PixCap Makes 3D Design Simple… But When Will It Be 3D Printable?

Theoretically, everyone could publish on the consumer internet from near its very inception. One just had to learn the computer language of the day. Precious few did. Years later Blogger, WordPress and other tools made it much simpler to publish online. Through templates and WYSIWYG editing, one could get the hang of it in just a few days. You were a bit restricted in your freedom but it was easy. Around 10 million people became bloggers, for a while at least. With Twitter, Facebook and MySpace billions started to publish online, all through the ability to simply post text, photos and video.

If we look at 3D design today, it is a niche activity indeed. Gaming professionals and 3D modelers are few in number. Now, PixCap is trying to do with 3D design what other tools have done for text and 2D files. The browser-based tool allows users to adapt and download 3D templates to use as they wish. With a freemium model and a subscription for those who like it, PixCap makes over a 1,000 templates available to users around the world. The hope is that graphic designers, marketing folks, and anyone really can use 3D files in their communication efforts. Rather than act as an authoring tool or a 3D design app, this is much more of a click-and-go software that democratizes 3D files.

For now, these are 3D files for use in communications and the web. But, I desperately want PixCap or someone else to do this for 3D printable files.

CGTrader, TurboSquid, and other file platforms have existed for many years now. However, their scenes and assets cater to 3D professionals. PixCap wants to be there for everyone else. With an expanding interest in 3D content from games, 3D printing, 3D scanning and the ephemeral money pit that is the metaverse, PixCap is timely. It allows users to combine objects into templates. They can also add in their own assets and edit the rest. Lighting, colors, shadows, and some pose editing is also possible.

Social media folks, interns, and internal coms people can now play with 3D assets and make their own messages for a 3D world. With a simple and intuitive interface, users can output JPG, PNG, MP4, GIF, GLB and FBX. PixCap has been around since 2020 and is made up of a global team connected via the same internet that they serve. So far, investors include Sequoia Capital, Cocoon Capital, and Entrepreneur First. We spoke with CEO CJ Looi and CTO Cyril Nie to learn more about the firm.

Looi explained:

¨We are a 3D animation platform in the browser that target users that don´t have a 3D program and who are not 3D design heavy. Graphic designers, marketeers, those making social media ads and banners, landing pages, web pages, templates, icons and other assets are the audience.¨

Nie added:

¨This is for people who quickly want to find and export a 3D asset in five minutes. A person looking to make a Christmas social media ad who is looking for Santa and a Reindeer, for example. Its free and, for $14 a month, the premium version removes the watermark.¨

For now, the company is deploying a friendly, cute marketing aesthetic tailored to brands and social media. The company now generates the images in its library, but it will turn to artists outside the company to make new 3D models, assets and scenes.

¨For those 3D modelers with an eye for design willing to get their hands dirty this could be a bit 3D passive income,” Nie said. “We will always curate our library of content strictly. We don’t want random creations that are unfinished. All our templates should be design ready and easy to tweak. 

¨We cater to a new audience, new products. CG Trader, Sketchfab, Turbosquid are for a very different audience with a very certain aesthetic. Those tools are for 3D artists. You go to Sketchfab and import into Blender. With us everything is in one place, Looi said. “We let graphic designers play in 3D without a download, in the browser. And the output is ready to be used. 

The team hope to grow its user base from over 20,000 sign-ups today. The funds raised so far will go to marketing, expanding the community, and developing the product more, including more presets, lighting, and materials. The team will also use machine learning more for developing backdrops and scenes. In the future, the company is thinking of VR and AR assets, more gaming related assets and even perhaps 3D printing.

Perhaps a physical meetup of the team members would be in order, too. As befits a firm started during COVID, Nie tells us that most of the team members have never met in person. Despite that, he says that, via Slack and other tools, ¨we are aligned as a team, and there is a real sense of mission and camaraderie across the different time zones.¨

I really hope that this team looks to 3D printing eventually. The industry is kind of stuck at the moment. For the three million or so people that can use CAD, 3D printing is a playground. However, most others in the 3D printing community are downloaders of other users’ content. Simple parametrization of files is technically possible, but has not yet been commercialized in an easy way. This step alone would make every 3D printable hook mount a hook mount for every table and every headphone. Printables sites would be so much more valuable with easy parametrization. In order to expand to billions of users, 3D printing either needs PixCap or something very much like it.

The post PixCap Makes 3D Design Simple… But When Will It Be 3D Printable? appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

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