3D printing leader Materialise is in the business of providing a lot of sophisticated software and 3D printing solutions, including some tailored for printing out the precise medical models of patient-specific organs for complicated surgeries. To expand the reach of their 3D printing software and services, the company announced the launch of Materialise 3DPrintCloud, an online toolkit to prepare 3D models for printing. And Materialise wants you to integrate it into your website.
Among the functions of Materialise 3DPrintCloud is the ability to transform 3D files into the common STL file format. More importantly, the software analyzes and looks for structural errors while repairing them. The 3D models are then available to print from the 3DPrintCloud. The reason it’s is so valuable is that it’s capable of analyzing and repairing common interoperability issues that occur when moving from designing 3D models to preparing them for 3D printing. There is more good news for developers who are interested in integrating the functionality of 3DPrintCloud into other websites and solutions.
Interestingly, Materialise 3DPrintCloud is the engine behind SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse and Ideas Worth Making, which means that there already examples of how this software might be integrated into businesses’ websites. This gives 3D model repositories, 3D printing services, designers, and engineering firms the ability to embed the 3DPrintCloud API onto their site so that customers and Makers can repair files automatically. This is only the beginning for the tool, which will also include a wall thickness analyzer, and tools that the community can request.
“When Materialise purchased its first 3D Printer in 1990, we were soon confronted with the challenge of creating a file that could successfully print and quickly got to work on making the process easier,” according to Stefaan Motte, Director of Materialise 3D Printing Software Segment. “Over the past 25 years, those first lines of code have grown into an entire range of high-end software solutions, both medical and industrial, that break down the barriers between meaningful applications and the expanding range of 3D printers that make them a physical reality.”
“We actively engage with our customers and welcome their feedback and suggestions for improving our services, developing new features and functions, and addressing any problems they face. We look forward to collaborating with our customers to develop customized 3D printing solutions that allow them to print useful products and achieve their business or personal goals,” said Motte.
In related news, Materialise also announce the release of version 1.0 of their Build Processor, which is part of an ongoing collaborative relationship with Xi’an Bright Laser Technologies LTD (BLT). Though they have previously outfitted their Build Processor for other industrial manufacturers and consumer brands, BLT is a leading manufacturer of metal 3D printing equipment in China, know for their Selective Laser Melting (SLM) metal printers.
A build processor streamlines and simplifies data transfer, making it easier for users to print higher quality, complex parts. Materialise’s build processor developed with BLT does this but it also allows for reciprocal communication between the operator and the machine. This just means that the machine gives the operator feedback, allowing the operator to collect and store data on particular jobs. This kind of controlled environment is exactly what BLT’s metal 3D printing team needs to perfect and improve their 3D printing workflow.
Both bits of news indicate a further incorporation of Materialise’s software solutions into various aspects of the 3D printing industry. 3DPrintCloud sees the company easing what might be the consumer-facing side of the industry, while the BLT news, along with previous Build Processor stories, inextricably links Materialise with printer manufacturers. It’ll be interesting to see just how this company continues to make its impact in the industry.