Materialise forge paertnership with Leapfrog
They’ve long been in the 3D printing industry creating better software for industrial printers but Belgian company Materialise have finally see enough of a reason to bring their unquestionable expertise to the desktop 3D printing industry in a partnership with Leapfrog.
Materialise are known for creating build processors to improve usability and reliability of machines by the likes of SLM Solutions and EOS. The company, which operates out of Leuven, has applied this knowledge to create Leapfrog Builder – a powerful slicer software bundled with the Leapfrog Creatr HS.
On the Materialise booth here at The 2015 International CES we caught up with Leapfrog co-founder Mathijs Kossen and Materialise's General Product Manager for Software Tim Van den Bogaert. Tim told why Materialise saw the time right to step into desktop 3D Printing.
"On the one hand we see people like Mathijs and companies like Leapfrog really stepping up into making the quality of machines better, maturing the market meaning that we’re moving away from the DIY hobbyist, it is still a very good tool for that person, but you can start doing more with these machines. As an established software provider with 25 years of experience we’re very happy to help partners who are serious in making the quality of the machine better and really expanding the possibilities of this market."
Leapfrog Builder is designed to work like a proper 2D print driver and take many of the pitfalls out of extrusion-based 3D printing for the layman at the same time as allowing more experienced printers to tinker with settings themselves some which Leapfrog co-founder is keen to stress.
"You get the professionalism of Materialise all built into desktop 3D printing software now. There’s a really important thing that we value that it is important for the beginner that the printer is easy to use," explained Mathijs. "But it is also versatile for professionals so you can take it and print but if you learn about 3D printing you can get into the settings and adjust the parameters to optimise for that specific print."
This entry into the desktop 3D printing market by one of the industry’s longest running service bureaus marks a significant step not just for Leapfrog and Matrialise themselves but for desktop 3D printing as a whole. The low countries companies see this as the just the beginning of a long-running partnership.
Mathijs said: "A key point is development speed, the software is great now but with Materialise your assured in the fact that it will keep developing into the needs of the consumers."
"This is really the start of our collaboration," added Tim. "We will see how the users adopt the machine, what their needs are and then we can expand the software to make it better to print.
That a company like Materialise see fit to be at a consumer electronics show with such a large presence as they have at the 2015 International CES and that they see the an opportunity to create desktop 3D printing software suggests the market is maturing sufficiently enough to be taken seriously.