MyMiniFactory is well known for their now-huge site providing a wealth of printable 3D models, but now they have an app, too.
The company has been around for several years now, and we even paid them a visit in 2015. While there have been plenty of 3D model download services emerge, few, if any, go to the lengths that MyMiniFactory does to ensure the 3D models are in fact printable.
MyMiniFactory literally 3D prints each submission, and often works iteratively with submitters to adjust the design to ensure printability. As you might imagine, they go through a lot of 3D print materials, and printers, too. But it’s proven successful, as they are one of the few survivors in that market, along with Thingiverse, YouMagine, and a few others.
Access to MyMiniFactory has been through their website, as is customary. However, I recently noted they’ve published a smartphone app from which access is also possible.
The app provides an easy way to use touch controls to find your way through their increasingly large library of printable 3D models.
Using the app is absurdly easy, as one would expect. You can drive through categories instantly to find interesting 3D models.
Once a 3D model is selected, you are shown a very large image of the print and can scroll through its meta data. You can perform the usual social actions, such as liking, sharing, etc, and most useful is the 3D view feature. With that you can, with your fingers, very easily swish around the view and zoom in to examine small details.
One question you may have is exactly how does one 3D print from this app, as it does not have slicing capability, nor is it able to directly connect with your 3D printer – or a 3D print service for that matter.
It’s a matter of bookmarking. In the app you can “Save” any 3D model you encounter. Then, later when you are on your desktop or laptop PC, you can call up your “Saved For Later” items, where the saves will be shown. From there you can download, slice and 3D print in the usual manner.
Thus the MyMiniFactory app is essentially a fancy search tool for their extensive database of 3D models. I can see this being used while on public transport, as you could browse for something interesting to print and save it for later.
I have two things to say about this app. First, it seems to be limited to a portrait display format only. I’d really like to have this in landscape mode for use on tablets, where it otherwise performs well.
Secondly, I think it would be an easy thing for MyMiniFactory to add an interface to 3D print services. If so, then you could actually request a print of your selection – while on public transport, for example. The commissions obtained by MyMiniFactory from such print service referrals could be a good source of revenue for MyMiniFactory as well.
You can find the MyMiniFactory app on both Google Play and iTunes online stores.