Materialise expands into consumer 3D printing market with new Builder software

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Leapfrog is one of the desktop 3D printer companies that is benefitting from Materialise’s entry into the consumer market

Leading provider of 3D printing software Materialise is expanding into the consumer 3D printing market for the first time.

The Belgian company has joined with desktop 3D printer manufacturers Leapfrog and Rays Optics on providing new Builder Processor software that will be shipped with all new FDM Leapfrog and SLA MiiCraft machines.

According to Materialise the Build Processor releases act similar to the way a printer driver works for 2D printers: Once users have a model ready to print, the Build Processor steps in and seamlessly transfers data, giving users more control over their 3D print jobs.
The front-end solution opens up the 3D printer technology to a wider range of users and makes critical functionalities such as automatic support generation on the MiiCraft machine easier and faster to produce.

For what seems an age, Materialise has been at the forefront of software for industrial 3D printing; its Magics software is to be found in almost every bureau or department dedicated to the technology, so to see it now turning to the relatively low-profit consumer market

Yet, with the appearance of new software from Autodesk and Polygonica entering the sector, the Belgian company is coming under pressure to reaffirm its position, which it seems fair to assume has led to these latest announcements.


Given Materialise’s understanding of much more complex software, this should, compared to the standard printer software bundled with desktop printers, be a much more intuitive way to work, but the reasons for ‘why now?’ are much more interesting.

In connected news, 3D printer manufacturer Leapfrog has been signed up by the European arm of Ingram Micro, the world’s largest wholesale technology products distributor, in a move that could see it competing more widely in the crowded desktop market.

Can Autodesk’s Spark 3D printing platform succeed? We asked the question – see what we came up with here.

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