A new free software suite for 3D printing has been developed by the Canada Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
The software, called Blender 3D Printing, will allow students to create their own 3D models and use them to design and build objects.
The software, which is available as free or pro versions for both desktop and mobile devices, allows students to make their own models from objects, using software that will then be exported and sold to other students, according to the CFIB and CIHR.
Blender is developed by U.K.-based company BlenderLab, which also offers free software called 3D Modeler.
Blender’s goal is to enable students to use 3D printers for the first time, said Alex Gavreau, the director of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Placement.
“With this technology, they can do anything from printing on paper, to printing in a 3D scanner and getting that printed on paper,” he said.
“What this software does is allow students in Canada to be able to create and sell 3D printed objects.”
Blender is part of a growing trend of free software being offered by colleges and universities.
It was first developed by a university in Canada in the 1990s and is now widely used by other universities in the United States, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
In its free software software suite, Blender allows students who have completed the course work in their first year to use the software to design, build and sell objects in the form of objects.
“If you look at the materials that students use in the 3D modeler and then you think about the material they are using to print these objects, you see that they are printing the material with 3D,” Gavrie said.
The university will also be able sell the software directly to students.
“Students have been using Blender for some time now and it’s something that is very popular among students, so we think it’s a very exciting thing for students,” said Gavrek.
“This is a big step forward in helping students learn 3D modeling.”
Blender, which was developed by Blender Lab, has been used in some schools in the U.S., including the University of Pennsylvania and the University at Buffalo.
The CFIB said that students who are in their second year of their engineering program should not be affected by the free software.
The CFIB has also released guidelines for educators who want to help students get their first taste of 3D design.