It has been a while since I thought about what are my favourite web sites for 3D printing. What a choice there is in the space of only a couple of years or so since I first took an interest in the subject. It is so hard to make a selection, there are so many good 3D printing places to visit.
Well I suppose the obvious thing is to look at my browser bookmarks to see which ones continue to hold interest or significance for me. It doesn’t mean they are the best but they would appear to be the places I visit most often.
Without further ado, here is the list:
“3D Printer & 3D Printing News”
This news site is run by the Krassentein boys and it has been quite a project for them. I have known them for a while and they are really trying hard to curate and collect all the latest news about the what is happening in the world of 3D printing, who is launching new 3D printers, showcase those sharing great 3D prints, etc. I have to say it is a cracking site overall in terms of its content. My only criticism of the site is its design but as they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
“Digital Designs For Physical Objects”
Thingiverse by Makerbot – I can’t stay away from the site because it is the place where you tend to see the latest 3D prints appear first from the open source community. I have used Thingiverse for ages; in fact, the 3 designs mentioned here Free 3D Prints can each be found on Thingiverse too. The recent spat that Makerbot have had where they apparently filed a patent based on someone else’s work is of some concern to be frank. Especially to those who have been around a while. Let us hope Makerbot do the right thing and find a licensing solution that works or reward the designer appropriately. I think a lot of people who have followed Thingiverse will be thinking the same.
“Make Amazing Products Come to Life with 3D Printing.”
Well who would not pick Shapeways. Even though it is not a market place for those with 3D printers, it exemplifies where 3D printing for consumers is going in terms of what sells. It is an interesting site because it is basically a shop (emporium) for some wonderful designs that you can have 3D printed by their back-end additive manufacturing facility. My hope is they adopt a solution like 3DPrintShield so ordinary folk with consumer based 3D printers have a chance to print some of those designs out (even if it is only in PLA or ABS).
“There isn’t anything like pinshape for professional 3D printing artists.”
I like Pinshape as it is the beginning of a true marketplace for 3D printing where designs can be bought and made at home on your own 3D printer. Designers can upload their models and hopefully get paid for their work. Of course it has that the Pinterest look about it and that makes it all the more appealing. The site appears to be building up nicely and I hope they manage to cover their investment by selling enough designs. Building a marketplace is a “tough nut to crack”.
“Share Your Imagination”
I don’t know why I find Youmagine so appealing but I do. Perhaps because it is a mix of interesting open source designs for 3D printing, real stories by ordinary people and a nice community. Youmagine follow the original spirit of sharing 3D prints and importantly the knowledge needed to make them. The site has helped to propel 3D printing into the mainstream. It basically doesn’t smell of outright commercialism and perhaps that is its strength and why it appeals.
Well we shall see what my 3D printing favourites are next year. The subject is still moving so fast. Why did I not bookmark 3DPrintingIndustry.com or 3DPrinterWorld.com? I will do that right now.