I must confess I struggle to see the long-term market for these services - I was working on a startup in the field for a while, and eventually decided it wasn't worth continuing.
The only thing these services really offer above desktop equivalents (which Autodesk totally dominate) is the collaboration (like Google Docs for 3D). But do you really need to collaborate to create 3D? Maybe to review/annotate etc. but to actually collaborate during the process of creating an object/scene?
To put it another way, are you going to convince your entire art team to leave behind the toolchain they have used their entire career, just so they can 'collaborate'? And if so, do you think Autodesk are going to let that happen? (Obviously not, as they bought in to the field a while ago).
For a software analogy, the existing tools are like sharepoint at best and cadfile_v2_final(Mike).prt at worst. Onshape (and I assume other) online tools are like github.
I used Industry heavyweight Photoshop for 15+ years, Sketch for 4 and dropped everything for Figma after playing with it for 2 days. Now my UX comps, UI sketches all available EVERYWHERE. All inspirations, rough concepts all stacked away in any browser I have access to. I move to different machines a lot (Macs/Windows). Used to carry around a USB stick (synced to Dropbox from my home computer).
Now it is nirvana - No syncing, No dropboxing or figuring out where my prototypes, v1, 'final-final-v1-1-edit-final' files, & source files are. Not only the files are available, but the viewer to view those files are right there.
 www.Figma.com - Browser based UX Mockup/Prototype tool.
That being said, the limits of Vectary's services seem to be clearly stated, so one can adapt to them (by using some storage drives from OVH, Digital Ocean or any such provider to back-up the data, for instance)
I also love that if I get an idea in bed or when away from my PC I can use my laptop to log in and mock it up, or work on ongoing projects there.
As a maker/tinkerer/hacker I actually think Tinkercad (and all the related web based design tools) are one of the most exciting advancements in this hobby, along with 3D printers and DIY CNCs.
I know 3DS Max very well (at least I used to... Hopefully the synapses are still firing) but it's a zillion dollars for a licence and I probably need to use it maybe once a month.
I work mainly in Unity and 3D modelling is not my main focus. I would use a 3D package for some light editing and as a glorified file converter.
Nobody makes software to do this at a reasonable price so I usually head to clara.io
Also free, cross-platform and super powerful. It also has a brand new real time rendering engine called "Eevee" thats really impressive.
Yes. Because they will start out using these tools. Having experts be able to oversee novices is very powerful, esp w/o having to transport files, load and diff, etc. An expert can hop into someones session, show a technique, do a quick critique and move on.
I’m not going to convince my team to move over from the tools they use. But the engineering team that makes their jobs irrelevant because they bid by 50% lower through increased efficiency will.
Rendering is computationally heavy, so a browser is not ideal. However, offloading simulation, file storage, version handling, etc to the ‘cloud’ has boundless potential for productivity and efficieny increases.
Missing (couldn't find) many useful and necessary components (e.g. explicit sizing, rulers/measurement, pivot points).
I wanted to accurately model a product for visualization and there is no way to specify dimensions. Everything is done by “eye” in the visualization industry. When accuracy is required, especially proportions, manual element dimensions are typed in during creation of primitives.
I am used to the extreme discipline and constrain based modeling in engineering. Does anyone know why visualization folks don’t care about dimensional accuracy?
As to why visualisation folk don't care about dimensional accuracy, we do when necessary, but unless we're designing for 3d printing there's no point in worrying about things like clearances and tolerances since we're not making a physical object. Also, especially if we're doing arcvis, the demand is to knock out large quantities of models very quickly, not produce a perfect replica. I'm not going to worry about the exact dimensions of a piece of complex equipment or furniture I'm modelling if I need to produce a fully textured model in under an hour.
I think it’s the culture and people involved in 3D modeling that do not have the discipline - at the risk of sounding snobby. If customers demanded a feature, modeling software companies would supply those features.
“Ball park” dimensioning is like nails on a chalkboard.
Maybe because the intended output is more about proportion than absolute dimensions?
Besides, you can specify dimensions in the programs you mention, Blender, Modo etc. See here for Vectary:
Im not sure if we tried the same version of blender... Its pretty easy and even intuitive to enter numerical values for dimension, rotation etc.
Rhino 3D is kind of ok as a nurbs modeler and has some dimensioning stuff.
My usage patterns are pretty uneven and - although I know I can unsubscribe/resubscribe - I end up feeling like I'm probably wasting my money when I'm not using it (despite the low price)
It's irrational but there you go.
Does anybody consider a per-usage pricing model? Is there some reason why that is a terrible idea?
Sadly, as time goes on this is becoming increasingly less common.
The problem with the traditional pay once (with paid upgrades) model is that in order to continue developing the software, developers need to be paid every month. So a hugely variable revenue stream needs to be converted into a monthly one. Maybe by being very conservative about spending on developer resources to leave a big buffer.
There's also mismatched incentives, since if all your revenue is from paid upgrades it might make more sense to focus on flashy new features even if the majority of users care more about stability and bug fixes.
There's the issue of how much effort to spend back-porting bug fixes to older versions. Users will rightly be annoyed with having to choose between bugs and an upgrade that (they consider to be) not worth it, so the devs probably have to put in some effort. But then with the old model the developers are putting in more work and fewer users have access to new features, and the total amount users are paying still has to be high enough to fund everything.
These days I'm happy to pay for things I use on subscription (as long as the total cost is reasonable).
Maybe a good middle ground is something like the JetBrains model, where a 1-year subscription also comes with a permanent license for the version at the time of purchase, so you can at least open your old projects.
And BTW, a developer focusing on flashy new features instead of stability and bug fixes is something that is independent of the monetization scheme. If the users want stability and bug fixes while the developer provides only new broken stuff, then the developer is simply not listening to their users which can happen (and often happens) regardless of if the software is paid once or subscribed to.
TBH I think you are looking things a bit too much from the developer's side.
FWIW i do not mind 1-year subscriptions with a permanent license, although i'd prefer the permanent license to be for the end of the year, not the start (especially if there is a chance that the files you worked on with the last version wont work with the earlier version). It is essentially "buy once, get free upgrades for a year". Assuming of course the other things i mention (offline installer, no authentication needed, etc) still apply.
For as much as reporting home for license checks these programs do, you think they would be a little understanding.
Yes, or even "if you use it more than 2 hours this month, we'll charge you $15".
It's mostly impossible to do anything seriously meaningful in under 2 hours except minor edits and file conversions etc.
Subscription models really need to grow up and be more dynamic.
Too many of these small time software and web app publishers just default to thinking people are going to subscribe and forget about it. For a 3d modelling program with many free competitors, it's wishful thinking.
The problem wouldn't be a problem if there was an option to buy outright. But they sold their investors the promise of monthly revenue.
(not affiliated with them)
For smaller projects, the excellent Three.js  is an easy way into creating 3D in the browser.
WebGPU is "around the corner". Apple/Mozilla/Google/Microsoft are all working on it. Google and Mozilla will ship it. Apple and Microsoft remain to be seen.
Agree on WebGL2, it seems unlikely that they'll want to commit to supporting it forever with WebGPU on the horizon. Plus Edge will probably not add support until switching to Chromium, so WebGL2 will probably never have a chance to be supported by all browsers until WebGPU is taking off anyway.
So I wouldn’t write off WebGL2 quite yet. Though I agree that it’s been stuck ‘around the corner’ for several years now.
It's supported in safari, currently gated behind a setting though.
Apple added a flag. They didn't add an implementation. There is zero code in WebKit to support WebGL2. All there is is a stub that returns a WebGL1 context when WebGL2 is asked for. Feel free to dig through the WebKit code. You'll see there is no WebGL2 code, all the functions are actually missing and no code has been added in > 3yrs. Try running the tests. (https://www.khronos.org/registry/webgl/sdk/tests/webgl-confo...), click off "all" then search for "conformance2", check the box and run. You'll see almost nothing passes.
The 'collaboration' aspect isn't what will sell this product. It could have potential when they allow creator's and designers to fully explore it first.
What about modifiers and tools, what can I actually make with this aside from drag&drop of prefabbed iphones?
Why would I choose to pay for some cloud BS over just downloading blender?
Re-live the experience:
I'd argue "yes" and "no" on this at the same time...
With VRML, it was designed so that - like HTML - anyone could easily create 3D objects and "worlds" using a simple markup syntax that was very similar to HTML (IIRC, both are subsets of SGML?).
It was easy to create something really quickly that could be interacted with.
These tools, while they simplify the creation part (somewhat), are more akin to today's "web site builder" systems vs raw HTML in an editor.
What you get out of them, though, isn't anything like HTML - if you are lucky, you'll get a standard file format or maybe JSON - but then what do you do with that? Furthermore, it isn't likely very human readable or editable.
WebGL - and libraries like three.js built on top - are all well and good, and allow for much easier access for 3D graphics work - but neither are anything like VRML.
There are some VRML-like tools out there - one that comes to mind is Google's A-Frame:
So some stuff like the old-school VRML is out there, and VRML had it's issues, which is part of why it didn't survive (the other part being that it was too early for the available PC hardware - unless you happened to own an SGI workstation at the time).
It's one of those pieces of "pioneering" technology that came too early for the tech - but gave us a glimpse of what might be possible in the future (much like the first "wave" of virtual reality hardware technology).
So ultimately yes, it's for pretty pictures.
That said it looks really cool and I would definitely print something made with it. Trying that out now, actually.
Parametric models such as Solidworks or Creo use complex equations to derive the 3D geometry. Geometric models use a point cloud built from polygons to develop surfaces. These point clouds are defined by the user and are not as "stable" when used in product development setting where you are trying to create multiple iterations/sizes of an object
But it's true that model history is preferred for mechanics, but I have seen some proto model history in 3DS max with the modifier stack.
Microsoft did it for a long time if you signed up for their Azure service, but just recently finally provided and unsubscribe after so many people complained.
Yes, the Streisand effect is still news to some control freaks, who think they can make humanity march according to theire terms.
In the time it took to write that comment you could have deleted your account. At least they do have a "delete account" button, a lot of services do not.
BTW, you can sign up with a fake non-existent email to check it out, you don't need to confirm your account to start using the app.