Marco Pavan, a second year PHD student at Coventry University, has launched 3DVieweronline after spending the past year developing a prototype viewing platform for the business.
Working with his business partner Marco Da Lio, the pair’s www.3Dvieweronline.com is a web-based service that allows viewing, sharing and embedding of 3D and 2D models through an internet browser, with no complex software required to use the service.
Spotting a gap in the market for a more universal 3D modelling and viewing platform, Marco merged his passion for developing innovative technology with the support of the SPEED Plus entrepreneurial support project, to deliver his breakthrough business idea.
The SPEED Plus project gives students, graduates and alumni of Coventry University the opportunity to develop a business idea alongside their studies or after graduation, by tutoring them in the essential entrepreneurial skills required to run a business.
Marco, 31, who is studying for a PHD in Materials, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, said: “I have always been fascinated by engineering and technology from a young age, even to the point of watching lots of episodes of US series MacGyver, where the main character uses his engineering skills to right wrongs in the world.
“I have always loved the development and innovation of technology and wanted to be part of that world.
“In developing the initial 3DVieweronline as a free service with a built-in trial period, I wanted the opportunity to create something that could have universal use across the internet, which is one of the major benefits of this platform.
“The other major benefit of the service is the ability to imbed and share content easily and in that respect I have looked to ensure it as simple as possible, making it as easy as posting a YouTube video.
“It certainly does that and in doing so we hope it will encourage user take-up as we have the ambitious target of it being the most used viewer online in the market.
“We have also developed a new subscription service which is more suited for those looking to use 3D modelling on a more commercial basis. For the subscription fee, users get more advanced features including the ability to customise your viewer, multiple uploads and the chance to imbed across a wide range of platforms.”
He first began to think about the idea for the 3D viewer during his time as an engineer working for Airbus in Hamburg, Germany, where he worked on the A350 project, the first aircraft to be built from a common shared 3D Digital Mock-UP (DMU).
Marco said: “When working on the A350 project, I became aware that the designers and engineers had access to CAD software when developing the various parts but the managers did not have access to this.
“However the managers still need to understand how the design process is evolving and that is where the idea for a universal platform that could be shared by users came from.
“For commercial purposes I see the subscription platform being particularly useful for small and medium sized companies who require a shared platform but do not have huge resources to develop their own system.
“I can also see it having benefits for specific institutions such as museums and universities who use 3D modelling in their day-to-day work.”
He is also looking to tap into the emerging 3D printing industry, with plans to partner with a 3D printing firm to enable a seamless and holistic service that enables users to design and develop products using the viewer before printing them off as physical objects.
Such expansive thinking for Marco’s fledgling business is testament to the entrepreneurial flair and approach fostered by the SPEED Plus project.
Sue Heath, project manager at SPEED Plus which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), said Marco had taken full advantage of the support available.
“As is the case with many of our students, Marco is already highly-skilled in his chosen field, which has allowed SPEED Plus to help him to develop his core business skills,” she said.
“He has worked closely with his business mentor to create a profitable business concept and it is great to see him at the point where he is able to launch his business and make the first moves towards commercial success.”