When designers and makers are looking to have their creation produced on a professional-grade 3D printing system, there are a vast number of 3D printing service bureaus they can choose from. Looking for ways to separate themselves from the pack, the Belgium-based company i.materialise has been working to streamline the design-to-3D printing process for their customers. Earlier this year, the 3D printing service bureau gave Microsoft users working with the 3D Builder app the ability to print their finished designs directly from the i.materialise 3D printing factory.
Now, i.materialise is striking up a similar partnership with the software solutions developer PTC to streamline their printing services through the highly-anticipated Creo 4.0 software. The collaborative deal will offer Creo 4.0 users direct access to the 3D printing service bureau’s full range of 3D printing technology, as well as over 100 materials and finishes. PTC’s Creo platform is a product development software widely used across the industry, and the upcoming 4.0 version is due to come out by the end of 2016.
Not only will Creo 4.0 offer streamlined access to i.materialise’s 3D printing services, the software itself will allow users to design and optimize their parts for properly vetted 3D printing. The newest version of the Creo software is equipped with more capabilities than ever before, offering the ability to design and analyze highly complex lattice structures within the 3D model before sending it off to be 3D printed by i.materialise. Once the structure of the 3D model is optimized for printing, Creo 4.0 users can directly order their professional-grade print from the integrated i.materialise 3D printing factory, which offers a vast range of different materials and finishes.
“When we launched the i.materialise platform in 2009, we did so with the aim of giving more consumers, home professionals, and small businesses access to the best that professional-quality 3D printing had to offer, giving physical form to creative ideas in a variety of materials and finishes to match our customers’ functional, aesthetic, and budgetary needs,” stated Materialise CTO, Bart Van der Schueren. “Today, we are excited to be partnering with PTC to expand the reach of these benefits to an even greater audience through a planned integration with Creo 4.0, and we look forward to working together with their team to even further improve the experience of their users.”
Even in early versions of the Creo software, PTC’s goal has always been to make 3D printing easier and more accessible for their users. Last year, the software developer struck up a similar partnership with Stratasys to help streamline the printing process on their professional-grade systems. Now, by joining forces with i.materialise, Creo 4.0 will give users direct access to a plentiful range of 3D printing technologies and materials. When you couple this streamlined process with the lattice structure analysis found on the new software, users will now be able to optimize their 3D models and send them straight to production with just the click of a button or two. Discuss in the i.materialise PTC forum at 3DPB.com.