Feature end of life announcement: Shapeways Integration

As many of you know, we are working hard on a brand new version of the ShapeDiver platform and plugin. This means ShapeDiver will be undergoing some exciting changes in the next few weeks. While we are obviously looking forward to telling you about all the new stuff that’s coming, we are starting with some housekeeping by announcing the end of life for one of our original features, the Shapeways integration in our Grasshopper plugin.

We are still very much invested in the topic of additive manufacturing, but we have concluded that the integration to a single 3D printing provider in its current form is not the best way to leverage ShapeDiver’s potential in this field. And you, our users, have apparently reached the same conclusion as the feature has only achieved very low adoption.

We are confident that our new APIs will provide a comfortable starting point for connecting your Grasshopper scripts to the 3D printing provider of your choice. This will give you full control over UI and UX, something many of you have consistently described as very important.

As a consequence, our servers will stop issuing requests to the Shapeways API concurrent with our backend update scheduled for the end of May. The Shapeways components in our plugin version 1 will stop working for all models currently hosted on ShapeDiver at that time, and they will not be included in the upcoming version 2.0 of the plugin.

Please feel free to reply to this post with any questions and concerns you may have. We are happy to discuss with you about alternatives and solutions to your additive manufacturing needs!

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@mathieu1 Congratulations and I look forward to trying a new version soon! Does this mean that ShapeDiver users will be required to modify and re-upload their GH scripts on the ShapeDiver platform by using ShapeDiver 2.0 components in order to access new features/parameters? Or you’re particularly focusing just on API improvements?

I personally find this was an exceptionally useful tool for linking 3D designs with a well-known AM service provider (they also take care of packing and shipping customised products Worldwide). I hope that this change will open up more possibilities to connect with other services such as i.materialise, protolabs, ponoko, or even 3d hubs and still… Shapeways?

The main question is how to do it in ShapeDiver 2.0? Obviously, that was straight forward in ShapeDiver 1.0 by employing the ExportToShapeways components for material and AM process/pricing selections. I really hope that you will instruct your ShapeDiver users on how to do it in another way. A simple video on your youtube channel with real examples might help a lot. The main concern here is if that will be accessible for GH experts with no Web development experience? Why not just to retain the nodes for optional usage “as they are”? I highly doubt they require a lot of maintenance :thinking: But you know better for sure!

The new platform will be backwards compatible, all the old models will keep working. In order to use some of the new features of the platform, it might be necessary to use the updated plugin and components.

We are extending our APIs in order to make it easier to connect to various services, 3d printing or otherwise.

At the moment, there will not be any other way than to involve some web development in order to connect to Shapeways and other services unfortunately. Maintenance is actually a major issue, as we cannot offer a feature of our product that relies on external APIs without frequent updates. In the case of Shapeways, we have had to do it several times in the past and as it happens, the API has introduced breaking changes recently which made the Shapeways components of our plugin unreliable and not suited for commercial use.

As a general comment, I can assure you we are focusing on providing the most efficient tools to build connectors with various clients and external services. We will surely publish sample code examples and even prototypes of such connectors in the coming months but they will seldom become part of the ShapeDiver product line for the reasons mentioned above.