Feb 27, 2017 | By Benedict

Milan-based 3D printing company FABtotum has launched FABUI COLIBRI, an operating system for FABtotum 3D printers. The OS will be in beta for around 40 days, after which it will automatically update with improvements and fixes.

When one thinks of the defining characteristics of the hummingbird, the distinct humming that gives the bird its name is surely up there. Fortunately, Italian 3D printing company FABtotum hasn’t named its brand new operating system “COLIBRI” (Italian for hummingbird) because it hums. Instead, it likens its new OS to the hummingbird because it is light, fast, and stable—qualities that can each be found in the tiny avian creature.

FABtotum is the Milan-based company behind the FABtotum Personal Fabricator, an all-in-one fabrication platform for 3D printing, milling, and 3D scanning. Brought to life by an incredibly successful Indiegogo campaign back in 2013, the Personal Fabricator has become a popular consumer-level machine, retailing for €1,289. Since the release of the hybrid 3D printer, FABtotum users have operated their machine through FABUI, a web interface with a dedicated IP address. That, however, is about to change.

Over the last few years, FABtotum and its community of 3D printer users have been busy developing FABUI COLIBRI, a new OS designed from scratch that promises resilience against power failures, fast booting, a full backend redesign, an online plugin repository, built-in gCode help, and much more. As of February 23, the new OS is live in Beta testing, with a working version to be released in around 40 days.

So just what does COLIBRI have in common with the hummingbird, again? According to FABtotum, the new operating system is light, in the sense of taking up little storage, just 150 MB; it is fast, booting up in 60 seconds the first time and around 15 seconds on subsequent occasions; it is also stable, with a precisely engineered recovery method that protects against loss of files.

COLIBRI also comes with a bunch of useful new features, including new algorithms for print management, a pause function, virtual visualization, improved 3D scanning, and the ability to both update and downgrade both software and firmware should they need to. A revamped skin retains many of the features of the old interface, but with a sharper focus on the most commonly accessed areas.

Since the FABtotum 3D printer is largely open source, the Italian 3D printing company has provided COLIBRI with a dedicated area for custom heads and plugins. This should give developers the chance to build their own FABtotum software additions, while a new Head Development Kit offers support on the hardware side.

“The FABUI COLIBRI, also known as FABUI 1.0, is ready to be downloaded and tried,” FABtotum says. “After a first round of [feedback], it will then pop up as [an] update for everyone. As said, it is a major change but will still work on every existing unit.”

FABUI COLIBRI is designed to work with FABtotum 3D printers only.



Posted in 3D Software



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