Fabulonia to Protect 3D Designs

By on September 30th, 2013 in Service

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Startup Fabulonia has a new concept that could provide significant protection to designers fearful of losing control of their works. 
As we understand it, Fabulonia will operate as a repository of 3D models submitted by (hopefully famous and notable) 3D designers. Consumers will be able to search, select and purchase a “print” from the repository for production on their personal 3D printer. 
This is where it gets a little different. The “print” is actually streamed to the 3D printer. The consumer never receives the original 3D model. This is quite different from the typical repository, where STL files are simply downloaded and printed. 
And printed again. And maybe sold, too. That’s where the problem lies for designers who have spent considerable time preparing their models. So far, Fabulonia seems to have signed up a number of 3D designers as listed on their site. They’ll receive royalties, we presume, as site visitors purchase their models. 
We’re not certain how the Fabulonia system works, but we suspect they may be generating some type of self-destructing GCODE for specific machines and streaming it to printers. We’ll find out more when they launch. 

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!

1 comment

  1. Layer By Layer already has the same basic concept up-and-running at their site, and they seem to offer some immediate advantages over Fabulonia's FabSecure:

    1. Content offerings:Fabulonia doesn't have any actual content yet, not even publicity photos. Layer By Layer has content from at least one notable designer I've actually heard of, puzzle designer Oskar van Deventer. (But I'm a puzzle collector, so that might not be a fair comparison–Fabulonia's designers might be well-known celebrities within their respective fields.)

    2. Instant gratification: Fabulonia's service relies on a not-yet-released hardware device, FabSecure, so users can't try it out until they . Layer By Layer is implemented with free software (Windows and Mac) so users can try it out immediately.

    3. Freebies: Fabulonia's current emphasis seems to be "sell sell sell." Layer By Layer has a healthy supply of free content, some of it exclusive, so potential users can try it out by building cool models without spending a cent ever. Some users will even prefer this to downloading free STL files and fiddling with slicer settings.

    Regardless, both sites represent a new area that undoubtedly ought to be explored. Both sites have the potential to simplify the 3D printing process for some users who don't want to fiddle with STL files and settings–users who might appreciate the ability to click a model and build it fully configured with settings someone has already tested.

    Both services are currently limited to Makerbot printers. If you know someone who has a replicator, ask them to try Layer By Layer to build a few free models. (Try my "Puckup" puzzle, which is free, or Oskar's "Domino Tower" puzzle, which is only $0.99)

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