Short summary of idea: what if there were a service where the full model was kept private, but customized versions could be requested/automatically generated.
Thingiverse allows customizable models but it requires the openscad source be fully public. And plus, thingiverse sucks.
There have been times I want to share a parametric model but I dont want to post the source because I’m embarassed that the code is ugly, or it imports models from other projects that I dont want to share. I can also envision a scenario where a watermark is added to a model to prevent the most blatant ripoffs, but if all the source code is published, it defeats the purpose. I dont have any models with watermarks but if I did, I dont know how I could share parametric versions.
If I were building such a service I might use AWS Lambda to do the rendering of model to stl files. Last time I wrote server side code it was php but I would probably teach myself node.js, which seems to be the modern way of doing things.
What I dont know how to do is to handle other CAD packages. I haven’t really looked into it but I’d expect it to be a challenge unless there exists a simple free model-to-stl renderer.
I’m mostly just thinking out loud. This probably would have been one of those ideas that I keep to myself and goes nowhere, except with Tom’s parametric “OPCNC” it indirectly becomes more relevant.
I’d be interested to hear what other people think. I don’t know if there is really a need for private-source parametric model generation, or if there is a niche where it is important, even if it is a small market.