Thursday, November 8, 2012

Symvol and MeshUp by Uformia

Uformia: Fabricating nature

Uformia AS recently announced its public launch of the Symvol geometric platform at the 3D Printshow in London. The Symvol platform is the world's first real volume modeling platform, reducing every object to mathematical functions. This new approach to 3D modeling reimagines design and manufacturing towards more natural and additive processes, allowing for the modeling of everything from the surface geometry to cellular structures to objects internal properties such as material distribution. To introduce real volumetric modeling to the market, Uformia has created an add-on for Rhino, called Symvol for Rhino. Some of the advantages include:

  • Designed for additive manufacturing and 3D printing (direct slice output and more)
  • Direct conversion of meshes to mesh volumes —reuse, remix and even improve existing mesh models
  • Non-destructive/constructive modeling —change anything in a model at anytime
  • Shelling of any model no matter the complexity
  • Rapid and dynamic modification and customization of objects to quickly produce variants
  • Very small file sizes, yet still able to describe much more complex models—good for collaboration
  • Infinite level of detail (Symvol is not a voxel system)—output can match the resolution of any 3D printer to reproduce the finest details possible
  • Hierarchical structures at different levels of scale, as in real-world objects
  • Organic blending of soft and sharp objects
  • Object surfaces remain valid, watertight and ready for 3D printing, irrespective of any actions by the user

Videos of the Symvol platform in action can be seen here.

To start modeling with real volumes a free limited version of Symvol for Rhino can be download from

The Symvol add-on is just the start of Uformia's vision for 3D design and fabrication software.


Uformia has launched the Kickstarter project, MeshUp, for a new standalone modeling tool:

MeshUp is set to overcome the many limitations of existing polygonal and surface-based modelers, particularly within the realms of 3D printing and fabrication. MeshUp is a volume modeling tool to fix and mix meshes together, add microstructures and generate a watertight output for 3D printing. MeshUp will be a standalone cross-platform modeling tool for Linux, Mac, and Windows.

"CG artists and designers know very well the limitations and tediousness of modeling with polygons," explains Turlif Vilbrandt, CTO and joint founder of Uformia. "Mesh models tend to have all kinds of problems such as cracks, holes and self-intersections. This is due to a disconnect between the real world being represented and the modeling software's attempts to represent real, complex and “messy” objects by only surfaces."

MeshUp offers several features that are of interest to the 3D printing and broader modeling communities. Users can load and nondestructively combine and even blend meshes together without having to worry about vertices and polygons. Meshes can be converted to a shell and microstructures can be added quickly and easily. MeshUp will also offer STL and mesh repair techniques, including a rounded repair method that attempts to take into account any missing volume in an object. Then, when it's time for physical fabrication, MeshUp will export clean watertight STL files or direct slice data for 3D printing.

Symvol for Rhino is available as a free and feature limited Maker version while the Community version is available for €190 or approximately $246. Both work on Windows and require Rhinoceros® version 4.0 SR8+ and 5 32-bit (64-bit will be supported soon).

MeshUp is now a live project on Kickstarter and while the incentive lasts, a $100 donation will give you a copy of the software on shipping. This is a great way to show support for innovation in 3D software tools and receive MeshUp for less than half the price as the final retail price will be over $200. MeshUp will be available for Linux, MacOS, and Windows.

For a limited time during the Kickstarter project, Symvol for Rhino. Community version can also be purchased for a donation to the MeshUp project of $180 instead of the normal $246.

About Uformia AS

Uformia is an international north Norwegian company who aims to develop a new kind of 3D software that will solve many of the problems of today's software, especially in the field of digital fabrication.

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