MakerBot announces new Thingiverse API Platform and Developer Portal, opening up the popular maker community to new extensions and features.
With millions of 3D printable models, Thingiverse has everything a maker could want, right? According to owners MakerBot, there’s still plenty of work to be done. The company is launching an ambitious Thingiverse API platform, enabling developers to make the popular content repository even more vast and powerful.
The apps will all work within the Thingiverse ecosystem — meaning there’s no extra software to install or need to move files to the cloud — and promises to bring new levels of functionality to the site for both developers and users.
There will also be print, customization and print fulfillment apps made available, too. Check out a preview of the new platform in the video below:
Thingiverse API Platform is a New Sandbox for Developers
MakerBot is also launching a Developer Portal to provide documentation for submissions and guidelines, as well as resources for developers.
Using the developer portal, creators can test their apps in the (all new!) Thingiverse sandbox and view analytics. On top of that, they can also easily manage their things, apps, and payments.
Yes, payments. While designers will still get to choose just how and where to share their things — and keep their designs free — they can also provide options to purchase or tip a design (if that design is licensed under Creative Commons allowing for commercial use).
Thingiverse will also add a general tipping option outside of the apps, meaning designers won’t have to make any special effort to receive tips for their work. MakerBot will not be taking a cut of tips paid to designers.
Users can expect a lot more in return. They’ll be able to repair STL files and order prints, for one thing, but also customize designs more easily.
One of the first apps will be launched with print fulfillment service 3D Hubs. With this new app, any 3D printable objects on Thingiverse can be ordered and shipped to your door, so you won’t even need a 3D printer.
Another upcoming app is MakePrintable, which analyzes 3D meshes to ensure there are no errors or problem areas before you print a file.
The new Developer Program and the first Thingiverse apps are expected to arrive in the next few weeks. Check out the program page to sign up and stay up to date.
License: The text of "Thingiverse API Platform and Developer Portal Announced" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.