An interesting new open source project could significantly simplify things for online 3D print services: OpenJSCAD.
OpenJSCAD? Don’t we mean OpenSCAD? Nope, these are two different things that perform the same function: programmatic 3D modeling. That’s the science of creating a complex 3D model from a sequenced set of instructions, like a program. This is as opposed to the other way of creating 3D models: with a graphical interface used manually by a human designer. In other words, you can write a software program to generate a 3D model.
There are many advantages to preparing 3D models in this way. One is that it becomes very easy to tweak a 3D model: just change the appropriate instructions in the program. Another huge advantage is that 3D modeling can then be embedded into a web page, because it’s just more software code. Software can then control the creation of 3D models, enabling all sorts of interesting possibilities.
OpenSCAD has been doing this for years. It’s an open source project that provides this type of interface. You just need to learn the OpenSCAD language and you can program your own 3D models.
But then, what’s OpenJSCAD for?