Released in June 2019, flyingshapes° is a CAD surface modeling tool to create 3D sketches and refine designs with lines, curves, and surfaces within a VR headset.
Designed to streamline automotive, manufacturing, engineering, product design, 3D printing, architecture, and more, flyingshapes° helps professionals to “reduce time-consuming iteration cycles, from the initial concept, to the CAD model and through to the final prototype”.
While Classic CAD applications require extensive training and take time to master, flyingshapes° sets users in a fully immersive 360-degree VR environment, allowing them to experience all the dimensions of an object as if it was a built prototype. Simply start by creating a 3D sketch, and subsequently add lines, curves, and surfaces to refine your model. The software features an “intuitive VR CAD workflow and haptic controls”, to make it easier for users to manipulate planes, shapes, and surfaces to develop industry-grade 3D sketches with hand gestures for use in professional design workflows. And, since it is in VR, users can walk around a physical model and view it from any perspective they desire.
Right now, flyingshapes (the company) is developing review and collaboration tools to allow teams and individuals to view, interact and modify models simultaneously in real-time within the same immersive virtual workspace. This will also ease the communication between enterprises and clients, enabling them to review and experience designs remotely and provide effective feedback.
Additionally, the software supports import and export of 3D models in STEP, STL and IGES formats. Then, the generated files can be seamlessly exported into CAD applications and 3D printers. To help users get accustomed to the software, the company has a vast list of video tutorials available for free.
Although there are other similar options to flyingshapes°, according to the company, this is “one of the first and only tools targeted exclusively at professional industrial designers that supports industry-grade real-time CAD surface modeling in VR”. It is software such as this one that can help to make VR and AR more than buzzwords.
Now out of Early-Access and available on Steam, flyingshapes supports the Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, and HTC Vive Pro VR headsets, with planned support for additional headsets in future releases – maybe for Varjo’s new VR headsets, the VR-2 and VR-2 Pro?
As for pricing, the company offers a free version, as well as a $54 monthly subscription for commercial use, and custom on-premise licenses for enterprises.