Dynamic 3D Model Apps: Open or Closed?

By on May 14th, 2013 in Ideas


It’s become apparent that dynamic models are a lot more fun than static models for 3D printing. Wait, what’s a dynamic model? 
A static model is simply a digital 3D model that is the same for  everyone. A nice bracelet, for example. 
A dynamic model is one that’s created for you at the time you request it, using information you provide to alter the model to your specifications. A nice bracelet, for example, that’s sized exactly to your wrist and has your name on it. 
People like dynamic models more than static simply because they offer the possibility of creating a totally unique model just for them and no one else. The First and Only. 
More and more of these dynamic applications are emerging, but most of them are tightly associated with 3D print services. Closed systems such as Shapeways, Sculpteo and Cubify all offer quite imaginative apps, but the resulting model can only be 3D printed on that service’s printers. You can’t take the model home and print it yourself.   
There are some exceptions. Cubify does have some apps that permit downloading of the model. 
The place to go for take-home dynamic models is currently Thingiverse, who recently offered a capability (the “Customizer”) for generating models dynamically.  As of this writing, there are hundreds of “customizable” models. However, the quality varies considerably and it can be difficult to find something you want. 
The question we’re wondering is, what would attract high-level designers to create magnificent dynamic models for download? 

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!