The makers of form.Z have just released a first public beta of their upcoming new “sketch-oriented” modeler, BonZai 3D.
BonZai 3D is a brand new Mac and Windows application based on the same code base as form.Z. It is 100% percent file compatible in both directions with form.Z. It features real-time Boolean operations, NURBS and what the company calls “Smart 3D” drawing. It also will have extensive file interoperability (over 30 export/import formats).
- Fluid, powerful and smart interface
- All classic modeling tools
- Push/Pull tool for easy shape making/sculpting
- Realtime Booleans
- Dynamic graphic editing
- Smart 3D drawing
- Advanced OpenGL rendering with shadows, transparencies and textures
- Google Earth and SketchUp file compatibility
- 30+ import/export formats
- Embedded video tutorials (streaming)
- Embedded 56 page PDF manual
- Support for 3D Warehouse
I played with it only for a short while, but I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to create complex shapes and upload them to Shapeways. Pricing hasn’t been published yet, but there’s mention on the forums of a price point around $500.
You need to register before you can download the 141MB OSX version or the 76MB Windows version; the video tutorials are streamed on demand. After registration you’ll also get access to the beta forum.
If you’d like more background info, I can recommend this interview with Chris Yessios, creator of form.Z.