Just this morning we covered a new product called AstroPrint, which aims to allow people to wirelessly 3D print objects from their tablets, smartphones, PCs, and laptops. They run on a modified version of a Raspberry Pi, and allow for cloud slicing, gcode creation and organization of 3D designs.
Only a few hours later, PrintToPeer has launched their Indiegogo campaign for a very similar product. They advertise as “Your 3D printer on the web”, and that is a pretty accurate description.
What PrintToPeer does is eliminate all the different software packages that are need for 3D Printing a design. Different 3D printers require different softwares, and then there are additional software packages needed for slicing, and creating the gcode. PrintToPeer creates one easy-to-use interface for doing it all, and these actions are performed in the cloud.
PrintToPeer has also announced a partnership with 3D Hubs. 3D Hubs currently allows people without 3D printers to print objects on 3D printers owned by others in their neighborhood. With this partnership, the entire process becomes a whole lot easier. Instead of having to email files, slice them, and prepare them, the whole operation can be done in the cloud, with a few simple actions, via PrintToPeer.
There is also a free API for developers that are interested in creating apps that can allow for direct 3D printing. Developers can get early access to the API by visiting https://printtopeer.io/developer.
“Designers want to design, not deal with files,” explained Bryan Allen, Smith of Allen Studio. “The PrintToPeer interface allows designers to get back to doing what they do best. Fire and Forget: sending a design to a printer then moving on to the next iteration. In my view a software platform like this is a critical component to mass adoption.”
The Indiegogo project is looking for $15,000 in funding and will run until June 9, 2014. There are many different backer options to choose from, ranging from $10 for having your photo or logo 3D printed, up to $10,000 for a reseller package of 100 Raspberry Pi Kits. A lifetime subscription to the service ranges from $30-$40, and will most likely be the most commonly backed option.
Like AstroPrint, PrintToPeer runs on a Raspberry Pi, and is almost completely open source. It should be interesting to see which of these products ends up taking charge in the cloud 3D printing arena. Early last month, cofounder Tom Bielecki told thecrowdfundnetwork, “Our [crowdfunding campaign] isn’t really for money. Rather, it’s to attract core groups of evangelists. That will get developers interested, and that will bring in the OEMs.”
This is quite obvious, as shown with their very low funding goal ($15,000). It’s a great way to get their name out there, and bring in developers of their API. They hope that people that are developing 3D printers will make sure that they include the PrintToPeer API in their product.
Check out the Indiegogo introduction video below:
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