (See figure below.) Slider knobs adjust the size of the selected object.
Furniture 3D Constructor is simple, maybe even simplistic. After all, it's just $3. But the folks at Geometros are showing us a new way to interact with new hardware.
- For a video of the software at work, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n6p3nQLNIo
- To download the software, go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/furniture-3d-constructor/id576674460