Netherlands-based Printr, the folks behind the slick “Element” 3D printer controller, have open sourced some of their software stack.
A bit of background: Formide provides a cloud-based 3D printer management service, in which you can slice 3D models in the cloud and drive your 3D printer remotely. The service has two main components: a cloud software node that coordinates all activity, and client node software that runs locally and attaches to your 3D printer via USB or network, from which the actual GCODE commands are dispatched for printer operation.
What’s changed is that Printr has open sourced the client portion of their stack. All cloud elements remain proprietary.
While you won’t be able to quickly boot up a competing cloud network, you will be able to quickly customize a Formide client using the open sourced software.
Customizing could mean things like:
- Adding new drivers for specialty equipment features
- Porting the client to alternative platforms
- Embedding the client software directly into a 3D printer itself
We suspect this move is a way for Printr to encourage more use of their cloud, which we believe could definitely happen. Open sourcing software could, for example, enable the creation of a new niche feature or support for an unusual platform that may attract a new cohort of participants.
If you’d like to try out the new open source client software, please check out the link below.