Tuesday, May 7th, 2024 Posted by Jim Thacker

Plastic Software releases Plasticity 2024.1

Plastic Software – aka tools developer Nick Kallen – has released Plasticity 2024.1, the latest version of the lightweight NURBS modeller.

The update, described as a “really exciting release, particularly if you care about surfacing”, overhauls workflow for managing and directly editing CVs.

In addition, the Studio edition of the software now integrates the xNURBS library, previously only available via paid add-ons for Rhino and SolidWorks.

The release also marks a change of version numbering for the software: under the old numbering, it would have been Plasticity 2.0.

A lightweight NURBS modelling app for concept art, not industrial design
Released in 2023, 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 2024.1: improvements to surfacing workflow
Plasticity 2024.1 reworks the software’s surfacing workflow: something the video at the top of the story demonstrates by recreating an old Siemens NX demo in Plasticity.

It is now possible to manipulate the CVs for both trimmed and untrimmed faces directly in the viewport, and faces with visible CVs now have a ‘nominal’ surface to make direct editing easier.

In addition, a new Raise Degree command increases surface complexity by converting analytic surfaces to splines and increasing the spline degree.

To visually simplify workflow, a new Toggle Points makes it possible to toggle the visibility of points on selected faces, curves and bodies.

The Offset Face command now supports dependent offsets – matching the curvature of another surface – providing a more fluid workflow than the existing Match Face command.

New options for fillets, scaling forms, and MatCap materials
Other changes include a new Full Round option for Fillets, and scaling options for the Pipe and Sweep commands, making it possible to create tapered forms.

The update also introduces new built-in MatCap materials, with the option to use your own custom Matcaps.

Studio edition only: now integrates the xNURBS surfacing library
In addition, the Studio edition of the software now integrates the xNURBS library on Windows and macOS.

The high-quality ‘variational surfacing’ tech was previously only available via paid add-ons for Rhino and SolidWorks, which currently cost between $395 and $695.

Studio users also get support for import of files from Rhino 8.

Only available as a paid update for users with old $99 Indie licenses
Plasticity also marks a change of version numbering for the software: under the previous version numbering, it would have been Plasticity 2.0.

That means that users with the old $99 Indie licenses, which included only 1.x updates, don’t get it for free: something that has caused complaints in replies to the tweet announcing the release.

The update is included for free with $149 Indie licenses, introduced last October with the release of Plasticity 1.3.

Price, system requirements and release date
Plasticity 2024.1 is available for Windows 10+, Ubuntu 22.04+ Linux and macOS 12.0+. It runs on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs.

Perpetual node-locked Indie licences cost $149, and import and export files in OBJ, STEP, STL and Parasolid XT format. Studio licences support a wider range of file formats and cost $299.

Read a full list of new features in Plasticity 2024.1 on the software’s Discord server

Read more about Plasticity on the product website

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