Slant 3D Launches API for Direct Access to Print Farms

By on April 10th, 2024 in news, Service

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Part of Slant 3D’s print farm [Source: Slant 3D]

News from Slant 3D: they’ve developed an API for developers to directly access their print farm.

The company operates massive 3D print farms that can rapidly produce parts on demand. They receive 3D models from customers, which are prepared into jobs and dispatched to the printers. Printed results are shipped back to the customer.

While that’s not a unique business, all 3D print services have the same issue: landing enough business to keep the hardware generating revenue.

3D print services (or manufacturing services in general) spend considerable effort to create different ways to provide easy access to their print services. While the business is not unique, the ways to access that business are often unique.

Many ways of easing access are available. Some services provide instant quoting services, while others engage in partnerships. Some provide web page widgets for passers-by to upload 3D models for printing.

Slant 3D’s latest development is an API, or application programming interface, that provides direct access to their print farms. The idea here is that a programmer can build an app, widget, web page or other system that can trigger a series of print jobs.

Application process using Slant 3D’s new API [Source: Slant 3D]

The presence of the API itself doesn’t generate business, but instead it’s the users of the apps made with the API that do. Slant 3D is hoping that organizations interested in providing direct 3D print applications would make sense of their API. Over time, this should help keep the print farms busy.

It’s a bit more than just a simple upload-and-print service, however. The API examines the final destination of the parts and determines the nearest print farm to execute the work.

There’s also an interesting “digital inventory” feature. “Digital inventory” is a concept where a physical warehouse is replaced with a digital library of 3D models. When a spare part is required, it’s immediately 3D printed from the library. This concept saves an enormous amount of expense as there is no need for a physical warehouse.

Slant 3D’s API take on this concept is that it’s possible to upload 3D models into a cloud library. From there they can be accessed, via the API, for printing as required.

There is a lot more to digital inventories than just printing. There’s lots of work required to identify and prepare 3D models for use in a digital inventory. However, that’s not what Slant 3D is doing here — that work would be left to others that would build their apps on top of Slant 3D’s API.

Nevertheless, apps that access the Slant 3D API will be able to place print order for vast numbers of parts. Slant 3D accepts orders for up to a million parts, and that power can now be triggered with an app — perhaps at the touch of a button.

Once printed, Slant 3D’s service level is part delivery in 2-5 days. However, I suspect it might take longer if a million parts are ordered.

It’s not clear what might be created with this API, but I suspect there could be a variety of applications created, such as an ETSY gateway, or internal company spare parts services.

Via Slant 3D

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!

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