One of the aspects of 3D printing that I love so much is the new medium for creation that it has presented to designers worldwide. Instead of relying on subtractive methods of creation, artists are able to design a product on a computer screen and have it fabricated right before their eyes. Once fabricated, finishing techniques can be used to perfect their particular creation, making it even more unique.
MyMiniFactory has been one of my personal favorite web destinations for original 3D printable works of art. By ‘art,’ yes I do mean the 45-piece Thunderbird gun replica from the video game Destiny, as well as the hundreds of other designs that one can stumble upon at the MyMiniFactory 3D model page. It’s just incredible how creative some of the designers are, taking an idea from within their heads and transferring it to 3D modeling software, before watching it print out before their eyes. For every exceptional 3D printable model, however, there are dozens of projects which don’t particularly work out. Either the fabrication of the object hasn’t met the standards of the designer or others just aren’t as interested with the design as the artist may have imagined.
Why waste time on a project that might be a flop? This is exactly what MyMiniFactory asked themselves prior to launching their MMF Ideas platform this week. MMF Ideas has been presented by the company as a way for designers to get their 3D printable ideas validated by the crowd before they actually begin working on them.
“We’re happy to introduce a brand new feature to MyMiniFactory Today – MMF Ideas,” wrote the company on their blog. “MMF Ideas is a new and exciting way for you to put your awesome design ideas out there, and have them validated by the crowd.”
The platform is fairly straightforward to use. A designer simply has to click on ‘Post an Idea.’ They then will be taken to a page that will ask them to enter the title of their project and a short description as well as an image that best represents their idea (this can be anything from a sketch to a mood board, inspirational images related to their idea, etc). Once uploaded, their idea will appear as a listing, allowing other MyMiniFactory users to give it a ‘Cheer,’ which is on par with Facebook’s ‘like’ feature, or leave comments and suggestions for the user.
This allows the potential designer to weigh their options. Is this project worth creating? Will it lead to downloads, MMF tips, or even sales of their 3D printed model? A general idea can be formulated based off of the feedback and Cheers they receive. What this basically does is weed out the crap that’s being posted on the 3D model repository by filtering out potentially boring, lame ideas before they even get started.
“This is a great way to see what people think of your concept or idea, before you spend time designing it,” writes the company. “Looking to get big tips or downloads, or sell your design in the store? Get feedback first! Use Ideas to see what people want, and to improve your designs. Even if you’re not a designer, MMF Ideas is a great way to encourage people to design things that you’d like to print!”
All Ideas will remain listed for one full month, and as far as we can tell, there is no limit to the total number of Ideas one can post or vote on. Let us know if you’ve utilized this platform and feel free to post a link to your Idea in the MMF Ideas Forum thread on 3DPB.com so that we can leave our own feedback.