Materialise continues to inch closer to a market leading 3D printing software position, amassing more and more partnerships with 3D printer manufacturers using their customizable Build Processor software platform. Materialise has now announced their newest partnership, with Singaporean 3D printer manufacturer Structo. The Structo Build Processor software, which will be released later this month, will make Structo users’ lives easier with an intuitive interface, automated support generation, and improved building and slicing tools.
“We find that Magics and the accompanying Structo Build Processor, developed by Materialise, are world-class software products. Together, they offer the most advanced features and smooth workflow to give our customers the best possible user experience in going through file fixing, support generation and pre-print processing,” said Huub van Esbroeck, Founder of Structo. “Through this partnership, we are able to deeply integrate Materialise software with our hardware and offer the best-in-class turnkey solution for ultra-rapid prototyping.”
Structo manufactures industrial grade 3D printers, including the RapidForm, which, with a build speed of up to 82 cm3 / minute, is the world’s fastest industrial grade 3D printer, according to Structo. To achieve both high build speeds and the capability for printing large objects, the company utilizes an internally developed, patented technology known as Liquid Crystal Dynamic Mask Stereolithography (MSLA).
Standard SLA processes rely on moving light sources to cure each layer of a print, meaning that as prints increase in size and complexity, it takes longer for the light to reach and cure every point in a given layer. MSLA utilizes an LED array light source and a liquid crystal film mask to control which regions of the printing plane are illuminated. This means only a single exposure is required to cure each print layer, regardless of size, complexity, or even number of objects on the build platform.
Not to be outdone, Structo’s materials division, Structomer, focuses on developing novel, proprietary printing materials specifically for use with the RapidForm printer. Currently, their materials are all acrylate based, but researchers in the lab are looking into developing epoxies, composites, biomaterials, and even food materials in the future. According to the company, they hope to expand the range of their printers’ applications beyond industrial and into other fields, such as research.
Structo’s partnership with one of the largest 3D printing software companies also indicates that the company is serious about expanding and reaching a wider range of customers. As for Materialise, Structo is just the latest, and unlikely to be the last, company to be collected into their rapidly expanding Build Processor empire. It may be a bit extreme to say that Materialise is aiming for a software monopoly, but they certainly are partnership-happy, with their reach extending to manufacturers and consumers all across the globe. Discuss this new partnership in the Materialise / Structo forum thread on 3DPB.com.