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Edit from the inside: Sixense refines MakeVR, its immersive CAD modeling platform

When Sixense previewed MakeVR, its immersive 3D-modeling platform, a couple years ago, we were impressed. Equipped with Sixense’s proprietary hardware, we could make CAD models from within a virtual reality environment — grabbing, moving, and snapping objects together as we saw fit. It wasn’t perfect but it was promising.

Well, we’re excited to say that Sixense has refined and finalized its platform. Best of all, it’s made MakeVR compatible with the HTC Vive, opening it up to a much broader audience, from professional game developers to amateur architects and everyone in between.

“MakeVR is designed to allow everyday users the ability to do simple and complex 3D modeling,” Steve Hansted, director of business development and product manager of MakeVR, told Digital Trends at CES 2017.

Learning curves for CAD modeling software can be pretty steep. Sixense wanted to level the field a bit to give less proficient designers a handle on typically complicated software. Using some of the primitive shapes offered in the software, kids as young as 6 years old have created models in MakeVR on the first day they used it, according to Hansted, while the average user can get a handle of it in about five minutes.

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That isn’t to say Sixense forgot about professionals. MakeVR is supported by a solid modeling CAD engine that allows for both freeform and precision controls. In the future, the company plans to offer an environment for users to share or sell their designs and templates.

The old-fashioned way of using a mouse, keyboard, and 2D screen might work for some, but the future of design is heading toward VR and AR technologies, which promise to be more fluid and intuitive. “You’re moving space around you [in MakeVR],” Hansted said. “You’re scaling world up and down depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.”

In one project, you can stand like a giant over a street to place buildings along the sidewalk. In another, you can shrink to the size of mouse to enter a car engine. “You have full freedom to be anywhere you want,” Hansted said.

Check out Digital Trends’ comprehensive coverage of CES 2017 at DigitalTrends.com/ces/.