Popular 3D print service Shapeways has announced the availability of a new add-in for SolidWorks, the well-known commercial 3D modelling system. The add-in was developed by Design Solutions in a joint project with Shapeways, but is currently considered a “beta”, so expect frequent updates. Both 32 and 64 bit versions are available for download. If you test the add-in, remember to provide feedback.
This is a logical step for Shapeways, who have been doing their best to integrate with the 3D world more directly. We’re not sure if it’s their goal, but to have a “Shapeways button” placed in every 3D modelling tool would certainly help their business. But if they pursue that course, how will other 3D print services react? Perhaps we’ll see a wide variety of 3D print service plug-ins appear, or even a meta-service that selects and routes between a large number of possible services?