There’s some healthy competition in the VR 3D modelling space, as Sixense brings serious enhancements to MakeVR in a new version of the product named MakeVR Pro, with precision tools to assist in detailed 3D creativity and production. Both versions are currently only available on Viveport, although there are plans to bring the software to other platforms.
Since its launch in March, MakeVR has touted its ‘professional-grade CAD engine’ and smart integration with 3D printing, with the ability to save in industry standard .sab, .stl, and .obj formats, and linking directly to the Shapeways printing service. However, it was missing some essential features that advanced or professional creators might expect from software of this kind. As shown in the new trailer, MakeVR Pro addresses this with a number of useful tools for precision alignment and advanced modelling, including grids, object snapping, precision sweeps, object mirroring, a rotation tool, ruler, and jigs.
While it seems like an odd decision to retain two separate products rather than simply improving MakeVR (particularly with the fairly small price difference), the good news is that existing owners of MakeVR are receiving MakeVR Pro for free. And the changes should be worth a look even for the casual user; the new product isn’t just for professionals, as Steve Hansted, Product Manager for MakeVR explained in an interview on the official Vive blog.
“‘Pro’ refers more to the new functionality than the target audience,” he says. “We still have all the Boolean tools for more freeform creation, but what we’ve added are precision tools that will allow anyone, from students to Makers and 3D print enthusiasts to 3D modelers and designers, of all ages and skill levels, to be able to jump in and start building content with positional and rotational accuracy. It’s still so easy to learn and fun to use that it’s totally accessible to everyone.”
“This new layer of precision, combined with Vive’s room-scale technology, paves the way for MakeVR Pro to become the primary 3D object modeling tool for professionals,” said Joel Breton, GM of Vive Studios. “Users can now manipulate objects with increased precision to take advantage of the fidelity and space that VR allows, much like the way carpenters and machinists work in their real-world shops.”
Originally built for use with Sixense’s motion controller technology, MakeVR has been in development for several years, and first launched on Viveport in March. While the software is currently only functional on HTC Vive hardware, presumably due to the assistance from publisher Vive Studios, it is due to arrive on Steam sometime this year and the developers have discussed plans to be platform agnostic in the future.