If there’s one problem with 3D modeling and printing its that you never really know what you’re going to get. That’s where Augment comes in. It’s a new program for phones and tablets that allows you to see 3D printed objects in an augmented reality display, thereby allowing you to see what an object will look like before you start the print process. It works with most major 3D modeling formats and you can download and view items from Thingiverse with one tap of a button.
The founders are all engineers and CS majors. CEO Jean-François Chianetta has been programming since he was 8 and the CTO Cyril Champier has a background in cognitive sciences. The CMO, Mickaël Jordan, is an open data guru.
The project is self-funded and they currently have 20,000 active users. They’re offering a paid version of the service to certain customers who can then add a “See This On Your Wall” or “See This In Your Room” feature to their websites. For example, users can click a button on PrintedArt.com and see the painting or print they’re about to buy right on their wall.
The service also supports STL, Collada, OBJ, 3DS and Blend files and can open them on any iOS or Android device. This allows 3D hackers to offer a one-step process to visualize objects on the fly. In short, it adds real augmented reality to the already vibrant 3D modeling services out there.
“I started Augment as a side project 1 year and a half ago. I wanted to do photo printing in poster size. Since smartphones were around, I had the idea to create an augmented reality app to visualize the posters directly on my wall to see what size was the best fit,” said Chianetta.
“It’s a simple way to add an iteration before building the first physical prototype,” he said.