British 3D content generation and software development startup Whispering Gibbon, which specializes in freezing and 3D printing video game action with its innovative RenderFab technology, has just received a six-figure investment from not-for-profit company Creative England; this follows on the heels of a six-figure investment round the startup closed in January 2016, led by Northstar Ventures. The investment from Creative England, which aims to unlock the country’s creative power to drive national prosperity, will go to support the launch of Whispering Gibbon’s interdependent, patent-pending 3D software, which is poised to disrupt the 3D printing industry.
Whispering Gibbon has a team of eight people in its Newcastle firm. Its RenderFab software allows users to convert objects that have been optimized for onscreen, visual display, like architectural designs or video game scenes, into models that are optimized for 3D printing. The Creative England capital will help the company launch both RenderFab and its Grabit software.
“This is an exciting and potentially revolutionary piece of software,” said Jackie Boyd, Project Manager at Creative England. “We were keen to invest in such a forward-thinking company that has developed a product that is not just aimed at the games market; it has the scope to roll the technology out to other industries such as architecture, medical and manufacturing.”
[Image: TCT Magazine]
Whispering Gibbon believes that the industry will be revolutionized by its patent-pending technology: the software actually upgrades the current manual processes to automated, more cost-effective ones. RenderFab users can grab and share personalized on-screen content, and once the technology has optimized it, can print the content out as an actual model, which is then delivered to the user as a keyring, miniature, or figurine.
Grabit is at the front of the technology, as companies are able to use the software to get a dedicated plug-in, used to sell personalized, 3D printed merchandise to customers. This is a big deal for businesses who haven’t yet been able to enter the market, because of the high cost of investing to create and distribute stock, merchandise, and logistics.
The site, which boasts a tagline of “Grab It. Share It. Make It,” is easy to use: once you sign up and upload your ‘grab,’ it’s run through the RenderFab system, which analyzes and runs a physics simulation on the graphics and transforms them into a 3D printable form. The simulation will optimize for your chosen material, strengthen any thin parts, and make minor adjustments so that all parts of the grab form into one object. Then, a file with the 3D printable form will be sent to Whispering Gibbon’s 3D printing partner, Shapeways, which will 3D print your grab and send it right to your door.
“The latest round of investment has allowed us to successfully trial this patent pending technology with key partners and focus on bringing it to market for everyone. The technology behind our Grabit platform allows businesses to sell personalised merchandise without taking on any risk. Using our plug-in avoids having to invest in costly technology or hold large amounts of stock. It also takes away the need for costly distribution channels and in-house expertise as our process is fully automated from start to finish,” said Joe Stevens, Founder and CEO of Whispering Gibbon. “Up to now there has always been a manual process to ‘hand-fix’ any kind of customised 3D model which is costly and time consuming. By fully automating the process our platform keeps costs down ensuring each 3D model uses the least material possible. Our next step is to re-brand and re-launch the website with access to RenderFab and the GrabIt platform available free, so that potential clients can trial it before integrating the Grabit plug-in into their website. Over the coming months we will have some exciting announcements as we integrate the technology into some very well-known games.”
The company is relaunching its website next month. As part of the Creative England-funded launch, RenderFab will be free to use on the new website, so hobbyists and businesses that have access to 3D printers will have the opportunity to put the software through a trial run and print out their own 3D models. Discuss in the Whispering Gibbon forum at 3DPB.com.