After creating a cloud-based operating system for 3D printer networks, 3DPrinterOS went on to launch ZAP in September of last year. ZAP would make it possible to network and control not only 3D printers from one online interface, but also CNC machines, laser cutters, water jets, industrial robotic arms and basically any robot that thinks in terms of X-Y-Z motion.
Today, the startup announced a partnership that could go a long way to controlling the robots of the world from a single cloud-based software: Dremel will now be using 3DPrinterOS as the standard operating system for managing its Idea Builder series of 3D printers.
Head of Sales for Dremel Education George Velez said of the software integration, “3DPrinterOS allows real-time central management of users, printers and designs with any Web browser in a platform-agnostic solution. This will bring a better solution for classrooms and industrial applications because the cloud-based software has a versatile device use, including Chromebooks and iPads.”
The Idea Builder series is a rebranded version of the popular FlashForge Dreamer, but brings with it the Dremel name, warranty and customer support. Previously, the Idea Builder relied on Autodesk’s Spark as a management software. Autodesk has since transitioned Spark into the larger Forge platform, dedicated to all manufacturing processes. By adopting 3DPrinterOS to manage the Idea Builder, Dremel has just about given 3DPrinterOS name brand status, suggesting that the startup’s cloud-based software is just as good if not better than Autodesk Spark.
3DPrinterOS features a number of apps that make it possible to work within a single interface to control all of the steps of a manufacturing process. A file can be uploaded to the cloud-based software, where such tools as Netfabb can be used to repair a 3D model for 3D printing. Without leaving the software, it’s then possible to send the file to a network of 3D printers, which can be monitored via webcam (when one is installed on a given 3D printer) from 3DPrinterOS.
3DPrinterOS uses a number of built-in apps to manage every step of the 3D printing process from file prep to printing. (Image courtesy of 3DPrinterOS.)
Management tools, such as material usage analysis, can also be implemented within the software, making it an all-in-one program for controlling a manufacturing operation. So far, Duke University serves as a prime example of the use of 3DPrinterOS to control an entire 3D printer farm, but there are also small businesses that rely on the software to manage fleets of 3D printers. According to the startup, over 120,000 parts have been made in over 100 countries with 3DPrinterOS.
Because Dremel is owned by the larger multinational engineering and electronics manufacturer Bosch, this partnership could prove useful for 3DPrinterOS in the long run. If the startup wants to control more than just 3D printers with ZAP, Dremel and Bosch manufacture and sell a wide variety of power tools and other equipment. Beginning with Dremel, 3DPrinterOS could see itself powering other important hardware brands in the future. To learn more about the software, visit the 3DPrinterOS site.
Correction 1/4/17: A previous version of this article stated that over 12,000 parts had been made with 3DPrinterOS, when the actual number of parts made with 3DPrinterOS is over 120,000.