Apr. 28, 2015 | By Simon

Although many 3D printer manufacturers and service providers have found amazing success with launching their own independent products, it’s been just as interesting to see what happens when two companies have come together to create the best of what each company offers in a singular product.  Most recently, we’ve seen this with 3D Hubs and Thingiverse after the latter began integrating their on-demand 3D printing service directly into Thingiverse’s catalog of 3D print-ready digital models.  

Now, Materialise has teamed up with Trimble (owners of SketchUp) to streamline a new cloud-based service that improves the accessibility and printability of 3D models that are currently available in Trimble’s 3D Warehouse.  

Trimble, who purchased the popular SketchUp 3D modeling platform from Google in 2012 for an estimated $50-$100 million, has been busy since their purchase improving on the CAD program for their user base of over 30 million designers.  Their latest version of SketchUp, SketchUp 2015, was released in November of 2014.  The 3D Warehouse component of the company’s ecosystem contains nearly 3 million downloadable 3D models which are downloaded over 4 million times by nearly 1 million visitors every week.  

As a part of the collaboration, 3D Warehouse’s Printables feature will be powered by Materialise’s new cloud services to generate high-quality STL files, while also analyzing and fixing models as needed.

The new cloud services from Materialise, which are currently being used to operate their own IdeasWorthMaking.com platform, were launched in 2014 in an effort to help drive meaningful applications to desktop fabrication and has helped provide a platform for educational and maker contests and challenges since its inception.  

“The belief that design tools should be as simple and intuitive as possible is deeply rooted in the philosophy behind SketchUp,” said Mike Tadros, Product Manager for 3D Warehouse.  

“Trimble’s collaboration with Materialise is aimed at eliminating the most common pitfalls and annoyances related to 3D Printing workflows.  There are a number exciting possibilities that can surely arise from our users being able to share and reliably access print-ready files directly from 3D Warehouse.”

The new offering from the companies was announced at the Materialise World Conference in Brussels in Brussels last week.   

Currently, Materialise and 3D Warehouse are testing the new features in beta, with a full launch planned sometime in the near future.

“For the past 25 years, we at Materialise have been developing software to empower useful applications of 3D Printing, both medical and industrial, and help users of 3D Printers to get the most out of their machines,” said Stefaan Motte, Director of Software for the Additive Manufacturing unit at Materialise.

“Through this collaboration, which links our new cloud service to 3D Warehouse, our goal is to now deliver an enhanced user experience to a much broader 3D printing community as well.  My hope is that the Printables feature enables this community of designers, artists, makers, and more, to focus even more on the design and creation of meaningful 3D Printing applications, while leaving the question of ‘Will it print?’ to our software.”



Posted in 3D Design


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