Somewhere out there a handful of Form 1 high-res 3D printer backers are jumping for joy now that Formlabs has launched a Mac version of its PreForm software. You might remember Form 1 as that project that made a killing on Kickstarter in 2012, raking in over $2 million, or more than 20 times its goal. The 3D model creation program was initially available only for Windows, but the firm will now simultaneously publish updates for both operating systems, starting with this latest release. In addition to support for Apple hardware, version 0.8.4 comes with the capability to automatically patch up holes and irregularities on 3D models, so they can be printed out quickly and smoothly. Both flavors of PreForm are up on Formlabs' website, where the 3D printer itself is available for preorder with a $3,300 price tag and a November 2013 shipping date.
We've had many requests for a Macintosh-compatible version of our PreForm software, and here it is. Head over to our software page to check out our new OS X-compatible version of PreForm 0.8.4.
PreForm on Mac OS X is a first-class citizen and we're releasing it with complete feature parity with the Windows version. Heading forward, we'll release OS X and Windows-compatible versions of PreForm simultaneously.
This is our first Apple release and we're still making it better. Help us by reporting any issues, requests, or bugs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Announcing Automatic Mesh Repair
We're about sophisticated software as much as awesome hardware, and we're working hard to make PreForm the best software for 3D printing out there. That means making printing easier and more reliable.
Our PreForm 0.8.4 release for Windows and Mac contains a powerful new feature, automatic mesh repair. PreForm's mesh repair tool integrates software from Netfabb to examine the triangle meshes that make up your digital design. It will automatically clean up artifacts, close triangles, and join vertices, so that your models will print reliably on the Form 1.
Check out the before and after shots below. Matt, one of our engineers, punched a bunch of holes in a model he grabbed from the web. At left, the carnage; at right, after the repair.
A modified mesh, at left, and post automatic repair, at right. Model courtesy of barney.
The difference is even clearer when you take a look at the model viewed through our slicer, below. The model at left will print very poorly. You can see where the laser will skip all over the place, trying to fill broken and malformed triangles. The model on the right, however, after automatic repair, will print beautifully!