Saturday, February 16, 2013

Hello Flowers! Amazing Interface for 3D Content Design

Not all 3D content is suitable for printing on our home 3D printers.

That's a shame.  Because, the iPad app that I'm going to talk about now is a marvelous 3D application with the most intuitive interface that I've ever used.

The app is called Hello Flower.   It's the work of a small two person company called Hello Enjoy.

There is no doubt that 3D printing is coming to homes and schools in a huge way.  It's inevitable.

But, 3D printers are just piles of parts without the apps and software that enables and empowers users to create the content to be printed.  And, when it comes to software, that is to be easy to use for the widest audience,  control structures and interface is everything.  And, Hello Enjoy knows control structures and interface.

It was hard enough to find people that truly understood how to make 2D graphic design easy on a computer.  3D adds a lot more complexity to the task of creating tools that are easy to use.  Carlos Ulloa and Libertad Aguilera have hit it just about perfectly for their application that allows users to design their own 3D flowers.  It's a gorgeous application.

The images can be saved as.OBJ, I doubt that they would print well because they create such delicate features.  But, that doesn't keep me from longing to see Hello Enjoy create an application specifically for creating unique works of abstract art that is suitable for printing.  The almost unlimited ability to reshape, segment and twist should create some amazingly unique and beautiful work.

Come back later and I'll have some images to share.  I'm using an Apple to compose this post.  And, I am Apple challenged.  But, as soon as I'm back home, I will upload some samples and talk more about the interface features that I love so much.

But, I definitely wanted to immediately let you know about this amazing app as soon as possible.


  1. Tom: thanks for the post on this - you might want to make a minor edit in the 7th paragraph (3d from the end) due to a typo...

    But also, perhaps even more exciting (because you could make some of these on a Cube) is AutoDesk's new 123DCreature app recently released for the iPad.

    Who needs the toys at the fast food restaurants anymore! ;-)

  2. Thanks for the editing and thanks for the link! LOL!

    I have been battling warping on a design that takes the entire print platform and FINALLY managed to design the warp out of the piece. I found that having heavy edge features is NOT the optimal for printing in ABS. :)

    It will be interesting to see how the Next-Gen Cube's PLA does with the same designs. I should be putting up the objects in the next week or so and will talk about the design iterations in that blog entry.

  3. Hi,

    I have a comment regarding the Cube.

    I think it's ridiculous for a company as experienced as 3D System to enter the personal 3D printer area with such a failed machine. It is riddled with problems and issues akin to an amateur product. I have two Makerbot printers with much less problems and fail time in comparison. It is absolutely mediocre considering the "experts" behind it. The Cube is major failure wrapped in a fancy casing.

    3D Systems should've thought more before making such a farce. They should've taken Apple's lesson when they entered the MP3 player, mobile phone/smartphone business instead of piggybacking on their other successes (I assume).

    I'm frustrated rather than amused with the whole thing :(((.

    Thank you.

    Khaled A.

  4. That is aside from the user-unfriendly online support and web site!!

  5. My own experience is that I have had good response from any contact I've made with the support folks. Sometimes that response is "we're working on it" but there is a decent effort to touch base with questions in a timely manner. As for the Cube itself, I've had good success with it other than the issue of dimensional accuracy. While firmware updates have helped, my own approach has been to compensate if it matters to the finished part. So, I'm sure the Cube folks have learned a lot from the first generation units and things will continue to get better. I own 3 MakerBot units and feel my Replicator 1 does a better job overall but it still can goof up big time if you aren't nice to it!

  6. Tom: also, on your Hello Flower app -- there is now a service to turn .OBJ files with texture maps (like the flowers) into a self-viewing hologram. A bit pricey ($199 for an 8x10) but rather impressive.