A small but vocal group of MyMiniFactory users have been begging the 3D printable model marketplace to allow them to upload directly from Rhinoceros 3D for almost as long as the company has been around. This week those users finally got their wish as the company has officially added Rhino 3D functionality. The new MMF Rhino plugin will allow designers to easily upload models directly from the popular CAD program and is asking users to suggest new software for MMF integration.
The changes to MyMiniFactory have been coming pretty quickly these last few months and the company is in the middle of a pretty significant growth period. In order to fund the development of all of these new features and software changes, the company recently launched a Seedrs campaign to attract a wave of new investors. So far the campaign has been quite successful, with MMF crossing their funding goal just last night. Suddenly flush with new seed money, expect MyMiniFactory to start putting even more effort into making the marketplace more friendly to a much wider variety of users and software types. The Rhino integration was probably just the first of many new options designers will soon have available to them. It was also an integration that was long overdue, but not without some valid reasons.
Despite being a very popular CAD program in general, Rhinoceros 3D hasn’t really been that popular among 3D printable model designers. What makes Rhino different, and more difficult to use for 3D printing, from other CAD programs is the way that the geometries of the 3D models are generated. Rather than using the much more common polygon-mesh which is easily converted to a 3D printable model, Rhino geometry is generated using a non-uniform rational basis spline (NURBS) mathematical model. In English, NURBS produces models that often are a bit more precise and organic with more natural curves.
Unfortunately NURBS models don’t convert into mesh very well, which makes them less than ideal for 3D printing uses. But a lot of 3D artists and 3D designers are quite passionate about Rhino and have found plenty of ways to make the conversion process of their models faster and suitable for 3D printing. As a curated marketplace MyMiniFactory relies on the best of the best designers working with them, so it only makes sense to be compatible with as many popular 3D modelling software packages in use and available on the market as possible.
Over on MyMiniFactory the process of uploading from Rhino is documented on their How to Upload to MMF from Rhino 3D tutorial and it seems pretty straightforward. Of course it does require users to download an updated MMF Rhino plugin in order for it to work. Once the plugin has been downloaded and installed, restarting Rhino should give users new upload options allowing models to be sent directly to MyMiniFactory. The first time that anything is uploaded with the plugin it will prompt users to enter their login credentials, and it will even provide new users the option to create an account without requiring them to leave Rhino.
MyMiniFactory is also asking their growing community what other software platforms they would like to be integrated next, so if your preferred modelling program isn’t currently supported this is the time to let them know that you would like it to be. Especially since MMF’s high profile Seedrs campaign has just reached its funding goal. The company was looking to raise £500,000 ( about $776,625 USD) from new investors using the new crowdfunding investment platform and they easily passed that goal in only two weeks–and then some.
Despite having met their Seedrs goal, MyMiniFactory is still receiving a steady stream of support and has decided to keep their funding campaign open for a little while longer. Currently they are offering a 5.03% equity for new investors which, depending on how much support you’re offering them, is a pretty good deal. So if you want own part of MyMiniFactory, then head on over to their Seedrs campaign now, because this is the ideal time to buy in.
Did you back this crowdfunding campaign? Let us know in the MyMiniFactory / Seedrs forum thread on 3DPB.com.