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Netfabb Mobile

September 18, 2011

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,CAD/CAM/CAE,review — Terry Wohlers @ 09:26

I’ve downloaded many impressive apps for my HTC Evo 4G Android smartphone after getting it in December 2010. The one that ranks near the top is Netfabb Mobile. It enables you to open STL files, even large ones, for zooming, panning, and rotating of 3D models. Netfabb Mobile spins fully-rendered models in real-time—performance that exceeds the display of similar models on high-end UNIX workstations of the past.

With Netfabb Mobile, you can download STL files from the web or import them locally. Using the phone’s charge cable, it’s simple to copy STL files to the device’s SD card. A couple taps later and you are reviewing the models. The people at Netfabb could not have made it easier. The Evo’s bright 57 x 95 mm (2.25 x 3.7 inch) screen, coupled with Netfabb Mobile, offers striking 3D graphics. When spinning a fully-rendered model, jaws drop.

I opened the well-know “brain gear” file that’s 3.6 MB in size and a Jaguar hood ornament that’s 7.5 MB. Both displayed relatively fast and zooming, panning, and rotating were surprisingly good. The app also calculates the model’s total volume, surface area, and number of triangles.

If you’re looking for a portable STL model viewer, consider this one. It downloads and installs quickly, it’s simple, and the performance is almost unbelievable. With it being free, you can’t go wrong. And, there’s an iPhone version available.