View Full Version : BonZai 3D, new modeler from the Form•Z guys

08 August 2008, 04:33 PM
I wasn't aware of this: AutoDesSys seems to be previewing BonZai 3D around, a new 3D modeler which looks like being some sort of Form•Z subset with a new UI. They have this sketch of a webpage here,, plus a bit more info in

May 15, 2008, AIA Convention, Boston - AutoDesSys is pleased to preview BonZai 3D in Booth 22139.

What is BonZai 3D?
BonZai 3D is a new 3D modeler developed to fill in the demand for a quick, easy, simple but, most importantly, geometrically robust approach to 3D. A response to those who wish to express their thoughts graphically in 3D, on the fly, without too much hassle, and then be able to advance to the next level of detailed solid modeling and production, if they wish to do so.

In many ways, BonZai is an offspring of form•Z. At the same time, it is a different tool and represents a fresh approach to 3D modeling. The BonZai tools have resulted from experiences, experiments, research, and user input of the past 15 years. Its goal is to support the conceptual and sketching stages of design with utmost ease, but also the production of accurate and robust models that can be used for construction drawings, can be smoothly rendered, animated, and fabricated (i.e. printed in 3D). All this and more at an affordable price.

You can think of form•Z as the Swiss army knife of 3D modeling and BonZai as a pen knife you carry around to depend on for quick solutions to all kinds of immediate needs.

Anatomy of Bonzai
BonZai is the next generation of ease of use, combined with underlying solid modeling, that leads to effective workflow that minimizes input effort while maximizing productivity. It offers all the basic tools a designer needs to present one’s ideas in a 3D representation. It is built on form•Z’s trademark strengths that include solids and nurbz, multi-platform support, reliable Booleans, import/export file translators, and above all its solid reputation for the mark of excellence in 3D.

Some of the individual features in BonZai are:
• Fluid, powerful, and smart interface.
• All the classic modeling tools (extrusions, sweeps, transformations, etc.).
• Real time Booleans.
• NURBS curves and surfaces.
• Smart 3D drawing.
• Dynamic graphic editing.
• Push/Pull tool for easy sculpting and shape editing.
• Advanced OpenGL rendering with shadows, transparencies, and textures.
• Graphic texture map editing.
• Over 200 free materials (texture maps).
• Content library for trees, furniture, entourage elements.
• Support of 3D Warehouse.
• Google Earth and SketchUp file compatibility.
• Over 30 export/import formats for easy inter-operability.
• Embedded video tutorials

When to Expect bonZai 3D?
What is presented at AIA 2008 - BOOTH #22139 - is a sneak preview of what’s to come in the summer of 2008. AutoDesSys expects to start public Beta testing soon.

Factoid: the meaning of bonZai 3D

bon |bän - ORIGIN French, literally ‘good’

Z |z - The third dimension

ai |aï - Accurate/amazing/awsome - ideas/images/impressions

And of course, bonsai is a small, elegant, yet powerful to grow little tree!

In short: bon (good) + Z (3D) + a (accurate) + i (intelligent)


Easy- Accurate- Powerful - Affordable

08 August 2008, 05:54 PM
Lordy, Lordy, it sounds like the Silo / MoI paradigm. Low cost, easy to use, easy to learn, makes decent models quickly.

It was the original interface, cost, and learning curve that kept me away from formZ originally! LOL.

08 August 2008, 07:20 PM
The field is getting crowded, isn't it? :D Didn't they use the ACIS kernel, too? I wonder if BonZai and Form•Z will be model-compatible in both directions or just from BonZai to F•Z?

08 August 2008, 07:33 PM
Too many competitors has always being around now even more,lets hope Tesla can be one of them.
Well than that changes the whole thing my friend. I hope it can be afordable.I thought it was Autodesk product. :)

I hope it runs on Tiger, but i doubt it all the companies are pushing the 64 bit.I wonder how beneficial this could be. If you dont have enough memory on your machine it doesnt make any sense to have a 64 bit system. or am i wrong?

08 August 2008, 07:59 PM
The main benefit of 64 bit memory addressing is having applications (and the OS resources they call) being able to consume more than 4 GB of memory (it's more like 2 or 3 GB tops for the app's data), be it RAM memory or slower hard disk-mapped virtual memory. That memory space barrier is the really important thing. It's an advantageous thing to have, even if one is RAM-limited.

Also, on x86 processors, running 64 bit code activates some more modern things that make it be a bit faster (per se, 64 bit code usually means being a bit slower): both AMD and Intel decided that, as 64 bit code required ex profeso compiling, it was an opportunity to put some new things in their chips, such as more registers and so.

Anyway, AutoDesSys could have very well decided that they didn't need that. We'll see.

08 August 2008, 01:23 PM
Any updates on this? If this is SketchUp with nurbs, i'm in!

08 August 2008, 03:19 PM
I've found a few links with more info about it:

Interview with its creator:

A couple pics of its UI:

08 August 2008, 01:47 PM
I'm a bit disappointed there hasn't been any more info on this, Siggraph has come and gone already!

08 August 2008, 01:57 PM
it seems they actually did some sort of presentation this Siggraph ( The BonZai website now has a maillist for letting us now when the beta program will start.

08 August 2008, 06:21 PM
I saw the presentation at Siggraph. I thought it was impressive. It even has some great live editing features that aren't in FormZ (which is many times the price). -Derryl

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