April 11, 2014

3D printing is still immature. There are a lot 'easy to use' and low cost 3D printers on the market, but you still have to use various software just to deliver the file to the printer. Calgary, Canada based Startup PrintToPeer aims to change it.

3D printer users often need to use multiple pieces of software to prepare 3D models and a separate piece of software to send the final file to the printer. And companies who want to deliver 3D-printing-as-a-service have also problem with the different operating systems and file-input software options. "3D printing has a horrible user experience right now," says PrintToPeer cofounder Tom Bielecki.

Founded by James Thorne, Tom Bielecki and Kaz Walker, this young team of software developers explain that PrintToPeer is building software that does the automation for 3D printers. The secret is to manage the whole process through an API, Bielecki says.

In fact, it's a set of applications for scheduling, user management, memory management, and networking that 3D printer owners can call via a single API. It's all delivered via a custom Linux distribution the company will ship on a Raspberry Pi.

PrintToPeer explains to VentureBeat that the software is helping 3D printer owners use their printers more easily. Instead of dealing with all the complexities of their various printers' software and workflows, they would simply print to a single API.

Bielecki says the company's software can handle more than 80 percent of the 3D printers on the market, and he hopes soon it would cover all 3D printers. The startup is currently going through the GrowLab accelerator in Vancouver and they plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign next month.

"Our Kickstarter isn't really for money," he explains. "Rather, it's to attract core groups of evangelists. That will get developers interested, and that will bring in the OEMs."



Posted in 3D Printing Services

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