Pro CAD on an iPad Pro?
Michael Alba posted on December 18, 2017 |
Modeling in Shapr3D with the Apple Pencil. (Image courtesy of Shapr3D.)
Modeling in Shapr3D with the Apple Pencil. (Image courtesy of Shapr3D.)

Shapr3D, a mobile CAD application for the iPad Pro, has launched its newest release, Shapr3D 3.0. The new release bears the fruit of a collaboration with Siemens PLM Software and Tech Soft 3D, allowing Shapr3D to run Siemens’ Parasolid and Tech Soft’s HOOPS Exchange natively on iOS.

Shapr3D is a novel CAD system in that it runs exclusively on the iPad Pro, giving engineers a truly made-for-mobile CAD experience. Unlike other mobile-ready CAD programs like Onshape, Shapr3D runs entirely locally—everything is run and stored on your iPad Pro.

Now, with Shapr3D 3.0, the integrated Parasolid and HOOPS Exchange allow for local solid modeling and CAD data translation. Parasolid is a geometric modeling kernel used in a long list of CAD applications, and HOOPS Exchange is a CAD translation SDK specifically optimized for Parasolid.

“Finding a way to do professional-grade 3D modeling natively on a mobile app has been the something that so many in the industry have been striving for,” said Tech Soft 3D CTO Gavin Bridgeman. “The team at Shapr3D has taken mobile 3D CAD modeling to a new level, and the feedback we’ve seen from users so far is indicative of just how powerful this new app will be.”

Shapr3D makes extensive use of the Apple Pencil, Apple’s pressure-sensitive stylus exclusive to the iPad Pro. The pencil enables some pretty intuitive CAD controls, such as dragging a plane to extend a volume, pushing on an edge to create a fillet or quickly drawing shapes. This video shows off some of these capabilities:

While this interface may seem alien to some longtime CAD users, its minimalistic and intuitive approach will certainly appeal to light users or people just getting into CAD. And while Shapr3D has a number of professional users, the pricing seems to reflect a more entry-level demographic. Shapr3D starts with a limited freemium version, but users can gain extended functionality with the Pro version for $150/year (unless you’re a student or teacher—then the Pro version is free).

To learn more about Shapr3D, check out its website.

Are you interested in a completely mobile CAD system like Shapr3D, or are you more comfortable at a desktop workstation? Let us know in the comments below.

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