A couple of months ago, Ultimaker announced a new area of focus. The company isn’t turning away from developing and manufacturing 3D printers, but it is now giving an increased amount of attention to the software side of things. Ultimaker’s new software strategy includes regular updates, with two major ones announced for this fall. The first, Ultimaker Cura, was released in October, and the second, Cura Connect, was released today.
Cura Connect is a browser-based solution that allows users to control multiple Ultimaker 3 3D printers from a single interface, or to configure, control and monitor a single 3D printer, as well. It’s optimized for anywhere from one to 15 people using one to five 3D printers, but it’s a flexible, scalable solution that can be used regardless of the group size and environment. It’s an easy way to create a printer farm, with the ability to facilitate continuous production.
With Cura Connect, print jobs are shared between a group of printers. If one printer is occupied, a scheduled print job will go to the next available printer in the group. When a print job is complete, the user simply needs to remove the finished object, confirm removal on the printer, and the next print job will start. It’s a highly intuitive software, too – you don’t need to prepare your prints for a particular printer, because the software will automatically allocate each job to a printer that matches its needed materials, colors, build volume, etc. If no printer matches, Cura Connect will prompt the user to set one up with the proper parameters.
It’s easy to create one or multiple groups of printers, as well as it is to add additional printers to a group at any time. Browser notifications will update you about the status of a print job, and lights on the printer frame will alert you if a printer needs attention. Cura Connect also allows you to schedule maintenance tasks as needed.
“Making professional 3D printing accessible, that’s what we are working on everyday at Ultimaker,” said Paul Heiden, Senior Vice President Product Management. “By continuously developing our hardware, software, materials and services we are making 3D printing a hassle-free solution in any office or workshop. A lot was invested in user research to make sure that Cura Connect fits our users’ needs exactly. We are positive that Cura Connect gives businesses a competitive edge with a reduced time to market, cutting costs, and an improved product life cycle with faster iterative prototyping, ability to customize and efficient spare part delivery.”
Cura Connect is easy to install, too – it’s powered by the Ultimaker 3, is available within Ultimaker Cura and runs in your browser. All you need to do is update your firmware to access it. The software is free and allows Ultimaker 3 users to save time and work more efficiently, especially if they’re working with multiple 3D printers. Managing several 3D printers at one time may seem like a complicated task, but software like Cura Connect makes it easy. You can learn more about Cura Connect here.
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