The Shapeways Blog: 3D Printing News & Innovation

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New 3D Printing Software Toolkit


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This sounds so cool!

But the 'it's quite easy' line isn't meant for people like me. Could we have a little more explanation for web-illiterates such as myself, on how this could work, what kind of people you need to make this work, what is possible, what will be possible - etc.?

Hope to hear more, Michiel
#1 Michiel Cornelissen on 2011-08-10 13:00 (Reply)
The toolkit is initially designed for programmers. Someone with a few years under their belt should be able to take a creator and modify it. Making who new creators will take more experience.

Over time we'll target the system to something more like the co-creator system where modelers could string creator pieces together to form a unique creator. Once the toolkit has taken shape and has a good amount of features we can then add that layer. Rough estimate is 6 months to year one that. It really depends on how fast people add to the toolkit.
#2 giles7777 on 2011-08-10 13:37 (Reply)
I've looked at the site and have to admit I have no idea what's going on. Is this desktop software that we're supposed to download and run? If so, what operating system? As far as I can tell there are no instructions at all--at least I can't find them.

Can someone clarify?
#3 Chris Anderson on 2011-08-10 17:25 (Reply)
It's a toolkit for Java developers to create 3D creators. There is an example application in apps/imagecreator to show how to use the toolkit. On the backend are a set of services that any application can access to upload 3D models from any application(ie the Shapeways API).

At its heart is a voxel library that enables easy manipulation of 3D models. Some operations are much easier in voxel space such as engraving or embossing images. It leverages another open source project, Xj3D( to handle the triangle mesh aspects.

I'll be posting more tutorial material soon. Future posts will also get into the business model and philosophical underpinnings of the program.

It's early times with the toolkit. Hopefully the initial example application will show the promise and encourage other's to join onto the project.

If you have further questions feel free to post here or give me an email at alan at
#3.1 giles7777 on 2011-08-12 19:39 (Reply)
That's great! May be very usefull.

For me hearing that there's an API that allows auto upload is more exciting than the code.

For those who don't know what this all is... it's "Java" code, so yes... I think it runs on your computer but could also run in a browser. I'm really not too sure that it's too useful... I think we all want to implement auto generation on websites... so perhaps a more generic javascript/php approach is more appropriate.
#4 Dolf Veenvliet (Homepage) on 2011-08-11 07:48 (Reply)
"The goal is to make software development of 3D creators easy"

Looking fwd to when easy equates to my understanding of easy (I whom lack coding experience), but happy for those in the community who will pick it up and run w/ it immediately.
We (as designers) will be designing tools or adaptable designs more and more.
#5 Jeff Bare on 2011-08-11 18:46 (Reply)

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