A theme of this site is the increasing monetization of creativity through 3D printing, especially for individuals. It’s more true than ever that if you can 3D model, then you can make money. You don’t even need a 3D printer to offer printed goods; services like Shapeways and Ponoko will print your goods for you, and they’ll host your products on their sites. So really, it comes down to modeling, and 3D modeling programs have come a long way as far as ease of use is concerned, but as tablets have taken root, so has the App.
While the differences between programs and apps are mostly arbitrary, what seems to draw people to apps is simplicity. There’s just less room for error with apps, so people are empowered by them, instead of burdened by their complexity. Cubify recognized this, as their recent press release plainly states, “Concurrently, the company announced that its Cubify platform is now available for hosting, publishing and production of 3D printable apps and content by major brands and individual designers.” Cubify just released AppCreate and Cubify API, both of which further enable the fattening of wallets for individuals, and of course for Cubify too. AppCreate lets users make their own customizable and branded object creation apps, and the Cubify API allows those users to retrieve a percentage of the cut any time that app is used to print something. To clarify, you can use AppCreate to create a butterfly stencil app that lets others design their own unique butterflies, and whenever someone prints their butterfly through Cubify, you get a piece of the profits.
3D Systems is really pushing the Cubify momentum, and so far, rather successfully. In the words of Mark Danks, Senior Director Cubify, 3D Systems, “We believe that opening the Cubify hosting, publishing and production platform is a game changer for brands and individuals alike, empowering everyone to monetize their creativity and intellectual property in new ways.” And from the actual webpage, “AppCreate is for modelers and artists who create amazing 3D content and want to make apps, but don’t know how to program or do web development.” Gamechanger indeed.