Ring Creator: Shapeway's app on the API

Discussion in 'Shapeways API' started by natalia, May 23, 2013.

  1. natalia
    natalia New Member
    Hey guys,

    Next week, we will be officially launching our new "Custom Ring Creator" app to the public, but I wanted to give you a chance to check it out first. It's live now: http://www.shapeways.com/creator/custom-ring

    Built on our new API, the ring creator allows you to make a custom ring in minutes.

    You can customize the pattern, size, height and even add engraving. If you are feeling particularly creative, you can also upload your own drawn pattern, and turn that into a 3D ring. More details are on this post:

    The Custom Ring creator is a great example of how to use the new Shapeways API. For those of you interested in making your own apps, the source code for the ring creator is available on GitHub here http://abfab3d.com/ and here https://github.com/AbFab3D/AbFab3D

    If you have any questions, this is the place to post them!

    Have fun!
    Natalia
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
  2. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    Was this creator developed as an internal Shapeways tool by smart Shapeways employees or with third party tools and assistance (like Mixee Labs)?

    If I had a clue as to what the referenced code does or how it's used to provide a great interactive tool I'd adapt it for use myself. But since I don't have a clue do you have any recommendations for how to approach this with minimal coding skills? Is there a "Shapeways API Use and Creators for Dummies" book?

    On an unrelated note this creator seems rather limited because of discrete ring size steps and length limitations. Why not allow an option to enter numerical values for diameters, allow smaller diameters, and extend the length control to at least several inches? For example it could also be used to generate anything from small custom beads to larger custom containers like cigar tubes.

    Barring these options I imagine it would be possible to download the generated file and rescale it or otherwise re-edit it to create other items but I noticed the files download in x3db file format. I believe this is a binary version of an x3d file but are there CAD applications that open both? Your compatibility chart for tools and file formats does not list the x3db format.

     
  3. AlanHudson
    AlanHudson Shapeways Employee Dev Team
    "Was this creator developed as an internal Shapeways tool by smart Shapeways employees or with third party tools and assistance (like Mixee Labs)? "

    We wrote it using our open source AbFab3D toolkit. You can download that at AbFab3D.com That said it is a programmers toolkit so you'd need to be familiar with Java to use it.

    "On an unrelated note this creator seems rather limited because of discrete ring size steps and length limitations. Why not allow an option to enter numerical values for diameters, allow smaller diameters, and extend the length control to at least several inches? For example it could also be used to generate anything from small custom beads to larger custom containers like cigar tubes."

    I more favor an approach that puts out a bracelet creator, a bead creator etc. Ie small variants of this core creator. This way you can put inspiring product photography next to them and add custom options as desired. Ie a bracelet creator might want to add clasps where as ring creator doesn't need that.

    If more people start asking for the bracelet creator then I suspect we'll find the time to do it. Or we've released the code so others could take it modify it for their own creators.

    The x3db format is not as widely adopted as I'd hoped(I wrote a good chunk of that specification). I know that Netfabb reads it so maybe you could use it to write back to stl. I run another project called Xj3D that can be used to convert them. But sadly it's also a programmers library so its not very user friendly.
     
  4. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    Thanks for the info. I'm not a big software person. I'm a 1980's type of software user. PLM, BASIC, FORTRAN, x86 assembly language, and whatever I needed or chose as electives in college. On the bright side no COBOL. :laughing: If Java is anything like Matlab or C++ I might have a chance except that my limited experience with C++ wanted to make me rip out my eyeballs. I found Matlab to be easy to use because there were plenty of examples to study and lots of clear manual help.. Crossing the big divide between software languages/applications/toolkits and the internet is likely the biggest challenge unless there is a very clear path with explicit step by step instructions for what needs to be done. So yeah I looked at it but AbFab3D.com does not send a tingle up my leg at this point. I'm willing to develop a creator as a personal challenge once I figure out where to start!

    Anyway, I loaded up my laptop with netfabb Studio and Blender and so far the experimentation is going well. I generated a ring file with the ring creator, downloaded it, re-scaled it larger in netfabb, output an stl file, and uploaded it back to Shapeways. Editing in Blender should be possible once I figure out Blender. As long as you do some math in advance to compensate for what scaling does to wall thicknesses and the ring pattern input file you can use the ring creator for other objects, but it is a roundabout method. Still much easier for me right now than creating a creator!



     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013