Poland-based 3D printer manufacturer Zortrax added a very useful feature to their ecosystem: a cloud-based library of 3D models.
The popular 3D printer previously suffered from the same issue most desktop 3D printer operators incur: file confusion. Most desktop 3D printers operate from files stored on an SD card or USB drive, which typically are smaller sized. These files are usually then selected for printing by scrolling through them on a tiny panel on the printer.
However, the majority of the 3D models and GCODE print files are usually stored on the operator’s computer. While some users are diligent in maintaining nicely organized sets of files and folders, many are not. The result is often a mishmash of files, versions and folders sprinkled across computers and detachable storage cards. It’s not pretty.
Now Zortrax has attempted to solve this issue for their users with the “Model Library”. Here’s how they describe its function:
The Model Library is a free tool that allows the user to store all their projects in a single location and access them from any device anywhere in the world. The tool eliminates the common problem of disarray among catalogued projects. The inbuilt search engine considerably reduces the time needed to find the desired element, and the option of browsing the available database by specified subject category makes it easier to find the necessary resources.
The Model Library now accompanies their Z-Suite software bundled with each Zortrax 3D printer and, since the Z-Suite software is only available to Zortrax owners with a product serial number, is a Zortrax-only solution. We’re not sure how the Model Library would work if you happen to have additional 3D printers that aren’t from Zortax, however. Usage is straightforward: access the cloud and download the models you require.
While the Model Library could simplify things for individuals, it’s also possible that the Model Library could share items between people, leading to some interesting collaboration possibilities. One can imagine farming out pieces of a design to separate designers who share a common space on the Model Library.
Zortrax is promoting the new Model Library by encouraging people to upload files via a contest. Open only to Zortrax owners, the prize is a Zortrax M200 3D printer, one of the most popular on the market today.
Cloud-based file management: a feature that should be enabled for all 3D printers.