May 11, 2017 | By Tess

Netherlands-based 3D printer reseller 3D Ninja has officially launched the beta version of its new and expansive search engine for 3D printable models. Called IFind3D, the new online search tool allows makers to search and browse through hundreds of thousands of 3D printable models, all with the click of a button.

3D Ninja, an established 3D printer reseller in the Netherlands, was prompted to develop a 3D model search engine after hearing the woes of frustrated makers who were having difficulties finding the right 3D model to print. While more advanced makers can usually design their own models, not everyone has the skill or time to digitally create bespoke prints, a reality which encourages people to turn to 3D model sharing platforms.

With platforms like Thingiverse, Pinshape, and Yeggi, users are able to search through wide collections of 3D models, designed by makers around the globe. As large as the individual platforms might seem, however, none of them are exhaustive, and importantly, they feature all types of 3D models, meaning that they are not all suited for 3D printing.

That’s where 3D Ninja is hoping to make a difference. Using a set of advanced algorithms, the company’s IT team has developed an online search engine which is capable of scouring 3D printable models from a wide variety of platforms to give its users a comprehensive and centralized way to look for 3D models. According to the company, IFind3D is the first search engine that is dedicated 100% to 3D printable models.

Currently, IFind3D is connected with 11 different 3D model libraries, and hosts roughly 700,000 designs (a number that is growing by thousands by the day). By the year’s end, however, the company says it hopes to be connected to 20 directories and expects to host 90% of all 3D printable models through its database. Additionally, because the platform does not save the designs directly but just redirects to them (similar to Google), the site can grow and scale up quickly without sacrificing speed or usability.

3D Ninja credits its new search engine’s functions to a number of self learning algorithms, which, in combination with an artificial intelligence (AI) system, are able to quickly restructure all data coming into the website to ensure an optimal user experience. According to the company, a single search on the IFind3D site will turn up results based on nearly 100 variables.

The IFind3D search engine, which is completely free to use, also allows users to create accounts through which they can save their favorite 3D printable models. For searching on the go, there is also a user-friendly mobile version of the site.

3D Ninja has been working on its IFind3D search engine for nearly a year and half and has put aside a budget of 250,000 euros for its development. Now, with the launch of the beta version of the site, users everywhere can trial the innovative platform. As it is a beta version, we are expecting to see a few tweaks and upgrades to the current system.



Posted in 3D Printing Service



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