If you have ever been frustrated because you are not sure how to describe an object you are searching for, this website might be for you. 3Dshap.es has created a new search engine that overcomes language barriers when it comes to searching for 3D objects to 3D print.
The engine does not rely only on tags and descriptions created by the designer to categorize objects and make them searchable. 3Dshap.es looks at the shape of the object and then finds objects with similar shapes. This system not only overcomes the problem created by using different words to describe the same object, but also allows users to find objects created by designers who speak a different language.
On the 3Dshap.es website it explains, “So it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a parafuso, болт, or šroub—they are all simply the shape of a bolt to us! And the power of this simple and intuitive 3D search is at your fingertips—simply drag and drop a 3D model or click on a basic sample shape that’s similar to what you want, and watch the magic unfold.”
3Dshap.es also has a Text Search. This feature is still practical because often a single object has many shapes and designs. For example, if you search for an iPhone stand the search results will return a variety of stands with many different shapes, sizes and designs. If you like a particular iPhone stand design, click Search With This Model and the search engine will find all of the models with a similar shape—some of which may not be iPhone stands.
There is an Advanced Search that combines text search and shape search. In addition, you can narrow your search by File Size.
Like web search engines, 3Dshap.es does not host the content. The search engine provides links to the objects. At the time of this article, we found that most of the results are from Thingiverse.
If you are a designer or run a 3D printables database, you can let 3Dshap.es know and they will archive your database so your designs will show up in the search results.
3Dshap.es is operated by the UK-based company 3DIndustri.es (3DI). “We are laying the infrastructure on which the 3D ecosystem will operate,” Seena Rejal, CEO and Founder of 3DI told Forbes. “We want to order and index the 3D universe so it can be navigated, accessed, searched and protected. This fills a crucial gap in the 3D printing world.”