A startup company provides a set of CAD APIs that can be embedded on any website.
CAD.ai isn’t a 3D printer manufacturer, but their product would certainly be of interest to our readers as they provide a basic but comprehensive set of APIs for online CAD.
The APIs (or Application Programming Interface) enable a web page designer to call out to CAD.ai and embed CAD functionality directly on a web page.
The APIs currently available from CAD.ai include a 3D model viewer, which you would think would be the most popular thing to do on a web page. But the company goes much farther than just viewing that 3D model by providing these additional functions:
- Model Repair API: Repair a 3D model by flipping facets, filling holes, etc.
- Parameter Extraction API: Provides instant information about a 3D model that can be used to assist in pricing prints, like the bounding box dimensions, for example.
- Model Edit API: Actually modify the 3D model on the web in simple ways, including rotation, translation and scaling.
- Model Thumbnails API: Provides an ability to create small images of the 3D model for rendering purposes.
- File Converter API: Can convert between 54 different 3D file formats.
- 3D-Printing Materials API: A database of 3D printing materials.
- Additive Manufacturing API: Provides access to quoting engines from several 3D print services and produces the results for display and analysis.
As you can tell, this is a very useful set of tools with which enterprising folks could construct unusual online 3D services.
Here are a few thoughts on how you might use this service:
- If you are a 3D model repository, you could use this service to display your products - and possibly enable clients to modify them.
- A product company could display their new product in 3D online.
- An artist could not only display their works, but also provide quotes to the public to produce them.
- A developer could quickly create a full, online 3D creation environment based on a set of 3D model templates.
And much more. You get the idea.
However, CAD.ai is not free. Well, it is in a way.
CAD.ai prices their services based on volume of transactions and the size of 3D models being processed. They do provide an entirely free service level, but it is limited to 25 calls per month and a maximum file size of only 5MB.
The paid levels range from USD$29 per month for 150 calls and 15 MB maximum file size to USD$339 per month for 2,200 calls and 50MB file size. They also can concoct custom pricing schemes on request.
This service is certainly not for everyone, but I strongly suspect there are those would find this extremely useful among our readers.