An unexpected announcement from MakePrintable indicates the service is shutting down.
MakePrintable emerged as a startup company in 2017 with a mission to enable an easy and effective method to repair messed up 3D files. This was a common occurrence because STL, the most popular 3D file format of that day — and still today — is quite terrible. It can literally encode invalid 3D structures, making printing of a file a tricky business.
The best practice is to “repair” your 3D model before attempting to print, and that’s usually done with other, expensive utility software. For a while you could use a free version of NetFabb to do so, but then it seemed to fade away after Autodesk took over.
Enter MakePrintable. They offered a website where you could upload a 3D model and have a cloud service perform the repairs for you. In my testing of MakePrintable, I found the service to be quite good, with excellent repair results provided.
The company later introduced their “Mammoth” technology, which provided even better repair results. The technology essentially “wrapped” the object in a new “skin” and was able to quickly and effectively fill in any gaps.
Over the years MakePrintable apparently repaired over half a million files.
Now they seem to be shutting down the service. In a brief announcement, they said:
“Please be advised that MakePrintable is shutting down its service on 31/12/2022. The dashboard, models, apps, workflows, G-code reverser, Dicom converter, printables, plugins, and API will no longer be available. If you wish to migrate your models to a different service, please download your 3D models from my models section before 31/12/2022.”
Why shut MakePrintable down? It appears that the team has decided to move on to other projects:
“Today, the team that chased that very ambitious mission is becoming part of something even bigger – a company that is building the first Integral Co-Reality platform to re-introduce the world to its physical self: Integral Reality Labs.”
Thus we will see the end of MakePrintable next month.
This may be a good decision. As we have all seen, there is a slow, but growing shift away from the horrible STL file format towards the much more capable 3MF file format, which has less possibility of errors. It may be that MakePrintable saw the writing on the wall and decided to switch things out. If there are fewer files to repair, then why do you need MakePrintable?