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  1. #1

    End of STL files?

    Is the end of STL files in sight with makerbot streaming their own print codes from their online verified 3dprinting store? Will there be a day when prints are streamed to users (maybe like the spotify concept) so you will never own the file, only a copy of the print the way the designer wants the original model to look?

  2. #2
    Staff Engineer Davo's Avatar
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    No, it is not.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3dfilemarket View Post
    Is the end of STL files in sight with makerbot streaming their own print codes from their online verified 3dprinting store? Will there be a day when prints are streamed to users (maybe like the spotify concept) so you will never own the file, only a copy of the print the way the designer wants the original model to look?
    Makerbot don't dictate what file formats become obsolete, and even if by some fate STL was extinguished, OBJ would be there in it's place.

    What makerbot's store has to do is still send Gcode to your machine. It cannot be encrypted, and even if they encrypt it in their software, it still has to be sent to the machine as raw Gcode - which completely makes their concept of keeping their print codes under lock and key truly flawed. You will start seeing torrents of Gcode no doubt.

  4. #4
    I agree with the Gcode comment. I think the early users of 3dprinting can handle the tinkering of STL files and I like to see the file first and check scale etc before I print. Also I can control the speed and temp of my printer mid print so I start of slow and hot for the first layer and the increase the speed of the print and reduce the temp by 20 degree. This is all great if your into this level of printing, however I feel that to get really mainstream then this will slowly die out and be replaced with print codes. Will the mass consumer really accept having to wait for slicing. If it is done for you does that not make the user experience more seamless?

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3dfilemarket View Post
    I agree with the Gcode comment. I think the early users of 3dprinting can handle the tinkering of STL files and I like to see the file first and check scale etc before I print. Also I can control the speed and temp of my printer mid print so I start of slow and hot for the first layer and the increase the speed of the print and reduce the temp by 20 degree. This is all great if your into this level of printing, however I feel that to get really mainstream then this will slowly die out and be replaced with print codes. Will the mass consumer really accept having to wait for slicing. If it is done for you does that not make the user experience more seamless?
    You can't eliminate the slicing process really. Not unless you are using something like Zbrush that can automatically detect and anomaly in the topology of the 3d mesh and fix it on the fly.

    I am not really sure what your gripe is with slicing to be honest, it's not like its a real pain.. I think most people want to be sure their print will turn out correctly - now or in the future. The Gcode generation for me is most important because no matter what program I use it will detect errors in the mesh - if I am going to print something out for 10 hours, I am not going to just take the chance and press print - I want a verification (locally, not in some cloud bullsh*t where I have to upload my 100mb mesh file first) that my model will print ok, or at least the shell is ok and go from there.

  6. #6
    Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for your responses to the thread. I don't have any gripes with STL files or slicing at all, but I know some new users to 3dprinting who are not as technically savvy as some and find this off putting having to slice files. Some packages (especially certain opensource ones) can be quite complex to newbies of 3dprinting. We are users at the very start of consumer 3dprinting, but having to download a file and then upload it into a package, to then slice and prepare for printing, before then having to send it to the printer can be quite a learning curve, especially for young children. I am a supporter of anything that makes 3dprinting easier so more people can experience this amazing technology and I am keen to find out people's views on this. Users ultimately want the easiest smoothest experience when using technology, for a small design from downloaded from thingiverse e.g. iphone case, if there was the option to hit 'print' and that was it straight to the printer, I think people would do it.....

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3dfilemarket View Post
    Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for your responses to the thread. I don't have any gripes with STL files or slicing at all, but I know some new users to 3dprinting who are not as technically savvy as some and find this off putting having to slice files. Some packages (especially certain opensource ones) can be quite complex to newbies of 3dprinting. We are users at the very start of consumer 3dprinting, but having to download a file and then upload it into a package, to then slice and prepare for printing, before then having to send it to the printer can be quite a learning curve, especially for young children. I am a supporter of anything that makes 3dprinting easier so more people can experience this amazing technology and I am keen to find out people's views on this. Users ultimately want the easiest smoothest experience when using technology, for a small design from downloaded from thingiverse e.g. iphone case, if there was the option to hit 'print' and that was it straight to the printer, I think people would do it.....
    I agree , open source packages can be poorly written for the beginner, but no longer.

    My children are 7 and 9. They can sculpt a 3D model on the Ipad using Sculpt123 buy Autocad (or creature pack) texture it, upload it and have it printed out the next hour. Now, I'd love to take credit - but they picked it up by themselves, I only showed them a few little things- but for the most part, kids figure things out generally on their own I find (if they are that way inclined)

    I agree people want a smooth experience, and as it is now it could be better. Slicing 200-300mb mesh files can take hours literally, ideally I'd love a magic print button that eliminates that waiting.

  8. #8
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    Geoff try simplify3d. I have never waited more than 30-45 sec to slice even the largest most complex models. Most are 10 sec or so.

  9. #9
    That 'magic print' button does sound like a winner! Thanks for the feedback 'jimc' and 'Geoff'.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Roxy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post

    ...

    I agree people want a smooth experience, and as it is now it could be better. Slicing 200-300mb mesh files can take hours literally, ideally I'd love a magic print button that eliminates that waiting.
    One thing the Slicer programs could do is slice a couple of layers and start sending that G-Code to the printer. The printing takes enough time it would seem the Slicer could be doing that in parallel.

    And on the G-Code topic... It should be straight forward to convert G-Code back to an .STL format.

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