One of the most consistently popular 3D printer manufacturers has been Ultimaker, and it’s not hard to understand why – the Dutch company produces truly high quality 3D printers and has built up a supportive, helpful community around its open source products. It’s not just the printers themselves that make Ultimaker well-loved, though – the company is also known for its open source software, Cura, which has been built through collaboration and adapted by many 3D printer manufacturers. Ultimaker is consistent with providing updates to the software, and a new strategy will result in even more consistency.
Today at the TCT Show, Ultimaker announced a new focus on software and a plan to release regular upgrades that will continually enhance its 3D printers. The first two updates, coming this fall, will be Ultimaker Cura and Cura Connect. Ultimaker Cura is scheduled to be released on October 17th and will offer a powerful yet easy solution for preparing files for 3D printing. The program will expand the Ultimaker ecosystem through software upgrades that improve the potential of the printers, and can be integrated with leading design and engineering software, which means that businesses can create new workflows for their specific needs. It will also offer workflow integration with leading CAD software such as SOLIDWORKS and Siemens NX.
“Even customers that bought the very first Ultimaker 3 can benefit from the new software solutions provided in Ultimaker Cura, now, and in the future,” said Paul Heiden, Senior VP of Product Management at Ultimaker. “We are proud to be providing future-ready solutions. Ultimaker Cura opens up the possibility of third party plugin development that ensures seamless workflow integration with industry-standard CAD software to make 3D printing even more accessible.”
Cura Connect will be released within Ultimaker Cura on November 7th, and is geared towards users who operate multiple Ultimaker 3D printers or printer farms. The update will allow those users to manage numerous 3D printers at the same time, whether for the purpose of prototyping, tooling, small-scale production or anything else that requires several printers working together. Cura Connect will enable maximum efficiency by allowing users to schedule, queue and monitor print jobs.
Those are the first two upgrades under the new plan, and they contain some major new capabilities. The ability to integrate with other leading software programs and to control multiple 3D printers at the same time will make a huge difference to many users, and will likely spur many others to begin using Ultimaker’s software. The company is by no means finished, though – there’s much more to come in the way of upgrades, and they will be happening on a regular basis.
“Furthermore, we will continuously develop new applications for our 3D printers, creating an even more integrated solution for our one million Cura users, including professional designers, engineers, researchers, and manufacturers,” said Siert Wijnia, Founder of Ultimaker. “This will help users get the most out of their Ultimaker 3D printer.”
Ultimaker’s new software plan demonstrates the company’s commitment to creating versatility, to fulfilling the needs of its wide range of users. And yes, those users do now number at one million – Ultimaker just hit that mark, and is celebrating this week at TCT. If you’re at the show, you can visit the company at Stand F18.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts below.[Images: Ultimaker]
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