Simplify3D is an independently-produced 3D printer management software utility that has been quite successful. But it may have challenges, too.
Most 3D printing hardware is accompanied by software suitable for preparing files for printing on the device, and managing the device’s operation, too. Some companies produce their own dedicated 3D printing software, while others simply pass on a set of often very useful open source 3D printing utilities.
Simplify3D is a little different. It’s a very comprehensive utility that attempts to provide not only a lot of functions, but for many kinds of machines, too. It’s very slick interface might be prettier than some of the open source utilities, but as a pay-for product, it should be.
The product has been very well received by many personal 3D printer operators and in fact has been bundled with 3D printing hardware increasingly often. We’ve just learned they’ve added another partnership with FlashForge USA to bundle Simplify3D with that company’s line of personal 3D printers. Simplify3D also informs us they’ve recently partnered with Zinter, Moment, MagicFirm Europe and German RepRap, in addition to their already extensive list of partners.
Their company success is obvious, but could there be challenges? We think they could hit some barriers as they expand their operations.
One of the biggest concerns could be driven by the increasingly fierce competition in the personal 3D printing market. It seems each week there are at least a couple new companies emerging, each trying to somehow differentiate themselves in the marketplace from the hundreds of other offerings.
While a company can differentiate itself from others via pricing or better internal components, it seems likely that some will try to do so via new functionality in their hardware and software.
Should a company invent a new hardware function that isn’t covered by Simplify3D, they’ll certainly want to create their own 3D printer management software to implement it.
It could be that Simplify3D may end up chasing functions and features from a wide variety of vendors in order to keep their product compatible with the latest features, and thus be an option for purchase by the owners of these new machines.
Adding features is one thing, but keeping your product sleek and easy to use when adding features is another challenge. Simplify3D will have to be very careful in how they grow the functionality of their software in coming years.
But for now, we highly recommend Simplify3D, if you have the budget. It’s a wonderfully full-featured 3D print management tool that runs very quickly and accurately.