Sometimes it’s the simplest concepts and ideas which catch on the fastest. Some of you may remember the hype brought on by sites such as ChatRoulette a few years back, allowing people to randomly chat with other individuals on a whim. Within days, that simple idea turned into a viral web application and eventually a business, offering premium subscriptions for a fee.
This weekend, we stumbled upon another very simple, yet very entertaining idea called LivePrint. LivePrint is basically what it’s name implies, a website where individuals can watch 3D prints in action in real time. It may sound quite boring at first, but if you don’t own your own 3D printer, and don’t have the luxury of staring at molten plastic systematically being extruded onto a build platform for hours at a time, then this may be just what’s needed to get your 3D printing fix.
LivePrint makes things even more interesting by adding an element of social interaction to the whole process. For instance, their last print was of the Pocket Drone, one of the top downloaded models on Thingiverse over the last month or two. Users were able to watch the printing of this incredible little device, live, as well as chat with other viewers in real time. Why did they choose the drone you may ask? It was voted on by the LivePrint community.
Prior to a new print project launching, the site asks the community to vote for the next live 3D print. Users have the ability to choose one of three different objects to be fabricated next. The object to receive the most votes, prior to the scheduled print time, will be fabricated next. As a way to attract more votes, LivePrint counts each user’s vote as an entry into a drawing to win the actual completed print.
To vote, users simply have to enter their email address and select when, if ever, they wish to be notified of new live print projects. The site is only just now getting off the ground, however, the idea is certainly something which could catch on rather quickly. Today’s print will be determined and begin at 10:00AM EST, and will be either a Dremel Devil, a bunny, or a lawn sprinkler, depending on the final tally of votes. Which do you want to see printed? Vote at the LivePrint website now.
Let us know your thoughts on this idea, and if you have participated in the LivePrint forum thread on 3DPB.com