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Torch 3D helps users design 3D prototypes in virtual and augmented reality. Photo via Torch 3D.

Designing 3D concepts for virtual and augmented reality apps and programs can be a time-consuming process. Now two former Magic Leap engineers have come up with a way to help.

Paul Reynolds. Photo via Torch 3D.

Portland-based Torch 3D today announced a $3.5 million seed round led by The Venture Reality Fund and Silicon Valley Data Capital. Additional investors include Seven Peaks Ventures, GVR Fund, Presence Capital, Antipodean Ventures, Jerome Capital, and TWB Investment Partnership.

Torch 3D builds software that helps users design 3D prototypes in virtual and augmented reality. It also provides a way to manage assets and facilitate feedback amongst team members. Files can be accessed on any platform or device in real time.

The idea is to make 3D prototyping fast and simple, even for those who aren’t technically advanced with VR and AR software development.

“We are establishing a new space of pre-production workflow for AR and VR applications that we haven’t seen yet,” Torch 3D CEO Paul Reynolds told GeekWire. “Based on several months of research, the most used alternative we see is still pencil and paper.

Reynolds is a former engineering leader at Magic Leap, the secretive augmented reality company that just raised another $502 million. He co-founded Torch 3D with Josh Faust, another former engineer at Magic Leap, and Antony Falco, a cloud and infrastructure expert who previously co-founded Portland-based Orchestrate (acquired by CenturyLink in 2015).

The fresh cash will be used to complete the company’s beta product and add more employees to the 5-person team.

“Torch 3D’s data-driven approach reduces the prototyping and design phase of 3D app development from days to hours,” Jim McLean, managing partner at Silicon Valley Data Capital, said in a statement.

Torch 3D is one of several startups fulfilling a need in the growing virtual and augmented reality industry, particularly for enterprise-related technologies. Visual Vocal, another Pacific Northwest startup, last week announced $3.6 million in funding for its virtual reality collaboration platform.

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