Web review – 3D online communities

When scouring the web searching information I usually spot interesting articles or web sites so I’ve decided to make a recurring series with mostly links and comments.  Some of these articles are not ‘fresh’ from last week I’m just pushing them as I find them!

For the first review I will concentrate on the big 3D printing communities. Most of them are centered around a commercial product or service (Note that I’m not affiliated to any of these service)

http://www.3ders.org/ seems to be one of the largest news aggregator around 3D printing, they also have a nice section on printer and filaments.

– There is a multitude of online 3D printing services (like shapeways and ponoko) where anyone can upload their design and have it printed in multiple materials (plastics/metal/ceramic) and colors. This online 3D printer store has a great table that list most of these service. To attract creators these sites let anyone create a ‘shop’ where one can share their designs and decide the price markup for each item. Supposedly this is the new gold rush where designers are pushing to build up a name and earn millions

– An other type of communities are built by companies in the business. Examples are Thingiverse (selling the maker bot printer) or 123D app by Autodesk to promote their 3D modeling from pictures. I personally uses Thingiverse as it’s a convenient way to share my designs and find ideas or ready made/shares models.

– The last kind of communities and the less commercial oriented are the Makers/Hackers. These are individual that are doing things on their own for fun and profit. Build things for their family and friends or maybe just themselves and more importantly share their passion. It can range from needle works and crafts with Etsy to hacker spaces where a community is assembling heavy industial machines, train their members and run workshops to learn new skills. Everyone is encouraged to do their own project and learn from other fellow members.  There are also place like techshop that are a large warehouse with basically anything to build your stuff (for quite a healthy monthly fee…). This community reunites during the maker faires events.

That’s all for this week, if you have any other site to recommend please post a comment!


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