Microsoft and netfabb announced a partnership to extend their 3D print cloud services.
netfabb is a German company providing 3D print software, most notably repair and testing functionality. netfabb is one of the tools we most frequently use when doing 3D model repairs.
Microsoft has previously assisted netfabb in providing basic 3D model repair services on the cloud, and it has proven successful. They explain:
Using netfabb software and the Azure cloud, Microsoft has already made a 3D file repair service available to non-commercial users for more than one year. Under the label “Microsoft 3D Printing - powered by netfabb”, this cloud has become the most widely used 3D printing cloud service boasting more than more 60,000 users, 1.2 million files submitted for processing since its inception in May 2014 and currently processing more than 4,000 files per day.
That’s a lot of files! However, the existing service is only provided to non-commercial uses. The new partnership seems to open the door to commercial purposes as well as added functionality.
For netfabb, this is a good move and in line with moves by other software companies to move (or at least offer) their function from a cloud service. Cloud services are sometimes faster and always far easier for companies to update than standalone software and also can be set up for subscription payments, making revenue streams flatter and more predictable. That’s why netfabb would want to make this move.
For Microsoft, this is also a good move, as it grows their 3D printing ecosystem. They’ve been quietly working on 3D printing ventures for several years now, including leading such initiatives as 3MF file format. Someday we’re going to wake up and realize Microsoft is one of the giants in 3D printing.