The maker community is famous for an aspect foreign to most high-tech industries: the open source movement is a Big Deal, in that it allows for the true sharing of ideas and building on and improving usage and iterations. The transparency seen in 3D printing can transcend simple file sharing among designers, with some big names participating in open infrastructure.
Sculpteo is a major player in 3D printing, with online services extending throughout the marketplace. As we’ve seen, the company has big plans and the right leadership in place to bring them to light. Sculpteo also listens to those involved in 3D printing, and the latest announcement from the company is a pretty big deal for developers.
“We’ve always had one task: allow everyone -business or individual- to manufacture anything they want through 3D printing,” Arthur Cassaignau of Sculpteo notes on the company blog. “That’s why we’ve been the first online 3D printing service to launch its API.”
An application program interface, or API, provides the basic foundation for software. The routines and protocols laid out in software API sets the scene for how related applications will function and interact, and by launching their API, Sculpteo is leading what may be a new charge in transparency. After all, as Cassaignau says, “There is no reason why developers should be left alone.”
This is probably the point where I confess that my degrees were in theatre and English, and that programming script is Greek to me. My participation with the Sculpteo platform is very likely to be limited to relying on them for expertise and their obvious know-how that goes through every level of their operations. For those, however, who want to dig deep through all those layers, developers are able to interact with Sculpteo’s APIs that are built to be user-friendly.
“Sculpteo is an open infrastructure,” the company notes in their API documentation. “We build easy-to-use APIs to assure you that you will be able to rapidly connect your own software / infrastructure to Sculpteo. This the documentation of what APIs currently available. This list will grow in the future, keep in sync!”
All you need to do in order to interact with the Sculpteo API is create an account, and it all takes off from there. Once you upload 3D files on Sculpteo’s Cloud Engine, you’re set to go. Cassaignau’s thorough blog post details the options available and steps experienced developers can take to interact with the newly available API. There are, he notes, several points at which developers will need to chat with the Sculpteo team, such as initially performing orders via the API; once this is unlocked through talking with the team, it’s onward from there.
Files can be uploaded, galleries displayed, and prices and orders requested with the API. Chatting with the Sculpteo team ensures that potential missteps are minimized as developers gain familiarity with their system.
Throughout the Sculpteo site, there are now links directing experienced developers to the technical documentation, ensuring that all APIs are easy to find. Do you have experience with API work and technical development? Let us know if you think this initiative will pave the way for more ease of access across the board in the Sculpteo Releases API forum thread over at 3DPB.com.