Every so often an invention appears which makes you want to slap your head and say “Now why didn’t I think of that?”
(More information and my observations about this after the break.)
With 3D printing, especially with the steadily growing content crisis looming among the rapidly expanding 3D printer user base, there has always been the problem of how to get files and content actually into the machines. This can vary anywhere from a USB attachment (or other type of disk) somewhere on the 3D printer body, to a file transfer function built into the 3D printer software which searches a named network location for new files on command. Both of which are about as efficient as booting an old Apple II computer with a floppy disk.
However, considering that it’s been more than 30 years since anybody has made even a cheap inkjet printer which didn’t have a built in process spool for queuing multiple jobs to run automatically from any networked machine, it seems shocking now that nobody has thought of making a spool for 3D printers.
With that in mind, I heartily welcome the first commercial solution to this obvious problem: Secured3D cloud 3D printing service.
Combining a cloud storage service with a network interface for your 3D printer, they have come up with a clever solution for ordering prints of your content remotely.
Their solution is quite elegant, and the list of options reads like a wish list come true for most CAM operators from 3D printing service bureaus: Firstly, with their service, users can get a real-time view of what they’re printing remotely. Secondly, their service is app equipped, so that it’s possible to access and start orders for your 3D printer through an iOS or Android phone. Finally, they’re pursuing tighter standardisation and consistency of model printing by converting files for FDM/FFF printing to Google’s Gcode standard, which includes greater specifics for nozzle and plate temperature.
I’d be curious to see how their service works with the heavier industrial printers such as Stratasys or 3D Systems, and I’d be really curious to know if it works for Solidscape, but for those users who make really prolific use of FDM 3D printers (either with high volume of high number of users), it sounds like a pretty solid deal.
Check out Secured3D website for more information.