How many times have you 3D printed an object that you have downloaded off of a 3D printing file repository, only to be disappointed with the results. Viewing 2-dimensional renderings and photos simply do not provide us with the overall feel for objects, thus causing many of us to download these files and then proceed to waste several hours 3D printing them, only to discover that they are not exactly what we initially had in mind. Personally I’ve experienced this numerous times, and frankly, there really hasn’t been much in terms of a solution to ensure that the objects we download to 3D print will turn out how we expect them to.
Currently there are sites on the internet which allow us to view renderings in 3D, but this doesn’t mean that the 3D printed object that is fabricated, based on this design, will turn out the same. This is where a new website called TwiddlePic comes into play.
“I think that sharing creative 3D printed objects with a photo or multiple photos just doesn’t do our creations justice anymore, so I have written TwiddlePic to hopefully help the 3D printing community,” Kris Warren, engineer and co-founder of TwiddlePic tells 3DPrint.com. “The principal is to merge a short intro or explanation video with the ability to grab and rotate the 3D printed object in real time.”
Allowing users to view a video of an object from all angles, provides potential downloaders with a precise look at what their complete 3D print should look like. The added option to use the onsite “Twiddle” feature allows users to use either their mouse buttons or keyboard arrow keys in order to rotate an interactive image of the print and view it from any angle they wish.
Warren has been developing the framework for TwiddlePic since 2013, and has just recently launched the platform publicly.
“I thought to myself, ‘what if there was a better way? A way to make sure the detail and richness does come across to someone thousands of miles away from the actual design.’ This my friends is the reason for TwiddlePic.com,” Warren explains. “Thousands of engineers, designers, inventors and creators are producing the most fascinating and innovative stuff – but the videos and photos we are sharing, well, they are just not doing what we are making justice.”
The service is free to use, supported by advertising, and it isn’t only for uploading videos of objects which are available to download and 3D print. Other amazing works of art, printed on high tech selective laser sintering machines can also be uploaded in order to show off the technology that is provided by these advanced 3D printers. Browsing the site can be quite entertaining, as Warren has created a list of the TwiddlePics, as well as a way of searching the site for certain objects.
While the internet is filling up with more and more 3D printing file repositories, many offering nothing new, it’s refreshing to see new innovative concepts like this one provided by Kris Warren and TwiddlePic. Take a look at some of the TwiddlePics below, and feel free to use your mouse or arrow keys to move them around.