Materialise’s 3D Barometer

By on December 14th, 2012 in Service

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Once you get into 3D printing you quickly realize that every 3D model is not the same. Some are easily 3D printed, some can successfully 3D print only using certain processes and others are simply pathological and can’t be successfully 3D printed. 
How do you know which one? Materialise has taken a step to simplify that process for you with their new “3D Barometer”. The free, web-based service provides a numerical “rating” for the potential to 3D print your item. 
We wondered how this could work. As you can imagine, the variety of possible 3D models, is practically (and actually) infinite, so how could they design free software to analyze all models? 
They took a completely different approach: A Quiz!
The service asks you five very simple questions about your model, without having to examine it at all. The questions relate to: 
  • Part size
  • Part complexity (no overhangs? many complex overhangs?)
  • Project value (in dollars)
  • Series size (quantity required)
  • Purpose (function, visual or both)
Based on your multiple-choice answers, the service comes up with a number. If it’s a high rating, they say “Let’s Talk!” 
While this may seem overly simplistic, it is actually a fairly accurate way of rapidly judging the potential for 3D printing a given design. We ask the same questions when someone wants us to 3D print something – although we’ll smile and tell jokes in-between the questions, unlike the 3D Barometer.  
Try it out yourself. 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!