France-based Sculpteo, which was the first online 3D printing service to launch its API, has been focusing on its software offerings recently, partnering with ZBrush to make 3D printing more accessible with one-click printing. Now the company is introducing its standalone Fabpilot software solution, which allows users to focus more on manufacturing and less on maintaining the software or installing necessary updates.

The cloud-based software suite consolidates a lot of separate products, like 3D data preparation and project management, in order to reduce difficulty and cost and increase efficiency. Fabpilot was designed specifically for use by on-demand 3D printing businesses, based on the company’s experience with a large variety of 3D printers.

According to Sculpteo, “We’ve tested Sculpteo Fabpilot at industrial scales in our 3D printing factories on 2 continents, producing more than 100,000 items from 10,000 different 3D files every month.”

Using Sculpteo’s Fabpilot, a company’s entire team is able to work in the same software, from 3D designers and engineers who need to securely share models and communicate with the production team, to customer service employees and technicians, and sales, production, and lab managers.

In terms of project management, Fabpilot allows you to create projects, which you can receive automatic updates and notifications about, as well as restrict project access so only the people who need to be using the files can do so. The software suite also offers data preparation, so users can receive files from multiple sources and analyze, repair, and process them. In addition, the software accepts over 30 different file formats, so you won’t lose time converting data from 3D modeling software.

You can prioritize and schedule production jobs, optimize the capacity of your shop floor, and track items throughout the production process, while also sharing real-time updates with the project team and integrating job history in order to improve 3D printing processes. If you’re interested in a demo or a free trial of Fabpilot, you can try it for free here.

Fabpilot isn’t the only new update the Sculpteo team is rolling out – the company also made some helpful, more user-friendly updates to its Print page, which is what pops up on your screen after uploading a 3D model to Sculpteo’s online service. The Print page is where users can pick their preferred 3D printing technology, material, finish, and color, as well as use important 3D printing software tools, like Hollowing and Batch Control.

“The Print page is where our users set up their 3D prints, but it’s more than that: this page is a synthesis of all of our knowledge. We want our users to be able to set up their prints according to what they precisely want (number of units, dimensions, materials, technologies), but that’s not the only thing,” said Arthur Cassaignau, Product Owner at Sculpteo. “On the exact same page, and at the same time, our customers can visualize clearly their part thanks to our 3D viewer which is dynamic, and they can use our various tools developed in-house.”

Print page

So, what’s changed? The first thing, and probably the most helpful, is that all of your 3D printing settings – where you set the scale and make your project selections – are now in the same place under the pricing widget, which was also updated to include three different modes.

“Sculpteo’s offer changed a lot over the past 3 years. We integrated various 3D printing technologies, like CLIP (DLS), HP Multi Jet Fusion and metal 3D printing processes, and we launched several new materials,” explained Cassaignau, who managed the Print page update project. “As a result, we needed to make some changes on this page for our customers to find easily what they are looking for.”

You used to find Sculpteo’s 3D printing software tools in tabs under the 3D Viewer, but now they’ve all been integrated directly into it, so customers can enjoy easier access.

Cassaignau said, “Our 3D printing software tools are really performant, but they were a bit hidden in our former page. We wanted to make them more visible.”

There are also some new functionalities, including receiving useful tips on how to use the 3D viewer by clicking on the Question Mark, or copying the URL of the page to share it. Once you select “Add to cart” for your part, the Sculpteo Print page will also display a message if your 3D model has some fragile areas, and ask if you want to go back to fix them, or proceed with the print as is.

Finally, the Print page also includes some video tutorials to help users learn more about Sculpteo’s 3D printing software tools.

“Our goal is to avoid confusion for our users when they order a 3D print at Sculpteo,” said Cassaignau. “We want to make sure that each customer makes the right choice, and that he will fully enjoy the potential of our 3D printing tools.”

The Part Orientation Tutorial is below, and there are also videos showing you how to hollow or thicken your 3D models.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

[Images: Sculpteo]

 

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