Have you ever done digital 3D modeling? Most likely you haven’t – and most likely you think that it’s something that only professionals do. It’s also something that involves using software tools hard to understand and something you wouldn’t even consider doing since learning it would take more time than actually doing it.
This pre-assumed complexity of 3D modeling is about to change with the Finnish startup Grib entering the scene.
Grib, the winners of this year’s Summer of Startups at Startup Sauna, might as well be one of the hottest and the most promising early stage startups in Finland at the field of 3D modeling. The startup offers a solution which is a combination of hardware and software: Just as you can use a drawing tablet for 2D, you can use Grib to instantly model 3D objects on your PC.
This summer Grib has already built up two working prototypes. One of them was showcased at the Summer of Startups Demo Day in August and it caught a lot of attention there. The device itself is a small cylinder that one can grab with their palms.
Using Grib feels somewhat like using a pottery wheel, and the experience feels way more natural than using pure software modeling on screen.
The surface of the cylinder is a touchpad – touched or pressed with various effort and in various places. Its sensors send the information to Grib software on screen and you can see your model being structured in real time.
Idea generated from personal experience
The idea of Grib was formed by Pouria Kh, one of the founders, who as a professional designer had to do 3D modeling – And was discouraged by the absence of a simple software solution to it.
“3D software is tricky – if you get out of that field for a while, then going back is very difficult, you need to learn to use its difficult functions and interfaces all over again,” Pouria comments. He realised he wanted something that allows modelling by hands and imports data instantly in a software interface.
After getting the vision of the software, Pouria approached Ashish Mohite, a researcher from Aalto University Digital Design Laboratory with 10 years of experience in 3D, who saw a great potential and usability on the idea.
Pouria and Mohite did an extensive research on various aspects of 3D and as their surprise there was no solution on the market that would offer easy 3D modeling for both professionals and laypersons – And neither a solution that would combine physical modeling or hardware and software in the most effective way.
“We figured out the system had to be very simple and intuitive, so that even kids can use it.”
The startup’s goal is to make 3D modeling available to virtually everyone. Their target audience extends beyond just professionals such as designers or architects but to anyone interested in modelling and learning to model.
“There is a lot of potential for our product in education – Grib can be used in schools to teach children about 3D shapes and make it all very interactive”, adds Pouria. And indeed, as proven by the validation the team has done this summer, children have shown a genuine interest in playing with 3D models using Grib.
Radical innovation of digital 3D modeling?
Grib’s product essentially is a translator between man-made shapes and computer models but it is also a translator and an intermediary between the technological developments in 3D modeling and its availability to masses – And that gives a lot of opportunities for development.
By combining software and hardware, Grib is bringing radical innovation to 3D modeling that opens up an opportunity to change whole industries with a device that may become the next best thing in just a few years from now.
“It’s a new experience and a new process disrupting the way you would make a 3D model, physically or digitally”, says Pouria.
With the ambitious idea of revolutionizing 3D modeling, Grib applied to Summer of Startups and to everybody’s surprise, managed to develop and validate two prototypes within two months. The audience seems to have already realized Grib’s great potential, and the team is set to work harder to accelerate the development of the product.
These two examples that were made at the Summer of Startups demoday while testing the first prototype of Grib.
The company’s team is now complete and they are looking for advisors who can help them in developing their business. But most importantly, they need your help them shape a greater product – And that’s why Grib welcomes you to a user test any time in Helsinki.