As 3D printing has become part of the greater public awareness, there is a great deal of interest in the production of customized objects. However, creating an object from scratch requires specialized knowledge that is not yet as ubiquitous as word processing. There may not be a 3D printer on every desk top, but it is becoming more common for people to have access to them whether in a classroom, the office, or a library. A new product is now entering the marketplace and that is the platform through which people, who are not professional designers, can interact with systems that create the necessary data for the creation of a personalized or customized object.
Just as website builders allow a much wider audience to participate in creating a website without being experts at coding, the JustMake project provides a way for users to make a series of choices that keep them within the realm of the possible, eliminate their need to have expert knowledge in the 3D design programs, and easily experience the enjoyment of 3D printing. In other words, JustMake allows you to customize an object without leaving their user-friendly platform and then download the file to take to a 3D printer for production.
The software has several different levels of interaction from simply giving a couple of finished choices to allowing for more in depth manipulation of variables. This is the next wave of exchange in the creative industries, a sort of Do-It-Yourself 3D production but with enough guidance that the experience is enjoyable and intuitive. This type of platform promises to bridge the gap between 3D designers and the general public – and work to create a greater appreciation for the possibilities of 3D printing. What better way to get people interested in the process of 3D design and printing than by giving them a supervised taste of it?
There are opportunities for social networking that connects 3D operators and users to design together. While there are certainly already a number of social networks out there (a large number!) the specific nature of this one will help to bring together a community that is often lost in larger groups. It is truly dedicated to manufacturing, rather than information about what you have done with your day, so while the community theory is the same as on other social networks, this one actually is more like a social workplace. In addition, there are opportunities for designers to offer varieties of their product for customization and download by clients.
Knowing they had hit on a winning concept, the Italian design team turned to Indiegogo to launch a fundraising campaign to raise $5,000. The funding will go towards software development, expert consultation, advanced graphical user interface research, server rental, and finally, internationalization. The ambitious young designers even have a plan should their fundraising exceed their current goals. Should they raise $20,000 they will be able to develop apps for mobile devices, certainly something more useful than another version of Angry Birds! Upon reaching $50,000 they will be able to add auto-learning features to the program.
There are several levels of support ranging from $1 which will place the donor’s name on JustMake’s frame, all the way to $5,000 at which point the donor will, in the words of the group, “become our personal god” and can “abuse our gratitude as you please.” At levels in between you can become a beta-tester for the program or receive a digital file of some of the objects featured in their video. The campaign has approximately a month left before it closes.
Reading through the descriptions of the designers and watching the video that explains their proposal, you can’t help but like them – and want them to JustMake it. Have you backed this crowdfunding project? Let us know in the JustMake forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below describing the platform in further detail.
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