We’ve written several stories on MyMiniFactory in recent days, and now there’s another one: the company has launched a peculiar idea validator.
What is an idea validator? It seems to be a way for innovative people to post an idea for a 3D project and gain feedback from the crowd. It’s a social platform that looks somewhat like a crowdfunding site, without the funding. Ideas are posted and participants can provide comments and feedback to the originator. It’s also possible to “Cheer” an idea or “Tip” a proposed project. Ideas appear on the site during a time-limited window, which appears to be 30 days, after which they are presumably archived.
The projects currently displayed on the site are all related to 3D printing in some way: some propose unusual 3D models, some involve 3D scanning of unusual objects, others might be innovative printing projects.
One example is the “Toaster Tongs” idea by member Jack Merritt, which proposes this:
Bored of getting electrocuted and buying new toasters?
My thoughts exactly. I want to design some toaster tongs to help retrieve those pesky bits of bread and crumpets without burning,breaking or blowing up things around you.
I was thinking something novel but it will have to be thick and sturdy enough to be able to pick the toast up. Let me know what you think!
And this is quite typical of the ideas shown on the new service. Just regular folks hoping to find out whether their idea is crazy or viable.
We are often asked whether something or other "can be 3D printed" by folks who have less knowledge of the technology. It's a very popular question that MyMiniFactory seems to have turned into a full-fledged social networking service.
Currently there’s only a few dozen ideas posted on the site, but that’s totally expected as the site just opened. We expect many more ideas to percolate through this service in coming weeks.
Will this concept work? We’re not sure; it seems quite different from other services, yet provides a way for potentially isolated inventors to gain very valuable feedback on their ideas. Validation of an idea is, of course, one of the most important tasks in any project - and it looks like you can get that as a service now from MyMiniFactory.