Explode View

I uploaded a part I drew to Thangs. It has a couple of cool features that work really well with Shapr3D.

Since I export my drawings in multiple STEP files it has a really cool feature that lets them be an assembly. It also has a little slider to “explode” the view.


Sorry, this is a bit philosophical here. But I feel like I should describe my vision for the future of open design on sites like Thingiverse, GrabCad and Thangs… Especially since Shapr3D is working through what hobby (all tiers) are able to export.

I think Thangs has a ways to go to be “The” place to put our open designs.

The one thing I like about the Thangs site is it aligns with my philosophy which is “.stl” is similar to computer programs “.lib”. You can use it and it is nice to have sometimes. But you are sort of stuck with what it is.

But.step” is like the source code of the library or program. With that you can really change the design to do what you want or use on other platforms in entirely different ways.

For open design to really move as far along as open source software there has to be some sort of common language(s) that enable parts to be shared and more importantly forked and modified. I know there are model warehouses but those are often hard to edit (or at least that is my view of it).

Here is a somewhat embarrassing example, he was not a fan of my design. This YouTuber found my design on Thangs and noted many issues with the design and took to changing it. Now, he gets some things wrong and it really shows how clumsy Rhino is. But he is moving the design forward. The fact that we use completely different modeling tools still made it easy to pick up my design and iterate it and make it better. Now I can pull some of the “good” back into my design and do more.

For me this is a BIG win and how things should work. If folks only share .stl on these sharing sites it really squelches open innovation…

/me steps down off my soap box…

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Maybe we should create a sharing platform for Shapr? :thinking:


I am not sure yet that GitHub is not a good solution for this sort of thing. It for sure is not ideal. One thing that would help a lot and I have been playing with a lot is the ability to diff two designs visually. Luckily these guys made it easy to do that:

diff stl

Being able to do that for “.STEP” files would be nice. This does not really solve the merge issue. But it does make it a lot easier to visualize changes across forks. Although I think this is probably only reliable in a very narrow set of circumstances.

I would love to be able to “checkpoint” my Shapr3D designs in GitHub. And able to setup a macro where I can export STL, Shapr, STP, and PNG thumbnail in one action rather than going through and doing each one individually.

And one more thing while I think about it. It would be awesome if Shapr would include a thumbail or preview .png in the .shapr export in the zip file right next to the sqlite DB you use.


I’m interested in these ideas.

Also, having a thumbnail preview of .Shapr file designs would be helpful on the iPad, not to mention other 3D file types.

Yeah, something like GrabCAD, I saw you posted some cool stuff there, this might open up a 3D modeling market place and other business ventures for you company. But it has to be just as alluring as your cool app. Proprietary issues are always in mind so making it a dual marketplace, one for private proprietary content and one for open sourced licensing.

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