MakerBot and The Foundry form software partnership

The Foundry's software platforms target artists and custom model-makers. By integrating with the MakerBot Replicator, the companies say the process from design to export to product is simplified.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor
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Desktop 3D printer manufacturer MakerBot and creative software provider The Foundry are combining modeling muscle.

The companies announced a partnership they said enables The Foundry's design-focused software MODO to seamlessly integrate with MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers, allowing MODO users to export model designs directly to the MakerBot printer.

MODO also provides tools for MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner customers to clean and modify scanned data in an integrated modeling environment. 

According to The Foundry’s Christopher Kenessey, the creative opportunities opened by the partnership are vast:

Using our solutions, artists have the ability to effortlessly blend, add and subtract objects, then export to a watertight mesh, a process that we believe revolutionizes 3D modeling and offers infinite creative possibilities for MakerBot 3D printer users.

A recent hype vs. revolution debate on ZDNet brought to question the impact 3D printing will have on the world, with 'revolution' coming out on top, scoring 58 percent of reader votes. The 'revolution' argument claimed 3D printing's moment in the sun has just begun, with potential on both the consumer and industrial side of the equation. The 'hype' argument shot down the consumer potential and relegated 3D printing to the confines of industrial manufacturing. 

It seems the MakerBot/Foundry partnership lands somewhere in the middle. While it's still targeting professionals, the artistic hook and graphic design approach (The Foundry touts the fact that its technology is used to power visual effects for films like Gravity, Pacific Rim, and World War Z) could make the technology feel much less gruff than printing industrial machine parts. 

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