Monday, October 9th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Nick Kallen ships Plasticity 1.3

Tools developer Nick Kallen has released Plasticity 1.3, another major update to the popular lightweight NURBS modeller.

The release introduces a new Blender Bridge add-on to live-link the two apps, making it possible to preview Plasticity models inside Blender with proper materials and lighting.

Other changes include support for chordal fillets, a new system of radial menus for quick access to key settings, and the option to solo objects in scenes.

A lightweight NURBS modelling app for concept art, not industrial design
Released in April, and pitched as “CAD for artists”, 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.

It features a streamlined UI, with on-screen clutter reduced by context-sensitive widgets and pop-up UI panels, and uses key bindings and selection modes that should be familiar to Blender users.

Plasticity 1.3: new Blender bridge
Plasticity 1.3 goes even further in supporting Blender users, since the update introduces the Blender Bridge: a new add-on capable of live-linking the two applications.

It is intended to speed up look development, making it possible to preview models with proper materials and lighting inside Blender, while continuing to work on them live.

It is also possible to edit the geometry in Blender: “almost all” of Plasticity’s faceting tools are available within Blender, making it possible to adjust mesh density or edge flow.

Support for chordal fillets
Other new features in Plasticity 1.3 include a Chordal option for fillets.

Chordal fillets maintain a constant length for the chord of the fillet, regardless of the angles being filleted. You can see a demonstration in the video above.

Workflow improvements: radial menus, Isolate command and multi-window support
There are also some significant workflow improvements, including a new system of customisable radial menus, providing quick access to key settings.

Two are provided by default, one for toggling selection modes, and one for modifying 3D viewport settings.

In addition, the new Isolate command makes it possible to solo selected objects, hiding the other objects in a scene to streamline editing.

It is also now possible to open multiple Plasticity windows when kitbashing, and copy and paste between them, with the option to copy the exact placement of an object.

Plasticity 1.3 features a lot of smaller feature and workflow updates, including STL import. You can find the full list in the online documentation.

Price, system requirements and release date
Plasticity 1.3 is available for Windows 10+, Ubuntu 22.04+ Linux and macOS 12.0+. It runs on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs. The update is free to existing users.

Perpetual node-locked Indie licences cost $149, up $50 from the previous release, and import and export files in OBJ, STEP and Parasolid XT format.

Studio licences support a wider range of file formats and cost $299.

There is also a free trial edition, which only imports STEP files and exports OBJ files.

Read a full list of new features in Plasticity in the online documentation

Read more about Plasticity on the product website

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