Most of the demonstrations you see for VR are games, because they're exciting and fun and don't require a lot of skill or understanding to jump in and out. The same can not be said for VR art software, which is being used by artists all around the world to create anything and everything in a truly unique way. When the canvas is space itself, and you can manipulate the scale of the thing you're creating, in the hands of a creative individual the end results are often amazing.
This ability to view your creations as an almost physical thing is a big deal, and with the right software you can go the next step and actually print your designs in a 3D Printer.
The easiest way to get anything to print on a 3D Printer is to have your creation saved in the file type your printer works best with. For most printers, that means a .STL or .OBJ file. MakeVR was designed to export anything you make within it in those formats, so you can quickly go from creating to printing.
It's also a very good 3D creation app, giving you the ability to see your creation from every angle and control the scale of your creation in the process. This means you can walk around your creation while making lots of little changes and have your final creation print at whatever size you need. The potential for detail is the coolest part of this particular experience.
MakeVR is currently only available on Viveport for the HTC Vive, but it's well worth checking out if your goal is to print your VR creations.
What about other VR art apps?
Creating something in a VR art app is very different from a normal 3D creation. Every line drawn is done by hand, unless you specifically use tools for straight edges and perfectly flat borders. The Oculus Touch and HTC Vive controllers are more than accurate enough for you to draw confidently in space, making it possible to freehand some incredible things. When you start out, there are no surfaces. You're creating in air, and your creation exists weightless in space while you work on it. You have access to every color under the sun, and in most apps multiple textures to switch between.
If you've made something you want to print, all you're really doing is exporting that creation into a format your 3D Printer software can understand. For most 3D Print apps, the preferred formats are .STL and .OBJ. These formats are standards, so most VR art apps can export in at least one of these options. The most common export option for VR art apps is .OBJ, which means you can technically create something and immediately import that creation to print if you have everything all set up.
But there's a few things you could do first to improve the quality of your 3D art before it goes to the printer. Building in VR means it's a little easier to create something that looks like a single piece but actually contains multiple free-floating pieces. These are much more difficult to print, and could dramatically increase the potential for error in printing. The easiest way to address this is in VR, by carefully inspecting your creation before exporting. If you're interested in being more precise, there are great 3D Printing resources available for cleaning up your work before printing.
How to export Tilt Brush creations
- Rotate the option box to the Tools panel
- Select More
- Select Labs
- Select Export
- Go to C:\Users[Name]\Documents\Tilt Brush\Exports and retrieve your .OBJ file
How to export Oculus Medium creations
- Press the red Home icon in your menu hand
- Select Export
- Go to C:\Users[Name]\Documents\Medium\Sculpts[UserName][SculptName and retrieve your .OBJ file
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