Jordanian startup Mixed Dimensions, which recently moved to Silicon Valley after obtaining financing worth $1 million, is planning to make 3D modeling and printing capability available to a much wider market.

Mixed Dimensions brings 3D modeling and printing to a wider public


Now that 3D printers are becoming available to the general public, the demand for 3D modeling capabilities is also likely to increase considerably. Today there are many firms and highly qualified independent specialists selling 3D modeling services, but they focus almost exclusively on a business clientele, such as games studios, and tend not to address consumer needs for assistance. This of course runs contrary to the interests of 3D printer manufacturers, who want to see their technology used by a wider segment. An increasing number of people are likely to get interested in designing 3D objects, which means that 3D modeling will have to be made simpler – with tools that people without any special IT knowledge are able to use. In response to this promising demand, a Jordanian startup called Mixed Dimensions (MXD), now recently relocated to Silicon Valley, has developed browser-based 3D design tools for a mass market audience, together with a cloud platform for sharing and browsing 3D objects and locating related services. Founder Baha Abu Nojaim explains that his company’s goal is to make the 3D design process “as simple as drawing”. MXD launched the tool on 15 April in a private beta version, having received $1 million in seed funding –primarily earmarked for expanding the team and filing patents –from a group of venture capital firms and business angels from the US, Europe, and the Middle East.

3D design capability for all

Baha Abu Nojaim and his team have built an HTML5-based tool for viewing, sharing and converting existing models and then printing them. MXD also offers a Unity-based 3D object editor, which allows modeled content to be exported to Unity player, NACL (a library of high-speed easy-to-use software for communication networks, encryption, decryption, etc) , iOS and Android, with webGL (a JavaScript API for rendering interactive 3D graphics and 2D graphics within any compatible web browser without the use of plug-ins) also coming soon. MXD’s editing interface is designed to work with both touchscreens and PCs, with a ‘pencil’ function available for users who do not have touchscreens, so they can draw freely and then render their drawing in 3D. In contrast to other 3D design software programs, MXD does not require you to download any other 3D software packages in order to get the design ready for printing, as the MXD technology generates 3D printer instructions directly. The tool will check files, repair those not ready for printing and generate the G-Code – the language which computerizes the design instructions. In addition, MXD is building a marketplace for 3D models, where users will be able to share, buy, sell and print 3D models.  Professional 3D printing service offers will also be integrated into the platform, enabling users to select an object and either print it out on their own 3D printer or send it to a service such as Shapeways or Sculpteo for printing.

A complete platform for 3D projects

In fact what MXD is doing is building an end-to-end offering, from the creation of 3D models, to sharing and browsing them on its cloud platform and then printing them out locally or calling on related professional services. The company names Autodesk and Sketchup as its main competitors, but in fact its end-to-end approach sets it apart from existing 3D service providers, who focus mainly on 3D modelling. The startup further differentiates itself from the competition by guaranteeing that all 3D models created on the platform with its editing tools are 100% printable. MXD will bill customers according to the service options and features required, ranging from basic free use to high-end service billing. For example it will offer its tools to companies and businesses as an embed, allowing them to offer their customers the ability to personalize and print products directly from their own website. The Mixed Dimensions founders and investors are expecting to see the market really take off as 3D printing becomes easier and more people want to learn how to create their own personalized items. The platform is due to exit beta by early summer, at the same time as the company launches its next – Series A venture capital – funding campaign, and Baha Abu Nojaim hopes to be in a position to start scaling the MXD 3D marketplace in the next couple of months. 

By Manon Garnier