As 3D printing equipment become more accessible to the average consumers, developers have to develop software that can cater to people who don’t have a lot of experience in using various CAD programs. Researchers from MIT have done just that by creating ‘OpenFab’, a software that will make it much easier for inexperienced enthusiasts to print out 3D things that require difference levels of details.
Reportedly, OpenFab uses a type of programming language that will enable users to quickly modify their designs’ surface and composition instead of having to redo their project layer by layer. For instance, people can use OpenFab to modify their objects to become squishy, implant patterns and change the color schemes.
“In traditional manufacturing most objects are composed of multiple parts made out of the same material,” said Kiril Vidimce, a PhD student that worked on the program. “With OpenFab, the user can change the material consistency of an object, for example, designing the object to transition from stiff at one end to flexible and compressible at the other end.”
Intuitive software like OpenFab may help to quicken the adoption rate of 3D printers. 3D printers are still considered toys for early adopters, but made-easy software along with eventual 3D printer price drops are on the way. It’s only a matter of time before most households can make specific parts and gadgets without having to contact manufacturing specialists to ask for what is needed.