shapesifterThe newest preview in the labs goes by the name of Project Shapesifter, and though it pains me to use the word, it’s definitely one of the ‘coolest’ previews I’ve seen.

It’s the second ‘in browser’ offering we’ve seen from Autodesk in the last month and following their announcement this morning, regarding the availability of browser software, it looks to be a growing trend.

The free technology preview provides a way of creating complex 3D printable models. The programme is built on top of a 3D Patterning Engine, which offers an alternative approach to generative design, avoiding scripting of any kind.

Shapesifters technology is quick to get to grips with and due to the tools visual ease even the advance settings don’t require too much brain power - It’s purely a case of playing about with the controls until you find a shape you’re happy with. It’s a bit like a digital version of the babybel wax you used to play with as a kid.

Give it a go yourself,, but be warned – your time might disappear.

Overall it’s a simple, highly visual, piece of technology. I mainly found myself creating abstract vases or waste paper bins of some description, but the promise was there i can assure you.

In the future I’d like to see this type of technology include an open sourced list of templates to work with, meaning I could print that fully customised and all elusive kitchen utensil I’ve always wanted.