May 30, 2017 | By Tess

A new online platform for crowdsourcing 3D models and designs has been launched. Called Orchard, the new platform was built to enable people from all over the world to design, create, and crowdsource innovative products using personal fabrication processes such as 3D printing.

As a tool for sharing 3D designs, 3D Orchard resembles some existing 3D model sharing platforms, only it allows its users to create new (or remix existing) designs directly through its web browser. In line with its open source ethos, the entire website is free to use.

After being in development since 2014, 3D Orchard is now up and running, and its developers are encouraging makers and designers from all over the globe to participate in its crowdsource movement. “We’re trying to build a community to bring the world together around open source design and technologies like 3D modeling and printing. We’re tired of products designed to break and think it's time for something different,” say the website’s creators.

The browser-based design platform features a user-friendly interface that lets users browse public 3D models, edit them at will, and even 3D print them through 3D Orchard’s integrated printing service. The platform also offers a privacy feature for those who want to keep certain designs under wraps, which users can take advantage of for a $7 monthly fee.

Of course, the main idea behind 3D Orchard is to have open designs that the maker community can share and elaborate on. As the website says, “When you seed a design on Orchard, you can literally watch it grow and evolve, like a tree, over time as people from all around the world contribute to it.”

In other words, each time a 3D model is edited, the new variation will show up as a “branch” of the original design, allowing makers to easily trace the evolution of a given design. Orchard also offers handy social elements, which let users respond to models and edits.

The integrated modeling tools use a constraint-based 2D sketching system (rather than a block-based system), which allows users a greater design freedom. To bring designs into the realm of 3D, the online platform offers a number of tools such as fillet, chamfer, extrude, revolve, loft, and more.

In a recent update to the platform (Orchard 2.0), users can now opt to add textures or even 360-degree backgrounds to their model. While the collection of textures and backgrounds are limited (3D Orchard says it will add more in time), the provided designs are still useful for making models appear more realistic.

“We are building a bridge between our physical and digital realities for the sustainable production and consumption of products," reads the Orchard website. "We are inviting people to be part of something bigger. For the first time, there exist the tools to collaborate in the design and creation of literally anything on a scale never-before witnessed.”

Makers interested in joining 3D Orchard can sign up via the online platform for free.



Posted in 3D Printing Service



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Daksh wrote at 8/12/2017 10:59:34 AM:

Hi I wanted to get a design of a pen with my specifications

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