One of the biggest turnoffs, or should I say fears, of 3D printing, is that they can often be overwhelmingly complicated to set up and run. Although there are many new printers on the market which are actually easy to use, there are just as many which ship with extremely perplexing, machine specific operating systems. This in itself can be enough to persuade thousands of individuals sitting on the fence, to return to their yard empty handed.
One company, based in San Francisco, California, is looking to change all of this. 3D Control Systems, a recent May 2014 graduate company from the Alchemist Accelerator, also located in the Bay area, has introduced 3DPrinterOS. Just like Microsoft swooped in and consolidated the PC operating system space some 30 years ago, 3DPrinterOS is looking to do the same for 3D printers. Initially funded by the likes of Vulcan Capital, the company is currently in negotiations with several Venture Capital firms in the United States and Europe for Series A funding, so that they can continue their torrid growth trajectory.
3DPrinterOS goes above and beyond your typical 3D printer operating system. With a goal of compatibility on hundreds of 3D printer makes and models, it will allow for everyone to be on the same page, permitting collaboration, and cooperation like we have never seen before among the 3D printing community. 3DPrinterOS’s secure cloud interface allows for the streaming of designs, directly from the cloud, to a 3D printer without the worry of having the design’s source files exposed to an unknown party. The standardized platform will allow users to quickly edit their designs, slice them, and manage prints over multiple printers, conveniently within the cloud.
“Software is the key to widespread adoption of the 3D Printing movement,” said CEO John Dogru, “Our plan is for the cloud to be the spinal cord connecting minds and machines.”
The operating system will be open source and the initial release should take place in approximately two months. In the meantime, alpha and beta versions of the drivers have been released, and are available for download and testing for those who own a MakerBot 2, 2x or Ultimaker 1, or 2.
Could one OS rule them all within the 3D printing space? It’s certainly a possibility. Users want familiarity when purchasing a new 3D printer, no matter the brand. It will be interesting to see if any one company decides to adopt 3DPrinterOS as their main operating system, as this is likely what will drive significant user growth of the software. Let us know your opinion on this idea. Have you tested the drivers? Discuss with our community in the 3DPrinterOS forum thread at 3DPB.com.
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