ShapeDiver is an online platform which allows users to upload a special kind of CAD files called parametric models.
In a nutshell, ShapeDiver makes the parameters (the inputs) and the outputs of parametric models available via an API. This turns the uploaded parametric 3D models into cloud applications which can be used for 3D visualization in browsers, automating the creation of production data and drawings, and much more.
When using ShapeDiver for 3D visualization in browsers, parametric models become interactive 3D models which can be edited by anyone through the use of parameters that were defined by the designers themselves. See some examples of featured models.
Traditionally, parametric models are used by computational designers in order to easily produce multiple design iterations for their work and collaborate with colleagues or clients to explore potential solutions for their projects. They are mostly used in the fields of architectural and product design. One of the most popular softwares used by computational designers is Grasshopper, a Rhinoceros 3D plugin.
At ShapeDiver, we realized that parametric models could become a very efficient way to build product configurators by using model parameters to define different variations and options of a specific product. Customers are usually not skilled enough to actively take part in the design of a product, but some enjoy the possibility to personalize their purchases and value those items more than mass-produced acquisitions.
In that sense, offering customers the possibilities of parametric design has two advantages:
Taking part in a product's design is done through simple controls (range sliders, text inputs, dropdown lists, colors...) that anyone can understand and use for exploring their options.
The parametric model always live within a CAD system, which means that whichever product variations are chosen by a customer can instantly be exported to a set of files that are ready to be used for manufacturing.
Beyond the field of product configuration, ShapeDiver offers many features enabling collaboration within teams of designers, automation of repetitive tasks, decision-making and presentation tools which have applications in other industries suchs as AEC, automotive, fashion, orthopedics and many more.