While we hear so much today about turnkey 3D printing solutions that allow users with little experience to hop on board as soon as that much-awaited package is delivered to the door, it can be a letdown to realize, after the euphoria of unpacking that glorious, shining new beast of a machine, that yes you need to download software, do at least a little finagling, and prepare your models for the printer. That machine is sitting there ready to print what you tell it to in all its perfection, and yup, now you have to do some brainwork. Companies like 3D Slash realize exactly how this scenario goes, and thank goodness they’ve done the heavy lifting for us time and time again with new features for their app, new releases, and now, their latest partnership with Thingiverse.
With their new app on Thingiverse, 3D Slash is making their services known to a much wider audience—and a perfect one—considering the continual flow of new users perusing MakerBot’s popular design community known around the world. Thingiverse already makes 3D design and printing very easy for the novice, and with the 3D Slash app, now they will also find a special set of tools that allow them to create or customize ‘things’ within the platform.
Users will find that the software is intuitive and fun as they create and change models with a system of cube shapes that can be added or subtracted, and even explore more advanced processes like importing pictures to use as ‘templates’ for 3D models.
“We were very excited to work on this first STL customizer app that takes advantage of the new Thingiverse Developer Program,” said Sylvain Huet, founder and CEO of 3D Slash. “It will allow all users of Thingiverse to express their creativity on the many available designs, and to enter the new world of co-creation.”
Built-in, intuitive programs like this are generally very appealing to techno-enthusiasts of all kinds, and especially 3D printing hobbyists, as the all-in-one platform seems to expand and translate nearly everywhere. Within Thingiverse, this means that users eliminate the time-consuming toggling back and forth between applications, are able to upload their files from 3D Slash right into the famed Thingiverse cloud library, and then go straight to 3D printing from the MakerBot Desktop. The 3D Slash team reports that their app—not surprisingly—is also currently very popular in the classroom, and is being used for areas such as prototyping, conceptual design, scale modeling, and even digital entertainment.
“I found 3D Slash a while ago and decided to give it a shot for my 2nd graders,” said Andy McKean, Lower School Technology Coordinator at Phoenix Country Day School in Arizona. “The kids love working with it. Those with Minecraft experience took right to it, and those without picked up most of the tools in a short amount of time. Overall, this has been the perfect tool for this level of student so far.”
This new addition just adds to the general hoopla going on in the new Thingiverse Developer Program, announced and live just last month with the first new apps, along with two new apps for repairing model files and a 3D Hubs printing service, which is an example of another great pairing in company services. KIRI:MOTO, a cloud-based 3D slicer tool, is another app that recently became available on Thingiverse.
While having fun with invention, users are transforming into designers and developers, and are experiencing a much greater sense of empowerment. That’s going to continue as well, since MakerBot promises more apps are on the way soon, ensuring that this design universe will continue to expand and add to the nearly infinite realm of choices makers have today in innovation. Have you tried out any of the new apps on Thingiverse? Discuss further in the 3D Slash App on Thingiverse forum thread over on 3DPB.com.
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