Posted on 01-14-2014
Have you taken a look at the Thingiverse developer area lately? It’s been a while since I reviewed it. A couple years ago while working at Mimeo as an API evangelist I had the pleasure of doing some deep research into not just printing APIs, but 3D printing APIs as well. I wrote a lot on the subject, but overall I was unhappy with what was available in the areas of 3D printing APIs.
When you go to the Thingiverse API now, the landing page immediately tells you what is possible, gives you direct links to API documention, but also provides you what you need to get started, sign up and explore the Thingiverse API—a flow that is so very important!
When you look at the API docs, you immediately see that the API is a simple web API allowing you to manage users, things, their files and copies, while being able to tag, build collections as well as look for the newest, popular and featured things. The Thingiverse API interface is simple, well designed and actually allows you to access some seriously valuable 3D printing resources.
Thingiverse also delivers other critical resources, providing FAQs, application gallery, hackathon and challenge calendar, and a terms of service that provides a plain english translation for developers. All essential resources to supporting and growing your API ecosystem.
I’m impressed with the Thingiverse API, not just because it delivers what I envision a 3D printing API should look like, but it is a well-designed, simple implementation of what any API program should look like as well.
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