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.
.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…