Just a few days ago I covered Cubify’s APIs and AppCreate that allows anyone to make apps and monetize them, even those that don’t know how to program. Cubify isn’t the only 3D model repository that’s jumping on the app opportunity though; no, the veritable Library of Congress of digital 3D models, Thingiverse also announced app creation APIs.
Cubify is focused on ease of use while Thingiverse is displaying their typical interest in content. All content. Thingiverse wants their entire repository available for use in apps. So take the robotic arms; someone could create an app that lets users stretch the segments of the arm, automatically scaling joint dimensions to compensate for the additional weight of having a longer arm. Or the Christmas ornaments; an app could be designed to allow names and “Merry Christmas ‘13” to be easily added onto them. Things can also be mashed up, inviting users to go beyond Remixes, combing gadgets with trinkets, bottle openers into money clips. Thingiverse essentially just put the pedal to the floor. There are over 30,000 things already, so with some have-it-your-way maths, that’s approximately 2.75 *10^121287 combinations.