A Chicago-based team of designers has launched a new 3D model repository focused on well-designed 3D printable utility objects.
Parallel Goods operates in a straightforward manner: they have a small selection of products, which are in fact STL 3D models ready for printing. Priced low, you can purchase them for immediate download and 3D printing on your own equipment.
The focus here is definitely on utility objects; items such as the self-watering planter or sawhorse bracket demonstrate the functionality of the products. In our inspection, the products appear to be both well-designed from an industrial point of view as well as easy to 3D print.
As you may imagine, a 3D model repository that’s just launched won’t have many models yet for sale, and that’s definitely the case here. Parallel Goods, as of this writing offers only four 3D models – but they are each of good quality and priced at only USD$1.99 each.
The founders of Parallel Goods saw the need for high-quality 3D models, which are often very difficult to find among the massive repositories currently online. By establishing a kind of “boutique” operation, they hope to enable easy identification of good models to the public.
They started by uploading a terrific 3D model of a self-watering planter to Thingiverse, where it proved immensely popular. This led them to believe they could provide similarly useful 3D models to the public on their own site.
But there is a big challenge here as with all small 3D model repositories starting out: recognition. Such sites require traffic and often contributions from designers. Traffic is increasingly difficult to obtain with the large number of competing repositories – and a reluctance by users to search multiple sites. This is somewhat overcome by meta-search facilities, but the search aggregators don’t usually include the smaller boutique sites.
Another problem for 3D model boutiques selling STL models is unauthorized release of their content. Should someone legitimately purchase a 3D model, there’s nothing technically stopping them from posting it on Thingiverse or other public repositories, where it would be copied endlessly to other places.
Meanwhile, Parallel Goods does offer some great content, and we’re hoping they’re able to add more useful 3D models in the near future.
Via Parallel Goods