MakerBot boosts desktop 3D printer speed by 30%

The company also announced a one-click printing feature

MakerBot photo
MakerBot photo

3D printer manufacturer MakerBot today announced an upgrade to its machine management and computer aided design (CAD) software that increases printing speed by 30%.

The new MakerBot Desktop 3.8 software also enables one-click printing, which means once a 3D design file is uploaded, it will immediately begin the print job versus waiting for software to slice the object into its multiple layers.

Slicing is the process of turning a 3D design into a 3D printable file by determining how many layers the printer must create to form the object. MakerBot's Replicator 3D printers will begin the job immediately and continue the slicing process in the background.

"This release is all about getting you from the design to a 3D print faster," MakerBot said in a statement.

MakerBot was able to increase the speed of its print jobs by creating a new "diamond infill" pattern for its Desktop 3.8 software, which is not only faster but also provides stronger structural support.

Previously, MakerBot 3D printers used a honeycomb-style hexagon pattern to fill objects printed with extruded polymers.

MakerBot 3D printer MakerBot

On the left is the hexagon pattern used by MakerBot Desktop 3.6 software and on the right is v3.8's diamond shape, which allows for a 30% faster print speed.

The new diamond infill pattern essentially allows the 3D printer's head to take sharper turns and use less material as it extrudes the plastic layer by layer.

Additionally, the company has a mobile app that allows users to monitor their MakerBot printers while away to determine the progress of a print job.

MakerBot Desktop still offers several different infill patterns, along with the diamond pattern, that makers can use to optimize print jobs for strength or speed.

MakerBot Desktop 3.8 also features an upgraded algorithm for a more accurate print time estimate.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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