Putting the pedal to the metal on modeling UX

Our users often describe 3D modeling in Shapr3D as an experience that unleashes their creativity, free from the friction of their typical toolset. Shapr3D’s use of direct modeling—accessed through a touch interface and built on the industry-leading Parasolid modeling kernel—literally puts the tools to visualize ideas at their fingertips.

Introducing adaptive UI, our predictive interface design

As of version 3.42 of the Shapr3D iPadOS app, users have access to our selection of 3D design tools through an adaptive user interface. While you can still directly access the Tools menu to initiate operations, you can also start by selecting different objects within a 3D space, and the app will suggest a variety of appropriate 3D tools for that selection.

For example, if you select two intersecting bodies, Shapr3D will prominently suggest Boolean operations; if you select the face of a body, the app will suggest offsetting that face. We have also incrementally reviewed all our tools, shifting the customization controls from floating menus into controls directly connected to objects in your design.

You can think of this like a magic toolbelt: Whatever tool you need to accomplish a task will magically appear in your hands when you need it.

Together these changes align with our intention to continue improving the world’s smoothest, most intuitive 3D modeling experience. No need to dig through menus to find the tool you’re looking for. Simply select the right objects with your Pencil and let Shapr3D suggest the right tools for you.

What adaptive UI means for you

These changes aren’t just hypothetical: we’ve already seen real implications of adaptive UI on our users’ experience with the app. Many of our power users have reported that the adaptive user interface helps them shave valuable time off each operation. Meanwhile, we’ve noticed that smart interactions help new users be productive more quickly; they don’t have to explore the app fully to figure out where tools are, freeing up mental space to work on their designs.

As is always the case for us at Shapr3D, this work was heavily influenced by our users. The app’s entire modeling experience is built on the foundation of an intense user-centric design process. Initial insights for new feature developments are derived from user research, and subsequently validated and iterated based on their feedback.

Our users are designers and engineers who use Shapr3D and other 3D design tools to create the objects that surround us in our daily lives. To do this, they require highly iterative processes. We believe that their tools deserve the same care and attention, which is why we have carefully built onto this experience and will continue to tweak and improve as we receive additional feedback following this broad release.

Setting the stage for our next feature releases

Looking towards the future, even the most usable software runs the risk of accumulating complexity over time as new features are added to address user needs. Our adaptive user interface prepares us to deal with this. We have exciting plans for the months and years ahead, all driven by our amazing userbase. We’re confident knowing that we have a smart foundation in place that balances functionality with usability.

If I’ve piqued your curiosity, I encourage you to direct your attention to the latest version of Shapr3D, downloadable for free on the App store.

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