They call it a 3D printing portal, and it seems the converts to 3D-button.com are convinced they’re riding the first wave to hit the beach.
Within just a few weeks since it launched during March of this year at CeBIT, the Berlin-based 3YOURMIND GmbH says the service is racking up more than 10,000 quotes per week.
“The enormous potential of 3D printing technology can only be accessed by professionals using a combination of 3D data creation and 3D printing services. To build a machine’s prototype or an architectural model with professional 3D printers, perfect 3D data is needed. At the moment this requires many additional hours of modeling work,” says Stephan Kühr, the managing director of 3YOURMIND.
3YOURMIND, which specializes in IT solutions for 3D printing companies, has seen a strong increase in the use of the portal, particularly in the US, German, Polish, Russian and British markets.
The portal enables professional printing of 3D data directly from CAD programs, and it’s a series of free plugins for popular CAD programs which allows engineers or architects to can extend their software. The portal and the button are used for automatic data correction, 3D print file preparation and quoting.
Once the data is optimized for 3D printing, files can be uploaded with a single mouse click through 3D-button.com, and users can scale a model, choose their preferred material and then receive a real-time quote from various popular 3D printing service bureaus.
With 3D-button.com, users can select from printing materials such as plastics, aluminum, resin, steel, plaster, ceramics or gold, and then their files can be immediately ordered from partner printing services in Germany, the United States, France or Belgium.
Additional printing materials and printing service bureau offerings will be integrated into the portal over the course of the next few weeks, and as part of the ongoing development program, plugins for other CAD programs created as well.
At this stage, users can implement the button functionality and portal for CAD programs such as SketchUp, AutoCAD, 3DS Max, Rhinoceros, Inventor and Blender.
The company’s vision is to connect any 3D data source with any 3D printer, and the team is continuously adding new CAD programs, printing companies and related technologies. A user can see their favorite program added by reaching out to contact the company.
The service provides users a single point of access to various 3D printing service bureaus, and all the data involved is secured by SSL encryption and is subject to German data protection laws to ensure that files remain safe throughout the process.
“The 3D Print plugins are and stay free of charge,” says 3D-button. “There are no hidden costs and you will not pay more for the model when using our service.”