3D perspective on-the-go

Clifford Moon and his brother have a small business creating BBQ pits. He had enough of scribbling down his drafts using pen & paper. The way he was prototyping and communicating the plans to his clients was just outdated. With no prior experience to any major CAD tool, he decided to search for the term "3D modeling + iPad" out of curiosity. Then he found Shapr3D and never looked back. He shared with us how mobile 3D modeling elevated his business to a new level.


Can you tell us a little bit about your background: job, education?

I have a computer science background (a few hours shy of a BS degree) and I currently work as a Web Applications Developer at our local University. We also build custom BBQ Pits and other metal projects with my brother.

self made grill

How experienced are you, in terms of 3D modeling and using CAD systems?

I've had limited background in 3D modeling outside of the application TrueSpace, where I first started playing around with some basic modeling. I've puttered around with AutoCAD, but since I didn't really need it for my job, never had a reason to sit down and really learn much about it.

3d model grill

How did you discover Shapr3D?

In the past, it's always been a tedious process to put all our BBQ pit plans out on paper and then refer back to those drawings.

Even more difficult was having to make changes and basically having to start from scratch all over again.  Then I decided to Google "3D modeling and iPad Pro" and I hit the Shapr3D link. And it's been awesome ever since.

The Workflow

How does your normal work process look like with 3D modeling?

When we start to work on a project (and I don’t just use this for our metalworking, but anytime I need to visualize something) I go to the application. I can get a 3D perspective on what I'm doing and really envision what I'm looking at before we pull out a single tool. First, I mock up the design we are going to work on and then I can use that to take to the customer.

I can show them what we are going to be doing. Plans can be changed in the field, and I can help them to see issues that may surface or enhancements that they could benefit from. By the time we leave those first meetings, we have pretty much agreed on what we are going to do and they know what they will be getting.  

With the initial meeting out of the way, we can buy material based on measurements that we have within the application. It has simplified the process and saved us money already. During our builds, I send photos of where we are on the project and if there are any questions, I have the initial drawings I made with the customer for both of us to refer back to. Once the project is complete, I can present them with photos of what we were going to build and the actual build we did and it's precise (and I love being precise).  :)

Can you give us a few more examples, how Shapr3D came in handy?


Prior to building our shop, I modeled the building and was able to visualize the various things we were going to put in the shop to give us an idea of the size.

I've purchased plans for a Pizza Oven from Australia, and mocked them up to see if they would fitin a brick gazebo that I already have (and mocked that up in Shapr3D too).  Once I put them in there in Shapr3D, it quickly became apparent that it wasn't the right fit and I will now be building it outside rather than inside.

Modeling on location

We have a deck we are going to build, and I mocked up all the design with the exact specifications on the wood sizes. I was able to easily figure out what amounts of material I would need for that.

wooden 3d model

There are so many things I use the app for and it's always RIGHT THERE. I don’t have to run back home to put it into the computer. As I'm building, the design is right there with me to use as a reference.  

wooden model in reality

Faster than pen and paper

During a recent build we did, I needed to weld in a cross member before I had to place a heavy piece of pipe on the project. I needed to be able to have that cross member close enough to weld directly to the pipe (and it had to be precise because of the what we had already welded together for the frame).  

With Shapr3D I modeled it within a few minutes and I then left to get the necessary materials. When I returned an hour later, my brother had done his own manual measuring to make sure that it was going to fit. We both came out correct, but it took me 1/10 the amount of time and it was so much easier to be able to visualize it.
3d model grillwok

Why would you recommend Shapr3D to others?

Each and every update makes the application easier to use and more useful. I love being able to communicate with Istvan, the CEO of Shapr3D (and the other developers) directly when I have questions. And it's exciting to see ideas that have been discussed by members of the community in the Shapr3D Forum show up in future versions.

I would have been lost without this application now. AWESOME TOOL!

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