Customization is central to unlocking the promise of 3D printing technology, and now Shapeways says they’re rolling out an “incredibly powerful tool to make products more personal and meaningful to a shopper.”
With CustomMaker, the challenge of customizing models by hand now goes from time-consuming and technically oriented to, well, not those things.
No more will the process of adding text and images to a model ‘involve a lot of time and technique.’
Shapeways says they tackled the issue head on with the CustomMaker tool by allowing designers to make their models customizable for shoppers in just a few easy steps. They made it happen by dealing with the wide variances involved such as curved surfaces, an image’s photo properties such as its white balance and how those may affect how a 2D image is ultimately converted into a successful 3D effect.
They say this groundbreaking tool blends artistic controls from shop owners with freedom for shoppers to personalize a purchase. It’s a scalable, powerful customization platform for 3D printing, and it’s free. If that’s not enough, it’s simple to use and requires no additional skills or software.
Shapeways says the magic is possible via their ShapeJS platform, the engine for CustomMaker that lets designers create the customizable experiences that they want for their customers.
Designers can select an existing model – or upload a new one – and then set parameters such as specific areas of the model which can be customized with text and/or image data. The results of those choices are instantly reviewable via a real-time viewer embedded on the Model page.
They say the process ensures that artistic control remains with the designer by determining which models are enabled for customization.
CustomMaker means a shopper can now simply select a product which takes advantage of the platform such as a piece of jewelry or a smartphone case, type in text or upload an image and then see – in real-time no less – how their custom version of the product will look.
As of today, CustomMaker is available to all 30,000 shop owners on Shapeways.
It’s also the first time the company has launched a new “pilot feature” to the public, and while the feature is in pilot, Shapeways is calling on designers and shoppers to readily share feedback via the Shapeways forums to ultimately improve the functionality.
You can see a tutorial on using Shapeways CustomMaker here. Will you convert any of the models in your Shapeways Store for use with the new CustomMaker functionality? Let us know in the CustomMaker forum thread on 3DPB.com.