Materialise’s Builder software is named because, simply, it makes building 3D models easy. I’d argue that it has an unintended meaning as well, because the Builder and Build Processor software platforms have helped Materialise to build a veritable software empire. The Belgian company has developed custom versions of their software for several 3D printer manufacturers; the software, bundled with the printers, is designed to eliminate the communication gap that frequently exists between printer hardware and software. The platforms have been very popular with manufacturers; it seems as though every other day Materialise is announcing a new partnership.
The latest partnership is with Belgian compatriot Velleman, an electronics company that specializes in DIY electronics kits. Last year they introduced the K8400 Vertex, the latest version of their well-reviewed build-your-own printer. Previously, Velleman used a Repetier-Host software bundle for the Vertex; the partnership with Materialise will revamp the printer’s software completely.
“The Velleman Vertex Builder will make the 3D printing process as straight-forward as possible for everyone with a K8400 Vertex printer,” said Karel Brans, Business Line Director for OEM Partnerships at Materialise. “It will operate much in the same way as printer drivers for 2D printing and will make critical functionalities such as automatic support generation easier and faster than ever.”
Like other Builder software packages, the Velleman Vertex Builder is designed to streamline the printing process from beginning to end. It makes slicing easy, which is welcome news to those who dread the tedious, often complicated and frustrating slicing process. The overall interface is user-friendly, and the software will include a button that links easily to the Materialise 3DPrintCloud, a relatively new feature developed by Materialise to make 3D model design and repair even easier and faster for users.
“With this partnership, Velleman will be able to equip its printer with powerful 3D printing software, tailored to its customers’ needs,” said Dirk Vlerick, CEO of Velleman.
Velleman has been in business for over 40 years, but they’ve only gotten into the 3D printer market recently. The fused filament fabrication Vertex printer is sold in kit form, making it especially appealing to makers who like to have hands-on control from the very beginning. In that respect, Vertex owners are unlikely to be novices, but that shouldn’t stop them from appreciating an easier software experience. I’ve certainly never heard anyone, even the most hardcore DIY-ers, complain about their printer software being too fast or too easy to use.
The Velleman Vertex Builder software isn’t yet on the market, but it’s expected to be released sometime in the first quarter of this year. Discuss in the Velleman Software & 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.