Maker app turns 2D into 3D

MakerBot PrintShop app introduces new Shape Maker feature–turns 2D into 3D.

app-makerbot-3DMakerBot’s free iPad app MakerBot® PrintShop® version 1.5 is now available for update in the iTunes App Store and offers a brand new feature called MakerBot Shape Maker that takes drawings and sketches and instantaneously turns them into 3D printable files.

MakerBot PrintShop Shape Maker aims to allow users to transform sketches, photos and screen captures into a 3D printable file, without any 3D design experience. Designed for beginners who want to get started quickly with 3D printing, MakerBot PrintShop with Shape Maker is what MakerBot believes to be an exiting new tool that will transform the way the industry moves from 2D to 3D.

“All it takes is a pen and a piece of white paper to create a drawing that can then be 3D printed using the new MakerBot Shape Maker feature,” explained Joey Neal, chief experience officer with MakerBot. “If you can draw a sketch, you can use MakerBot Shape Maker to transform your creations from the flat 2D world of pen and paper to the exciting 3D world of 3D printing.”

Joey Neal also noted that the Shape Maker feature in MakerBot PrintShop is a great tool for teachers and students to use within courses. The free app aims to remove the barriers for students to get started with 3D printing and can be a gateway into deepening STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. For art students, Shape Maker can bring creative projects to life in 3D and offer new perspectives on how to create objects.

(Next page: How the maker app works)

How it works

Users open the MakerBot PrintShop iPad app, select Shape Maker and snap a photo with the iPad’s camera of a drawing or an item that has a distinct contrast and simple lines in its design. Use the slider tools to select the areas of the drawing to 3D print and scale; when all of the items or lines that are to be 3D printed turn green, choose a background select print or save right from the screen.

Files saved will be accessible in the MakerBot Cloud Library and can be accessed through personal accounts on, a large 3D design destination for viewing, sharing and 3D printing digital designs.  Files printed can be sent via Wi-Fi directly to a MakerBot Replicator® Desktop 3D Printer, MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer or a MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer.

For those that want to change the size of their finished print, it is recommended that the item be accessed via MakerBot Desktop for sizing and scaling to fit the 3D printer that is being used.

To see Shape Maker for MakerBot PrintShop in action, go to

MakerBot says it now has one of the largest installed bases and market shares of the desktop 3D printing industry, with more than 80,000 MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers in the world and a “robust MakerBot 3D Ecosystem that combines hardware, software, apps like MakerBot PrintShop™ and MakerBot Mobile, materials, training, support, consulting, retail stores, partnerships and Thingiverse.”

The company also notes that its MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers are used by engineers, architects, designers, educators and consumers to enhance education and transform the design process through Real-Time Prototyping™. To learn more about MakerBot customer use cases, visit

MakerBot PrintShop is a free app available in iTunes for download on an iPad.  MakerBot Shape Maker also comes free with the MakerBot PrintShop 1.5 update.  For more information on MakerBot PrintShop, visit For more information on MakerBot and the whole MakerBot 3D Ecosystem that is designed to make 3D printing easier and more accessible, visit

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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