The 3D Print Cost Calculator a small web-based application, which allows users to upload their 3D models to receive a printing quote and deliver it for printing. It arose from my desire to simplify my workflow with the intention to learn a new technology by doing so.
I adopted 3D printing relatively early at the time where the "Anet" printers had still been the go-to solutions, for 3D printing enthusiasts (those will remember) and my collection of 3D Printers has grown since then. From a small spot on my desk, into a separate shelf up to a separate room. Never for any business intent. I just tinker too much and are way too enthusiastic about new technology to leave stuff untested. Naturally, I often printed 3D models for friends and family alike. So common was the question, "How expensive it is to print this or that?" Although, it's relatively easy to load your model into your slicer of choice, to check the required filament usage. It gets exhausting to constantly repeat the same story over and over, no matter as enthusiastic you might be about the topic.
So I got to the point, where I was looking for a more efficient & convenient way to handle all those requests. Since VueJs got more popular around the same time in the Laravel world I decided to give it a shot by building a small mobile-first application. Which allowed me to manage an inventory about my available machines & materials, while also giving everyone who's interested the option to simply upload their models for an overview of the involved costs. The web-based approach mobile-first approach made it easily accessible for everyone, while Laravel's underlying ecosystem made it a breeze to push out notifications for printing requests, or finished prints. Once a user uploads a model it will get sliced on the server with a locally running "Cura engine" instance, based on the selected preference. Afterward, a quote is displayed to the user with an option to submit the model for reviewing/printing.
The application isn't only serving me well since then, it also paved the way for VueJs as my favorite frontend (js) framework up to this point.