Top 5 3D Modeling Apps for iPad Pro.
I recently bought a 2017 iPad Pro (10.5 ″). It was a deliberate decision. The Proline contains so much GPU power that the A10X SoC is actually faster than the A12 in the iPhone XS Max in 3D performance while using only slightly more pixels. Along with a powerful GPU, it also features a 120Hz display, which is a great companion for 3D modeling.
The logic is clear: anything that works on a high-end Apple iPhone should work with that too. As I learned while writing this function, this assumption was correct. IPad Pro 10.5 delivered stellar performance across all applications tested. Wherever there were restrictions, they were not tied to equipment. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best 3D modeling apps on iPad Pro.
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Best 3D Modeling Apps for iPad Pro
Who’s it for Users who want to take a look at Sketchup models and present them.
Let’s start with simple things first. Sketchup Viewer is not a 3D modeling tool in the strict sense of the word. In fact, it does not allow the creation of new models. However, it provides an excellent interactive platform for showcasing Sketchup models. Google sold its iconic version of Trimble simulation software a few years ago. But even as IP has changed hands, Sketchup remains a great entry-level modeling tool that focuses on ease of use.
Sketchup Viewer makes things even easier. You get an interface with lots of navigation tools on the sidebar. These include panning, orbit, and inspection. Screen gestures will change your perspective in different ways depending on the motion tool you choose. This allows you to display the model exactly at the angle you need, as well as go into the interior of the model.
The Show Hidden Lines option allows you to better appreciate the shapes used in the model and their alignment, albeit at the expense of some models looking a little “busy” with all the lines present.
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Augmented reality functionality can bring presentations to life
Finally, the Sketchup viewer makes great use of the iPad Pro’s rear camera in AR mode. You can point the camera at any flat surface and Sketchup will try to place the scaled version of the model on top. We had mixed results with this feature, although we tried it out at night with the lights on. Zoom and perspective were imperfect. However, you get an idea of how your model will look in the real world.
- Several display options make it easier to present Sketchup models.
- Can’t use it to edit Sketchup models.
Download SketchUp Viewer
Who’s it for: For professionals looking for a complete modeling solution on their iPad.
Apple Pencil is one of those useful but optional tools. Of course, the pressure sensitivity makes the handwriting more natural and allows for complex images. And the overall experience of using a pencil to jot down notes – which are saved to iCloud – is just nice. This will definitely improve the accuracy of 3D modeling applications.
Apple Pencil required: which is good
To be honest, I was surprised to see that Shapr3D does require Apple Pencil to work. Seriously, try tapping your finger on the interface and nothing happens. Forcing you to use a pencil is both good and bad. This is bad because obviously, you can’t use Shapr unless you spend the extra $ 99 on a Pencil peripheral.
But that’s a good thing, because, as we found out, Pencil is essential if you want to do something more than the roughest models: finger tapping and dragging isn’t precise enough. Share costs $ 300 per year. Perhaps the most expensive app in the App Store. Don’t worry, I didn’t buy it. The app comes with a 14-day trial. We expected no less, given the huge costs of the full version.
The trial is fully functional and demonstrates from the outset how Shapr stands out from the competition. CAD has traditionally been considered complex by necessity, which takes months to learn. Similar to SketchUp (and unlike other desktop CAD solutions), Shapr creates 3D surfaces, not solid objects. This makes it easier to highlight the dimensions of the object.
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Shapr – iPad Pro CAD Tool
We couldn’t find anything wrong with Shares. The price may seem overpriced, but it is actually quite reasonable by enterprise CAD standards. The performance was phenomenal. The iPad Pro features a ProMotion display with a 120Hz high refresh rate. It can display twice as many frames per second as your standard mobile display. If you thought 60Hz was smooth, well, that’s a whole different game. I’ve always felt that Pro Motion not only makes it easier to interact with the user interface but also a little useless until I saw it implemented in Shapr.
Pro Motion is supported in Shapr and the result is amazing fluidity. When you rotate an object, the program instantly responds to your swipes. It feels like you are actually rotating the object, not just dragging the pencil across the touchscreen. Along with the improved latency of Apple Pencil 2, the instant modeling in Shapr is mesmerizing. Modeling isn’t just something to do: it’s a pleasure to work on.
- A true complete CAD package for iPad Pro.
- Utilizes Pro Motion and Apple Pencil for a seamless user experience.
- Very high subscription cost.
Who’s it for: Users looking for a simpler yet reliable alternative to Shapr.
UMake is similar to Shapr and Sketchup, but slightly simpler. This is reflected in the cost. With a yearly subscription of just over $ 100, it’s by no means cheap, but much more affordable than Shapr and, well, just about any PC CAD solution. Make won’t let you do as much as Shapr. However, its multiple perspectives make it a viable option even for complex use cases such as architectural modeling. Instead, the focus is on ease of use.
The Umake tutorials can turn you into an expert in 15 minutes.
Umake tries to help you get started with amazingly intuitive guides. You will receive a short video explaining what each function does. In about 15 minutes, you will be familiar with most of the key features of the user interface and will be ready to start modeling. Unfortunately, things get a little ugly here. Umake has a 14-day trial, but it requires you to set up a payment and then cancel it later.
If you forget, you will have a lot of expenses. Without this, Umake only allows view mode. But even with such limited usability, it’s easy to see why Umake is such a great option. Like Shapr, it has built-in support for Pro Motion, so you get incredibly smooth and responsive user interface interactions (and more comfortable pencil sketching). And the tutorials, as we mentioned, make working with CAD a lot easier. This, in turn, expands the market slightly. If you want to try your hand at 3D modeling but can’t afford the premium solution, you can simply get a $ 20 monthly Umake subscription and paint as much as you want.
- Ease of use, with intuitive tutorials.
- Native Pro Motion support.
- The trial version limits you to view mode unless you add a payment method.
Each of these 3D modeling tools is a great reason to get an iPad Pro, whether you’re doing professional CAD or just doing 3D modeling. While SketchUp Viewer doesn’t actually allow you to create models, it provides an excellent platform for showcasing your finished SketchUp models. You can place your iPad around the conference table with a downloaded SketchUp viewer and draw everyone’s attention to the model.
Shapr is prohibitively expensive for most people, but a $ 300 annual subscription is not a lot of money for corporate users. For that amount, you get one of the most feature-rich CAD solutions for mobile, taking full advantage of the unique strengths of iPad Pro.
And if you want a professional modeling tool but aren’t ready to splurge on Shapr yet, Umake is a great starting point. The slightly more limited toolbox is offset by the lower purchase price, and the built-in Pro Motion quality makes it a pleasure to use.
Top 5 3D Modeling Apps for iPad Pro
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