For artists and designers throughout the ages, one thing remains integral to bringing a concept or inspiration to fruition: the tools. While we’ve certainly evolved from drawing in caves with multi-colored ochre, constant refining is always necessary for accommodating the spirt of design. The central idea is always to clear obstacles so that the design process is fluid, not littered with extraneous issues that hold up the creative process. And in 3D printing, a relatively new technology to many, companies like Materialise and Trimble know it’s in everybody’s best interest to make the workflow process as trouble-free as possible. Errors and failed 3D prints lead to wasted time and frustration, and are a big turnoff to new users.
Working to streamline 3D Warehouse–the world’s largest repository of 3D printable files with close to 2.8 million models, with 4 million downloads, and over 700,000 visitors weekly–California-based Trimble and Belgium’s Materialise are partnering to connect it with Materialise’s Cloud Services. With this integration of resources, users are able to ‘flag’ files that are printable, saving hundreds of thousands of users inestimable amounts of time in the future. Using SketchUp 3D modeling software will be that much easier for users who are busy with both creating and sharing.
The new features also take some of the frustration factor out of 3D printing as well as the intimidation factor for novices, in ensuring them less chance of confusion and failed prints. Users are able to analyze and fix files as needed. They are then processed by Cloud Services as high-quality STL files which can be downloaded from 3D Warehouse.
“Through our combined efforts, Trimble and Materialise aim to make 3D printing technology more accessible to the design community,” said Mike Tadros, SketchUp Web & Mobile product manager at Trimble. “With its deep experience in providing solutions and services to the additive manufacturing sector, Materialise has substantially augmented our efforts to make 3D printing workflows more efficient, and to enable the sharing and exchange of Printable models on 3D Warehouse.”
The entire ecosystem of the 3D Warehouse and SketchUp platform should be greatly improved for the wide variety of designers already enthusiastically downloading and printing files. While 3D Warehouse is one avenue where SketchUp is used, worldwide more than 30 million designers use the software for 3D design.
“For the past 25 years, we have been focused on developing software that empowers useful applications of 3D printing,” said Stefaan Motte, director of the Software for Additive Manufacturing Unit at Materialise. “Through our new Cloud Services, we want to bring part of our industry-leading software to a broader audience, and SketchUp, and 3D Warehouse in particular, are a natural fit for achieving this. By partnering with Trimble, we hope to alleviate the question of ‘will it print’ and help designers, artists, makers and beyond focus on the design and creation of meaningful 3D models.”
The partnership and use of Materialise Cloud Services should bring comprehensive streamlining and improvement to the whole of 3D Warehouse and SketchUp, which is a product from the Trimble Buildings Engineering and Construction division, where they work to create and optimize solutions for the Design-Build-Operate (DBO) life cycle of buildings. 3D Warehouse is an enormous repository for 3D files, beating out even the popular Thingiverse for inventory when it comes to sheer numbers and usage.
Do you see this partnership as something that will help you, if you are a user of 3D Warehouse and SketchUp? Discuss in the 3D Warehouse & Sketchup Now More Streamlined forum thread over at 3DPB.com.