An interesting deal was announced today: 3DPrinterOS is to be bundled with Rapide 3D printers, providing a powerful way to manage the machines.
Rapid 3D is a manufacturer of interesting personal 3D printers that have some interesting design features, particularly the external case of the Rapide One, shown above. But they, like many 3D printer manufacturers, depend on open source software to drive their machines. While the open source software is a great value and provides many features, it doesn’t help to differentiate one company’s products from another’s.
Enter 3DPrinterOS, who provide a cloud-based 3D printer management service, available to power almost any personal 3D printer – and at no charge! The service includes most of the features found on commonly available open source software, plus many features enabled by networking: webcam views, printer sharing, print queueing, job logs, security and much more.
The deal between the two companies means you’ll be able to use 3DPrinterOS “out of the box” with your Rapide 3D printer. We asked 3DPrinterOS’s Aaron Roy what this means:
“Out of the box” means integration with 3DPrinterOS right from the manufacturing plant. We are working hand in hand with their manufacturing team to add features and test functions in our software with the Rapide line of printers. Rapide users will have access to materials letting them know how to get started with 3DPrinterOS in the box and Rapide users will be able to download 3DPrinterOS software directly from the Rapide website alongside whatever local software is provided.
Rapide 3D owners will have the option to use “regular” software as well, but we suspect they’ll quickly learn to like the many 3DPrinterOS features. However, there’s one catch: 3DPrinterOS requires an internet-connected computer to be physically attached to the printer to drive it. This can be done with a desktop PC, for example, or the best option is an inexpensive Raspberry Pi loaded with 3DPrinterOS and strapped to the side of the Rapide 3D printer. However, this issue cold be moot once Rapide 3D introduces onboard WiFi in a future printer.
What’s driving this partnership? Roy explains more:
We realized many printer manufacturers don’t have the resources to build great hardware and software at the same time. We are working to help manufacturers make their machines easier to use and simpler to support. If more people can enjoy their printing experience this means faster growth for the 3D printing industry, more machines sold and more machines being used regularly.
This could change things up for printer manufacturers, as the deal really means that Rapide 3D printers are suddenly a lot more powerful than previously. That’s differentiation from the competitors! It could encourage more printer manufacturers to plug into 3DPrinterOS.