Atoms are new bits
– Chris Anderson (Wired)
I first came around this mantra in Chris Anderson’s FREE. It has played major role in my work on 3DTin.
We – at 3DTin – have tried to integrate 3D printing experience within the modelling software for some time now. We started by supporting export to popular 3D formats – OBJ and STL. We implemented one-click export to Thingiverse, as soon as Makerbot guys provided an upload API for their website. We are today announcing another such integration with 3D printing provider i.materialise
If you have been using 3DTin for past week, you may have already noticed the changed layout of the sketch export page and addition of i.materialise under export destinations.
As soon as you hit the “Export” button after selecting i.materialise as your destination, the factory server will start generating the STL and uploading it to i.materialise server. Within seconds, you will see the button change to “Proceed”. You can then click it to view your model on i.materialise website. The i.materialise page will offer you selection of materials and real-time price calculation for the size of your model. You can then “Checkout” to order a physical copy of your model… just like that!
Here are screenshots of some 3DTin models exported to i.materialise
As you may have noticed that the models are in Color!
i.materialise supports an extended format of standard STL, which can carry the color information of the 3D geometry. We have modified 3DTin’s factory code to generate STLs with such color information embedded in it. And it’s not just a color preview, i.materialise can print the model in color too. Isn’t that Awesome?
While working with i.materialise on this integration, we have improved our STL generation code in other aspects too. For one thing, it’s now faster and it now can handle models with high polygon counts more gracefully. Besides adding color information, we have changed the orientation of exported STLs. This will fix the Thingiverse screenshots that used to show the model tilted on its side. Also we are now using caching to further speed up the export process for popular models that are downloaded more often.
Let us know how do you like this new addition and what more would you like to see.