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The team at Me3D has been doing some great things with BuildBee over the past few months, so there’s a lot to get excited about!

OctoPrint plugin

A huge addition to the BuildBee ecosystem is the ability to create your own CloudDock device by installing the BuildBee plugin on a Raspberry Pi running OctoPrint.

OctoPrint is an open source 3D printer controller application with somewhere between 700,000 and one million users. Having our own spot in their plugin repository gives us direct access to this large pool of tech-ready users.

 

Octopus and buildbee logo

 

BuildBee MakeCode

Using Microsoft’s MakeCode platform, we developed an application that allows you to create 3D models with block coding or javascript. It is great for both gaining foundational knowledge on coding and creating your own unique models that import directly into your account.

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Queuing for Pro users

We have enabled queuing for our Pro users, giving them even more functionality and value in their subscription, whereas previously, only our Enterprise Education users had access to this functionality. Queuing allows you to submit print jobs ahead of time with a set of requested settings and have someone else review those settings before printing, as well as providing stats on how long it would take, how much material is needed and how much it will cost.

 

Model sharing

We’ve also added the ability to share your 3D models with your friends or your colleagues. You can share your models in a variety of different ways including as a post on any of the top social media platforms, directly with a friend via a sharing link or publicly in the app (coming soon). You can also embed your models on a webpage for people to discover, which is great for content creators or anyone looking to share a 3D modeling portfolio. Try out the example below:

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The Hive

We have launched a community engagement platform called The Hive that serves as a way for us to gain feedback about upcoming features from our users. You simply visit the page and vote on features or suggest new ones! The feedback and suggestions we have received so far have already either been released to the public or have been slated for future development. Check it out!

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Zip file upload

Most of the time when you download 3D models from the internet, they come bundled up in a zipped folder. A common practice is to unzip the folder, and combine multiples of the contained 3D models into the one file for easy printing. We developed a feature that does this entire tedious process automatically if you upload a zip file directly to our plater. It even arranges each model on the plate so that it all fits together and makes use of every little bit of space, like Tetris!

 

Image upload magic

We have two new 2D image upload options that will convert them into 3D models. If you upload an SVG file to BuildBee, it automatically gains depth and is ready to print. This usually has to be done in a separate piece of software.

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Other image files such as JPEG and PNG will get converted into what is called a lithophane. These lithophanes are objects with your image embossed on it in varying thickness, the thinnest of which allows light to shine through. What you end up getting is a 3D printed object that reveals your photo when held up to a light source! Here is one of the iAccelerate building:

 

3D print Scratch projects

Scratch is a block coding platform that is designed to help kids learn how to program through creating things like animations and games. We developed a feature that allows you to download your Scratch projects and upload them to BuildBee so you can 3D print the assets used in your games and animations!

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The characters you’ve made are created into tokens, backdrops are transformed into a lithophane and you can choose to upload any combination of these by simply selecting the ones you want on upload.

 

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