Shapeways, The Community

New 3D Printing Software Toolkit

We are happy to announce the beginnings of a new Open Source
toolkit for 3D printing, called AbFab3D. Shapeways is already the host of a wide set of tools that enable you to create and customize products without the need of 3D software. We call them creators. AbFab3D is designed to help speed
the development of these creators and other 3D printing tools.
The goal is to make software development of 3D creators easy. We are curious to see what
sort of creators people will want to create. Can you make the first creator
to fab a million products?

Why are we doing this? Shapeways is looking to accelerate the 3D printing revolution. AbFab3D
greatly simplifies the creation of 3D creators and printing tools. These 3D creators (made using AbFab3D) will enable a
new class of Makers and Shapers to take the
next step on the way to transforming manufacturing. Using an
Open Source model allows the community to reuse common code together.
Shapeways is releasing this code to kick start the community of editor creators.

Image Creator

As a part of the toolkit, we’re releasing a sample creator for you, called the Image Creator.
This creator takes a base shape, embosses or engraves an image and then applies
a connector. The creator is good at creating custom pendants. By
customizing this creator you can easily make it work for Dice, Phone Covers, LightSwitch Covers,
Drink Coasters and Trivets. Perhaps you’d like a jewelry box with a custom top? All
of these variants are easy to create with the toolkit.

Inspired yet? It’s quite easy, grab the toolkit and start creating new editors. Make something
cool and then open your own shop at Shapeways.


Here are some items we’re working on next for the toolkit:

  • Hollow Out – A set of tools for hollowing out a model.
  • Remove Unattached – Remove parts of a model that will fall off.
  • Automatic Upload to Shapeways – Calls to the Shapeways API to upload models, get price etc.

Come visit the SIGGRAPH 2011 Web3D Tech Talk on the exhibition floor this Wed 5pm – 6pm to see
the new toolkit in action (near the Shapeways booth #816)

The name you ask? Let’s say I’m a fan of British Comedy.

The project is hosted here: AbFab3D Site

The Java code is LGPL licensed and hosted at Github

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