Interaction with Beautiful Modeler

Beautiful Modeler

Beautiful Modeler is a software tool for gestural sculpting using a multi-touch controller such as an iPad. Each finger is used to control a single touch point in the model, with multiple layers working to build up 3D volume. As the controller is connected over the wireless network, it can be moved freely to change the viewing angle of the model.

The model itself is presented on the main display rather than on the controller itself; this prevents occlusion of the model when sculpting with the whole hand. The controller screen does not need to be viewed while sculpting, meaning the controller can be rotated or flipped to sculpt from a range of angles. Currently the model is constructed using metaballs (thanks Golan!), but this is just one approach for gestural input to be transformed into geometry.

Beautiful Modeler and the Beautiful Controller were created using openFrameworks. The finished mesh can be exported as an STL file (thanks to ofxSTL), meaning the sculpted form can be fabricated immediately. In the video above, the positive mesh has been post-processed to create a negative form for fabrication with a plaster-based 3D printer (thanks Zach!).

A simple circuit is then affixed inside the form to create a lamp. The shadows cast by the negative lamp shape reflect the original positive form.

Created by: Karl D.D. Willis
Special Thanks: Golan Levin, Wayne Chung, and P. Zach Ali
Download: Beautiful Modeler Source Code (Updated April 26, 2011)


  1. Posted November 4, 2010 at 11:03 am | #

    Very nice! My RepRap, iPad, iOS dev account and whatnot is all oiled up and ready, but where/when can we download some binaries or code?

  2. Karl DD
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 11:43 am | #

    @Georg Source code posted, enjoy.

  3. Posted November 4, 2010 at 9:04 pm | #

    Thank you, awesome!

  4. Posted November 4, 2010 at 9:04 pm | #

    Thank you for the code. Awesome!

  5. Posted November 7, 2010 at 12:33 am | #

    hey! very cool work, i hope there will be some sort of app for non programmers, with pc support would be nice :-) keep it up!

  6. Posted November 9, 2010 at 2:37 am | #

    Amazing, and beautiful!
    On top of it all you posted the full source code? Wow can’t beat that!
    Nice work!

    As an aside, I notice you’re using OSC protocol to send messages to the application. I created something which you might be interested in using, it’s called ‘NoBarrierOSC’ – it allows you to interact with a native application from anything with a safari/chrome browser

    Here’s a video of what i mean:

  7. guy
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 7:22 am | #

    is there a compiled version somewher?

  8. Karl DD
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 8:20 am | #

    @onedayitwillmake Thanks for that, looks super useful
    @guy Not at this stage, but watch this space

  9. Posted January 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm | #


  10. Posted May 4, 2011 at 8:37 pm | #

    For anyone wanting to try Beautiful Modeler for themselves, I wrote up a tutorial last week:

  11. Anthony Locke
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 1:22 am | #

    I am curious about the “post processing” that went into creating the negative of the 3d model. If anyone knows of a tutorial for something along those lines I would greatly appreciate taking a look at it! Thanks in advance

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