modelfeaturedThere are plenty of ways to obtain 3D printable models. You can use a 3D scanner to capture exactly what you want, you can download them from websites like 3DShare, Thingiverse, or one of the many other 3D printing repositories out there, or you can model your own from scratch. Most of these methods are either unoriginal or very complicated to complete, unless you have 3D modeling experience. 3D scanning may seem simple, but usually there is a good deal of cleanup and conversion that must take place prior to a scan becoming completely 3D printable. Sure, you can download designs from other individuals, but what fun is that? Isn’t 3D printing about making your own unique products and works of art?

Now, one company out of Japan tells 3DPrint.com that they have come up with another completely unique method for allowing users to generate 3D printable content on their own.

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Called 3D Print Model Generator, the free service, as founder Yoshinobu Kakumura tells us, is very simple. You first choose a model that you wish to print from the website. Unlike other model repositories though, these models are full animations of various characters, rather than just static already created STL file. You play the animation via your web browser and stop it whenever you like. You can then capture that character in the position he/she/it is frozen in, and proceed to download a 3D printable STL file of that character in that position that you have chosen.  The characters move, jump, and dance around the screen, giving you ample opportunity to capture the exact model you want.

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The website is available in both Japanese and English (via Google Translate), and having played around with the system, I am thoroughly impressed. Kakumura suggests that users use Meshmixer in order to change the dimensions of any STL file they download, allowing them to print the models in virtually any size they choose (as long as it fits on their 3D printer’s bed. Currently there are five different models to choose from, including two female characters, a dinosaur skeleton, a dog, and a goat. Kakumura tells us that he plans to add many more models in the near future, building his site up gradually.

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I must admit that when I was first made aware of this site two days ago, I wasn’t really all that impressed, until I actually began using the in-browser software which allowed me to create some really unique STL files. I’ve downloaded several of these so far, and they all appear to be ready to be 3D printed. I plan to print some of these out in the coming days.

What do you think about this unique way of generating 3D printable models? Is Yoshinobu Kakumura onto something? Discuss in the 3D Print Model Generator forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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