Tag Archives: 3d printing

Open News

PrinttoPeer connects 3D Printing to the Web

This is an interview with PrinttoPeer co-founder Tom Bielecki. Support them on Indiegogo! Learn to build like they have by joining our mailing list.


What is the ultimate long-term vision behind PrinttoPeer, the moment where you begin to dominate your field? 

It’s really about accessibility: making it easy for a consumer to use 3D printers, and building the vehicle for software developers to ship objects instantly from their app to any 3D printer.

Can you walk me through what the experience would be like of an average user using PrintToPeer? Do you have any particularly good use cases you’d like to bring up?

I was taking the train home from work one day and forgot my cufflinks, so I pulled out my phone and pressed print. It was sitting on the 3D printer when I got there.

My friend wanted to send me a surprise gift, so I let him share my account, and he started printing something on my 3D printer right away. It was like skype, or teleportation! I couldn’t tell what it was until the print was almost finished, it was an upgraded part for the 3D printer.

Why did the founding team choose this particular project, and what particular insights do they have that they think everybody else is missing?

We have been building 3D printers for three years and the print process has always been challenging. People were building hardware solutions to software problems, like using SD cards to transfer files. Because we’re software developers we knew that 3D printers needed networking ability because then you could print remotely, even from other apps.

What are some of the interesting developments with regards to traction?

People see this as the missing piece of the puzzle for 3D printing, so we’re really excited by all of the support from the community. On Indiegogo we launched a crowdfunding campaign on May 2nd, and we just passed our target of $15,000. Everyone has been asking if we will open source the software so we’ve decided to add this as a stretch goal for continued support.

Sum up why PrintToPeer is so cool—in one line.

It’s magic…science fiction in real life.

Print to Peer with code(love)

Open News

O’Reilly Solid discusses building the future with 3D printing

O’Reilly Solid hosted a discussion on 3D printing as part of its IoTChat, an informative sometimes quirky, and always hilarious discussion on where technology is going, and what it means for all of us.

One of the first topics was how 3D printers were able to print ever more-complicated forms. The following figurines were printed: the level of detail on all of these is stunning, and representative of a 3D printing movement that is embracing art as much as it is embracing science.

3D figurines from @polysculpture with code(love)

3D figurines from @polysculpture with code(love)

The entire conversation resonated with potential. Applications ranging as wide as printing out houses, to the possibility of printing out biological organs, were discussed.

The intersection between technology and society, ever more potent, was facing one of its most challenging clashes, with the concept of intellectual property holding quite a bit of time in the discussion.  With templates for many basic products already circulating around the Internet,, there was a sense that the future of 3D printing would be based on openness, though some pointed out digital rights management systems that could rein the potential of 3D printing back for the sake of monetization.

This discussion sparked for me a vision of a 3D printing economy that worked similarly to the economy revolving around web components: great, free open-source templates, but you would have to pay a bit if you weren’t able to build things yourself: you’d pay for somebody else to ease the process for you or to build something perfectly tailored for your needs instead of the general open-source templates.

Ideas bounced around freely in this vein. There were a lot of really cool 3D printing applications, including a father who had 3D printed out a hand for his son without fingers, to custom-printed tracheas (windpipes) that were CT-scanned and could be used for customized medicine.

A new 3D printed hand with code(love)

A new 3D printed hand with code(love)

It gave me some inspiration to envision a Skype-like platform where instead of just sending emoticons, one could click a button and send a friend a gift printed out of their 3D printer: a future way to share on the Internet.

The next IoTChat is going to be May 15th, at 1 PM PST/4 PM EST with a live stream of O’Reilly Solid’s keynote livestream, and it promises to be as inspiring as this one was. Check the tag #IoTChat for the full conversation.