PreForm UI suggestions

  • I’m not thrilled with the choice of mouse buttons for each different camera control.  But to be fair that’s just because it’s not what I’m used to (Blender and Solidworks), and other people might have different opinions.  Center-drag for rotate, and shift-center-drag for pan would be lovely, in my opinion.
  • The mouse wheel zoom feels backwards to me.  I know that’s Solidworks’ default, but it’s wrong too, and at least it lets you fix it.  :)
  • Zooming in centers on the mouse pointer (good!), but zooming out doesn’t (bad!).  This just feels funny after using other software.  If you hold the mouse in one place and zoom in and out several times, the view will ‘walk’ off in one direction.  (Yes, Solidworks is wrong again.  Blender’s camera controls are smarter.)
  • Please add trackball-style camera controls!  (Like this:  And:  It takes a little getting used to, but it’s so much more powerful and feels so natural once you do.
  • If I can’t have trackball-style camera controls, I think even turntable-style controls would be an improvement.  (Like this:   It just drives me crazy that with the current controls, the view always ends up in funny sideways angles.  Try rotating from the top view to the right view using rotate mode- you either end up sideways, or have to do it in two moves (and still end up a little crooked).
  • Some flavor of axis-constrained rotation of models would be very nice.  I’m fond of Blender’s keyboard axis constraints (tap x, y, or z while rotating/moving/scaling to constrain to that axis.  Shift-x, -y, or -z constrains every other axis.).  Just adding axis-constrained manipulator handles would be good too, though.  (The UpDown controls for the angles in the mode properties are nice to have, but aren’t a substitute for good on-screen manipulation.)
  • In inches mode, the base grid is still in centimeters, and the bounding box size in the info bar still shows millimeters.
  • Perhaps non-manifold edges, intersections, and backfaces should be drawn in a more alarming color.
  • Support structure generation appears to be single-threaded.  With multicore machines the norm anymore, it would obviously be a whole lot faster if it can be parallelized.

Overall, though, I’d say the software is pretty good.  It could stand some improvements here and there, but there’s a lot of parts that are done very well.

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed suggestions.  Some of these comments we can certainly implement, but others are based on preference and experience with other CAD tools.  We actually used our Kickstarter customer survey to figure out which CAD tools (SolidWorks is the leader) to try to emulate the user interface controls, though in the end, we had to make many choices on our own (for example, we want it to work better with a track pad than many CAD tools do). In any case, we’ll definitely be making many improvements to the UI in the next few weeks and months.


Is there any triangles limit when you load an stl file in the software ? I managed to push to 4.000 000 triangles but 6 millions seem to not work.
Could it be the precision of the distance between each vertex ?

It s very cool to be able to test some 3d parts in the soft.

As for some tweaks, the  scaling using x,y,z with an uniform scale would be great.

Selecting multiple objects to scale them a once or delete some.

More polygons supported, less lag , different render for the parts ( wireframe, vertices, bounding boxes)

Can’t wait to receive my printer and see the software updated.

Keep your team doing a great job

I second the suggestion for a configurable mousewheel zoom direction… hope that feature makes it.

3D mouse (3Dconnexion Space Navigator, for example) support would be nice for navigation.  Not sure if that’s something FormLabs can implement or if the mouse manufacturer must add support, or maybe both.

+1 for 3dconnexion support.

Also, forcing things like unnatural mouse scrolling direction is really bad.  This is such a basic preference setting and is enough to make me dread using the software.  Reverse mouse scrolling is not standard on any professional modeling software I’ve ever used (anything autodesk for example and any 3d game design tools).  The only place I’ve seen that is on late osx and that only makes sense when you are using a touch pad of some kind.

+1 for 3dconnexion support also

I would also like to see settable actions for “mouse over” and “clicked on” like a fly out description for mouse over/hover with a more definitive indication that I’m on that button and an immediate indication that a button has been clicked on, ie… when I  click on the “Generate Selected” button it should go to high contrast mode not wait till something else on the screen shows up - like the percentage completion bar at the bottom.

Best regards,


John (jay) H. Morewood
Owner / CTO / Rapid Prototyping Engineer
+1 408.839.4252

+1 for 3dconnexion support - Especially like in Rhinoceros

Just need a reverse option.
Do you want the user to be able to set.