Make Apps that Make Products with the New Shapeways 3D Printing API

Posted by in New Features

Shapeways Director of Product Brad Dickason (@bdickason) and VP of Engineering Josh Levine introduce the new Shapeways API.

We are proud to announce for formal launch of our 3D Printing API hosted at developers.shapeways.com.

Our mission is to enable anyone to make anything they want. Today’s launch is a huge step towards that goal and we’re hoping that you will join and celebrate with us and our community about Shapeways’ revolutionary marketplace and manufacturing platform.

Our marketplace of 3D printed products is a new economic engine for product designers. Now we introduce the endless possibilities of Shapeways apps. Think about it: Just as new materials at Shapeways have created new product categories, this API creates the opportunity for developers all over the world to make apps that make products.  In 2012, 8,000 Shapeways Shop Owners earned nearly $500,000 in profits, and many of these Shop Owners were app developers who took advantage of our tools for mass customization.  We are bringing the power of digital fabrication to the masses, and Shapeways’ mission is becoming reality.

API FEATURES

This first release of our API focuses on our marketplace and manufacturing. We’ve tried to make life easy for developers to upload 3D models, sell to others, and 3D print in over 30 materials and finishes including our newest material Premium Silver.  

The functionality available via the 3D Printing API is continually growing, so if you are coding with us, you should regularly check our docs or the browse the JSON discovery (get JSON View).  We have also developed several reference clients that showcase the API functionality and can help you get started right away!

API EXAMPLES

While our new API was in private beta, we worked closely with several users to test and refine the features. Here are a couple examples of the possibilities.

Mixee Me

Mixee Me enables you to create your own army of little people. Each character is created using a collection of clipart that the user can choose from.

TinkerCad

Tinkercad is an easy to use, web-based CAD app designed specifically for 3D Printing. Users can create their own 3D models with no previous CAD experience and print directly to Shapeways by clicking ‘Order 3D Print’ within the app.

Creators Project

The Creators Project in collaboration with Softlab, Sosolimited and Sticky Monster Lab, accesses your Facebook profile to create a 3D Printed visualization of your interaction with family and friends, your likes and sharing patterns, so you can see yourself as others might see you, abstracted though the lens of the three artists and their applications.

Nu Bracelet

Nu uses audio analysis to transform music into a unique piece of wearable art.

API PHILOSOPHY

“Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.”

–Martin Fowler

We’re a passionate and creative team spread over 3 time zones in 2 continents. We listen to each other and prefer to add and improve ideas rather than point out why something will fail.  We strive to enable intuitive leaps of understanding and readable code.  To make sure that we were hearing you, we offer direct contact via email (api@shapeways.com), IRC (#shapeways on freenode.net), and dedicated Skype chatrooms.  We want to ensure frequent and open communication with everyone using our APIs. It is extremely important for us to maintain an extremely low barrier to entry for anyone who wants to create real-life products from digital 3D objects.

We hope you’ll join us in making the future. We’re here to help you create!

Love,

Shapeways

7 comments

  1. Joanna

    The developer API is a huge step forward in expanding the product offerings and possibilities of 3D printing! Congratulations!

  2. jim

    I’m interested in the Nu Bracelet product. The link on this page goes to another Shapeways page that doesn’t mention the Nu Bracelet. My web search didn’t find anything. Can you provide a good link to this company?

    Jim

  3. WildZBill

    Are you claiming that 8,000 people made a half million *each* on your site, or that all together they made a half million?

  4. dorothy

    You are really doing a fantastic job at bringing 3D printing to everyone. Seems like 3D printing is opening more and more doors every day. Well done!

  5. Shapeways Blog

    This week at SXSW, Shapeways launched it’s new API, which enables anyone to make apps that make products. Our Designer Spotlight focuses on one API user, Invisible Light Network, who created a way to visualize music into the wearable form of Nu Bracelet.

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