‘MakeVR Pro’ Introduces Precision Tools for 3D Modelling in VR


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.

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“‘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.

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  • Caven

    Any word on when or how that that free upgrade for MakeVR users works?

    • cirby

      They email you a Viveport code.

    • John J

      Yup check your spam box for whatever email addr you signed up on viveport to buy makeVR. I found my code in the spam box the day after Pro was released.

      • Caven

        Damn it, I don’t have anything more than two weeks old in my spam box, so if it ended up in there I guess it got auto-deleted already. I suppose I’ll have to try contacting support to see if they can resend the email.

      • Caven

        Was your code sent from Viveport or from Sixense? I see two different support emails and am trying to figure out which one I should try first.

        • John J

          Mine came from Viveport

  • knuckles625

    I’m very disappointed to see Sixense mentioned in any article without also reminding the reader of their continued awful and unresolved handling of the STEM Kickstarter.

    Cannot stress enough not to buy from a company with such a well-documented track record of non-existant customer service

  • Raphael

    If the end result is 80s quality 3d graphics then it looks like they have another 30 years of development to bring it up to speed. I use maxon cinema 4d so that’s basically what I’m looking for in a vr 3d design app.

    • John J

      MakeVR is not a rendering platform. It’s a commercially licensed industrial CAD engine with a VR UI wrapper for its boolean tools. It’s also not a NURB sculptor like Kodon and Medium. It is meant to make 3d printed object files or OBJ assets you would bring into another platform such as 4d to skin and render into scenes. It’s just a basic CAD modeler with enough rendering and skinning to visualize your design. It’s a very different experience but after a few hours it’s workflow design makes a lot of sense and I just work without thinking or hunting for tools.

      • Paul

        Well said John.

      • Adrian

        Do you know what geometry kernel they’re using? I’ve been thinking of creating an application based on one, as well.

        • John J

          It is supposedly built from the 3D ACIS modeling kernel by Spatial Corporation/Dassault Systems. AutoCAD uses the same engine according to Wikipedia.

          • John J
          • Adrian

            Hmm, I’m guessing that licensing cost a bunch. I looked at C3D (a less known Russian kernel) and even that was a few thousand.

  • Foreign Devil

    Can it do box modeling with subdivision surface/smooth preview? That would be very useful.

  • Mettanine

    Have any of the current MakeVR users got their Viveport code yet?

    • John J

      I did the day after release and redeemed it with no issue. Check your spambox maybe.

  • Surykaty

    CAD based?? uhhh… where are the splines, cv curves? surfacing tools??? big meh