The ‘Google’ of 3dprinting files?
When we search for a website we usually head for Google, but where do you go when you want to search for a STL file for 3dprinting? With model repositories growing in number every day, actually finding what you want can be a hard task and you might even have to search many different sites before get to discover the model you want. 3Dshap.es aims to solve this and become the number one platform on the internet for searching 3dprinting files. 3Dshap.es is different in that the site indexes the actual file and not the ‘tags’ of a model listing, meaning that you are far more likely to find what you need as the search is based upon the shape of the file. Currently 3Dshap.es have indexed files from all the major file repositories, including the 3dfilemarket.com, thingiverse, youimage and shapeways.
With 3Dshap.es announced as a partner for the Autodesk spark platform, there are exciting times to come for the future of 3dprinting files. We caught up with the CEO Seena Rejal for a quick interview about the aims of the 3Dshap.es and where they anticipate the future of 3dprinting will be in the next decade. Seena Rejal has a decorated career in manufacturing having gained a PhD in manufacturing from the University of Cambridge. He then spent time working with the founder and CEO of MFG.com in the US as well as working for the Clinton Foundation. He started 3D Industries in 2012 and is set to become a major player in searching 3D content.
What is the ultimate aim of 3dshap.es?
3Dshap.es wants to index every 3D model on the web. It wants to be the place you go to to find any shape and form. The way you query the physical world around you through its shape. It wants to create a transparent and fully searchable 3D online universe, where everyone is able to share, but also protect and attribute their work.
With the new partnership with Autodesk how will this enhance your end goals?
As a global leader in 3D software, Autodesk is a formidable player in the emerging 3D printing landscape. Its entry into the space offers exciting opportunities to shape the developing field. Having such an organisation as a partner will help us set the foundations and standards for the open and transparent 3D universe we envisage. Their followers, users and ecosystem partners will accelerate and boost the rate at which we can order the web’s available 3D content.
Do you see the mass consumer adopting 3dprinting similar to inkjet printers?
Eventually, but not in the short to mid-term. A mix of technology developments and industry business models will bring about the price points and demand for such adoption. It has to have real utility and solve real pain in the home. This could be in the form of fabricating replacement components for every day white goods, or immediate fulfilment of particular domestic needs. It might also be for educational purposes. At that point, a printer per home will make sense. But we are certainly moving in that direction and it is a matter of time – we are waiting for that killer application and a killer pain being solved.
Where do you think the 3dprinting industry will be in 5 years?
I think we would have progressed distributed production at the level of the high street shop. Most stores will have a backroom 3D printer, with rapid 3D printing speeds and high quality output, that can pretty much fulfil most requirements for customisation of smaller devices / products, as well as immediate supply of replacement components.
I think industrial use will also have developed extensively for high-value applications.
3D literacy will be widespread, with handheld devices such as smartphones, being 3D capable in terms of scanning and visualisation.
If these predictions are correct then we are sure set for some exciting times in 3dprinting. For more information and to visit 3Dshap.es click the logo.