Microspot has introduced a free and easy-to-use application for editing and printing 3DS and Google SketchUp models, 3D Toolbox for Macs.

The software can be upgraded to include rendering, animation and modeling by adding low cost plug-in packs. The base application enables users to Import 3DS and Google SketchUp models into the application, add a background and base plate and then position, resize and do simple editing on the scene ready for viewing and printing.

For a US$15 small fee, the software can be upgraded to enable high resolution exporting in any QuickTime translatable picture format and saving in 3DMF. The upgrade also includes a free Library pack into which users can drag models to save them and drag them out to re-use them in other scenes.

The additional upgrade also lets users install other paid-for plug-ins to expand the functionality to include modeling, rendering and animation. Microspot will release other plug-ins in future months to add further functionality.

The plug-in packs available now are as follows.

Light and Render Pack, $39: Add and adjust point lights, spot lights, sun and ambient brightness and choose from three different renderers including a raytrace renderer.

Texture Pack, $29: Add textures to items or surfaces then adjust the size position and rotation of the texture. Move attributes from one object to another.

Camera and Alignment Pack, $29: Contains 4 palettes for aligning objects, aligning the camera, nudging objects into place and switching on and off the cursor options.

Animation Pack, $39.00: All you need to set up the tweens for your animations and export them to a QuickTime movie. You can animate the camera, objects and lights including the sun and ambient brightness. You may need the light and render pack for best results.

Basic Modeler Pack, $29: Consists of eight tools for modeling primitive shapes: cube, sphere, cone, pyramid, regular polygon, cylinder, irregular polygon and torus.

Advanced Modeler Pack 1, $29: This pack comes with a palette to control Boolean operations and tools for edit path of an object, edit vertex, a shear tool and a 3D text tool.

Advanced Modeler Pack 2 $29: Comprises a lathe tool and a palette to adjust the section of lathed and other objects and a pipe drawing tool.

Wall Tools Pack. $39: Wall drawing tools, menu items for adding floors and ceilings and a palette for tagging objects that are to be doors and windows so they fit themselves into walls. There is also a palette for the precise positioning of windows and doors.