Originally posted on 16 February 2022 and updated with the release date and pre-release pricing.
Tools developer Nick Kallen has released a public beta of Plasticity, a promising streamlined new NURBS modelling tool described as “CAD for artists”.
The software, which features a Blender-like UI, key bindings and selection modes, is intended to enable artists to create hard-surface assets quickly and intuitively.
Plasticity is due for a stable release on 5 April 2023, and is currently available to pre-order.
A lightweight NURBS modelling app for concept art, not industrial design
In development for a year, and now available in public beta, Plasticity is a streamlined NURBS modeller.
The software is intended to provide a low-cost, artist-friendly alternative to tools like MoI – which Kallen describes as a “huge inspiration” – and Fusion 360, and is aimed at concept art as well as industrial design.
Streamlined, artist-friendly workflow, with a Blender-friendly UI
Plasticity features a streamlined UI, with on-screen clutter reduced by context-sensitive widgets and pop-up UI panels, and uses key bindings and selections modes that should be familiar to Blender users.
Users can quickly create complex hard-surface models by combining 2D curves and 3D primitives through Boolean operations, extruding faces, and chamfering or filleting edges, as shown in the video above.
It is also possible to arrange objects in arrays, although currently only radial arrays are supported.
Completed models can be exported in OBJ, STEP or IGES format for use in DCC or CAD software, and in the native formats of Rhino and Parasolid.
Kallen says that he plans to implement a modifier system in future builds, but that parametric modelling features are less of a priority, given the focus on an artist-friendly workflow.
Price, system requirements and release date
Plasticity is available in free public beta for Windows, Linux and macOS. The source code is available under a LGPL licence.
The software is due for a commercial release on 5 April 2023, and is now available to pre-order.
Indie licences cost $99 and import and export files in OBJ, STEP and Parasolid XT format. Studio licences support a wider range of file formats and cost $299. Both are perpetual node-locked licences.
There is also a free trial edition, which only imports STEP files and export OBJ files.
Pre-order Plasticity from the new product website
Download beta releases of Plasticity for free from GitHub
Watch video tutorials for Plasticity on Nick Kallen’s YouTube channel
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,