3D Software

3D printer management made easy by PaperCut software release

When managing a network of 3D printers and other fabrication systems, in-house facilities, Fab Labs and MakerSpaces, rely on water-tight software services. Smart solutions to boost productivity in these spaces requires an intelligent digital system that connects all machines within an environment, and facilitates communication between a facility’s workers, and potentially different areas of a business.

Paper printing gives 3D printers a boost in this latest release from Australian software startup PaperCut. For the first time, PaperCut has expanded its digital management tools to encompass 3D printers, CNC machines and laser cutters, in an effort to optimize productivity and eliminate waste.

Chris Dance, co-founder and CEO of PaperCut, comments, “Until now, the lack of connection between our customers’ general and specialty printing solutions – such as print rooms and 3D Fab Labs – has been a burden that cost them both time and money,”

“To solve these problems, we’ve created a simple solution that will improve their specialty printing controls, security and payment options.”

Overview of PaperCut software. Image via PaperCut
Overview of PaperCut software. Image via PaperCut

More control of 3D print jobs

PaperCut started out as a software solution to help offices manage paper printing services, and cut down on the amount of waste. Founded by “two young software developers” in 1998, its system management software has grown to encompass new, and smarter facilities for monitoring computer operations.

PaperCut 18.0 is the latest version of the company’s PaperCut MF product. A web-based tool and downloadable program, the licensed system allows users to submit jobs that are then managed by an operator. It allows the tracking of a printers output, and the delegation of jobs to different users and parts of a business. Prices are also tracked in the program to enhance cost control.

Made for Universities, Fab Labs and Makerspaces

In version 18.0, PaperCut MF has been updated to include a Job Ticketing feature. This feature allows operators to distribute jobs, e.g. 3D printing, CNC machining, laser cutting, across employees and different locations. The program also gives a transparent view of every part of the workflow, empowering managers with the ability to identify problems and streamline production.

Job Ticketing feature illustrated with paper printing jobs. Image via PaperCut
Job Ticketing feature illustrated with paper printing jobs. Image via PaperCut

With a single license, the system can be used across a whole print room, Fab Lab or Makerspace. Additionally, the program can be accessed via PC, Mac and the full range of mobile devices.

Andy Slawetsky, President of Industry Analysts, Inc., a news and research firm focused on the imaging and printing industries comments, “The need for specialty print production is only increasing for organizations, especially universities,”

“This market barely existed five years ago. Since then, there’s been a rapid increase in demand resulting in a high unmet need for specialty print jobs to be managed and tracked under a unified capacity.”

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Featured image shows the PaperCut user interface. Image via PaperCut