I’m not sure if the employees of 3Dprintler have slept at all this year. They’ve obviously been insanely busy, as they launch new services, rake in funding, and invest in startups themselves – all within the space of a couple months. Now they’ve announced that they’re bringing yet another new service to 3D enthusiasts. 3Dprintler is a company that loves to do things that no one else has done before, and their latest innovation is no exception. The 3Dprintler Bot is a 3D printing-specific chat bot that, according to 3Dprintler, is the first of its kind for major messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger.
“Messaging apps have already surpassed social networks in monthly active users and continue to grow exponentially,” 3Dprintler states. “Conversational Commerce is therefore the next logical branch of e-commerce development. A concierge-style service will become the primary way how people of the future interact with mobile devices. And ‘Chat Bots’ will be the next generation of ‘Smart Apps.'”
3Dprintler Bot is essentially a pocket AI version of 3Dprintler’s search-and-compare services. Right now the bot is available for Slack and Telegram, and will shortly be introduced for Kik and SMS messaging. It’s still pending approval from Skype and Facebook Messenger. It’s easy to use – just search for “3Dprintler Bot” in your messaging app of choice and it’ll send you a friendly greeting. You can then send the bot the 3D file you’re looking to print, and it will instantly search for 3D printing services and provide you with price quotes and material options. Choose your favorite option, instantly place your order, and the bot will also track your order for you.
The bot can also convert CAD files into any of 62 formats, and several additional capabilities will be coming soon, such as:
- The ability to repair CAD files and make them printable
- Cloud-based file storage
- B2C and B2B versions
- Voice command integration
- IBM’s Watson integration
Knowing how fast 3Dprintler moves, I predict we’ll see a lot more developments than that very soon – and I expect their bot won’t devolve into a genocidal monster like Microsoft’s first ill attempt at a chat bot. (No, Microsoft, I will not let it go.) This looks like a useful little app that, if it catches on, could set a precedent for a lot of other tech companies to come up with mobile chat bots of their own. 3Dprintler tends to be very astute about the direction the 3D printing industry – and the tech industry in general – will go in, and what consumers want, so I’d be surprised if it doesn’t become popular pretty quickly.
3Dprintler will be holding court at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2016 from May 9-11, so if you’re in Brooklyn, stop by and say hello – who knows what new developments they’ll have ready by then? What do you think of this new service? Discuss in the 3Dprintler 3D Printing Quote Service forum over at 3DPB.com.