$397
pledged of $8,000pledged of $8,000 goal
13
backers
8days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, July 4 2019 8:00 PM UTC +00:00.

$397
pledged of $8,000pledged of $8,000 goal
13
backers
8days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, July 4 2019 8:00 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Preamble

I want to state upfront that the software project outlined below will be released under a dual license. For personal use, it'll be released free under a source-available, unrestricted license. For commercial use, it'll be released under a license that matches the description of the various backer rewards.

Introduction

When you're putting together an online storefront to sell 3D printed goods, high-quality product photos are an absolute must if you want to drive sales. If you're a print-on-demand or large catalog shop where you don't proactively maintain a full inventory, it can be difficult to find the time to print items just to take photographs. 

This leads many to simply post 3D renders of the product model, but that isn't a great solution as it doesn't properly communicate how the product will look when it's printed on a standard FDM printer. This can lead to the dreaded "the picture didn't have all these weird lines on it" complaint.

Project Goal

Our goal is to fund incremental development of a software product that will parse a gcode file, generate an accurate 3D model of the resulting printed object, allow the user to see and explore the model in 3D, and save a photo-realistic image.

This will allow you to go from gcode to a suitable product photo that truly depicts what your customers can expect, without wasting material or valuable print time. This will also allow you to more easily build a portfolio showing off all your possible filament color options.

If you're not into selling things online, you can also just use the program to preview your gcode file prior to printing it. It'll be much easier to determine if the file is good with an actual representation of the extrusions, rather than just a mess of different colored lines. 

Provides a great sanity check if you're about to print gcode files you didn't personally slice.

Business Plan

We're well aware of the reputation that software development projects have on Kickstarter; we don't want to be another hit-and-run project selling you a warm cup of vaporware. Our proposed business model is offering commercial-use licenses in return for crowd-funding the software development costs. Our code is going to be publicly available, and you can follow along with its development on our GitHub to hold us accountable to our promises to you. 

Our principle developer (Jason Foss) has well over a decade of professional experience as a software engineer, which means more than just being qualified to write the software we're designing; it means he's experienced at estimating project timelines and delivering software on time and under budget, and that's a key component to success in projects like this.

Delivery Schedule

We want to be up-front and clear about what we're promising to deliver, and when we're promising to deliver it. 

One of the mistakes that unsuccessful Kickstarter projects make is failing to define their minimal marketable product (the simplest possible app that is useful) and setting their base funding goal at that level. Anything beyond the scope of the MMP is a nice-to-have, and belongs as a stretch goal.

Our team believes the most basic version of our project that is useful to our users is one that will allow them to view their gCode file with an accurate depiction of the extrusion widths. As such, we've set the photo-realistic rendering capability as the first stretch goal.

If the project isn't useful to you without this feature, we completely understand. You can add or cancel a pledge anytime during the funding period.

  • $8,000 - Basic 3D gCode Viewer

(Available approximately 17 weeks after campaign is funded)

Funds the initial implementation of a Java desktop application capable of parsing a gcode file and rendering it in basic 3D (utilizing OpenGL) with estimated extrusion sizes and accurate geometries so the resulting model is an accurate representation of the printed object.

UPDATE: We will also provide an "export to 3D object file" functionality as part of this tier, to allow you to take accurately calculated extrusions model into whatever other 3D editing / rendering software you like!

  • $20,000 - Full Photo-realistic 3D gCode Rendering

(Available approximately 28 weeks after $20,000 stretch goal is reached)

Funds the implementation of the photo-realistic rendering function of the software (utilizing ray-tracing).

Stretch Goals

We have some useful functionality in the pipeline that we'd love to be able to provide for you as stretch goals as funding allows. We'll provide additional details about funding and schedule as appropriate, but we're looking at adding a materials library, support for translucent and transparent filaments, support for multi-material printing, conversion to a web application. 

Risks and challenges

Professional software engineering is expensive, and 3D printer storefronts are a bit of a niche audience.

There are always schedule risks associated with any software engineering project, but we are dedicated to providing the functionality for which we receive funding. We've used our experience with agile project estimation to organize all features beyond our MMP into stretch goals to ensure we're minimizing the risk to our backers.

Ultimately, we are making you the promise that we will deliver the funded functionality, period. Further, we promise to work our hardest to meet the schedules as published, and we promise to be proactive about communicating changes to the schedule.

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Support

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Project Supporter

    You will receive access to all of the backer-only project updates, as well as our gratitude for helping to bootstrap the project

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    Limited Commerial-Use License (15x)

    You'll receive a limited single-user license to use the software for commercial purposes for 15 renderings.

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    Limited Commerial-Use License (50x)

    You'll receive a limited single-user license to use the software for commercial purposes for 50 renderings.

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    Single User Commercial-Use License

    You'll receive an unlimited single-user license to use the software for commercial purposes

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    Multi-User Commercial-Use License

    You'll receive an unlimited multi-user license to use the software for commercial purposes

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    Commercial Developer License

    You'll receive a commercial license to modify and redistribute the modified software

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