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CrowdFunding promotion The Element - 3D printers' missing element

posted Feb 1, 2015, 9:16 AM by J Shaw   [ updated Feb 1, 2015, 9:24 AM ]   Discount code for 40% off

An intuitive plug & play device beautifully designed to bring you a productive and painless 3D printing experience.

About this project

We created The Element and Formide to bring you a hassle free 3D printing experience.

The Element is a USB plug & play device that will unlock the full potential of today’s 3D printers. On you will find an endless library of printable, customizable 3D files and a fully loaded dashboard for your printer.

The combination of The Element and Formide brings an end to overwhelming slicer settings, hours of trial & error and countless failed prints. It makes way for a productive and groovy 3D printing experience.

Let’s shape the world of tomorrow together.

 A hardware masterpiece, beautifully designed to stimulate your senses.

… and feature packed

Enable your 3D printer to connect wirelessly to any web enabled device around the planet. There is no need for cables anymore and you can start, stop and monitor your print from anywhere around the world!

When we started off on our mission to make 3D printing easier we tried to implement existing slicers into our system. 

Soon we found out that they were not compatible with the things we wanted to do. After a lot of research, the decision was made to build our own slicer from the ground up, taking our demands into account while building it. The slicer should be usable on web-enabled interfaces so sending slicing jobs had to be really easy. 

After endless nights of coding we have built Katana. Not only does Katana slice, it also checks printability, repairs models, repairs holes in the geometry and fixes thin walls.

Katana brings us closer to printability for all of our users.

Modeling for your 3D printer is still a pretty complicated task. Some of you have experience with 3D programs but even then it stays a difficult task to design for 3D printing. 

For most people, including us, it is just too much of a hassle and we need something easier. 

We built easy and intuitive 3D modeling tools that enable anyone to customise repository 3D models, choose from templates or design from scratch.

It is quite mesmerising to watch a 3D printer create an object in front of you but sometimes you don’t have the time to check it in real life. For these cases we have build in remote controlling & monitoring. 

Whether you are at the office and want to turn on a print or you just want to check if a print is going well, we’ve got you covered.

Oh did we mention the awesome time lapse function?!

As explained with our slicer we make sure that all your designs become printable. It makes no difference whether you upload a pre-made model or you design your own with our 3D modeling tools. 

Our repairing & healing technology checks printability, repairs models, repairs holes in the geometry and fixes thin walls.

Honestly, there is no explanation needed. You plug in The Element after which you answer a couple of short questions and you can start tinkering right away in your web browser. 

Whether you have one or 3(D) printers you will have no trouble connecting them to The Element. All that you require is an USB hub that has enough connections to let you plug in all your machines after which The Element takes care of the rest.

We use our 3D printers in an office space on a daily basis and it annoyed all of us that there was no proper way to queue multiple print jobs into one easy print queue. 

This is what brought us the bright idea that a good queuing system would make 3D printing more easy & efficient. Enjoy!

The Element can be updated within seconds. Whenever an update is available you will receive a push message after which you can update with one click of a button.

To save you a headache about the different materials and slicer settings we built up a database with all the materials and slicer settings that come straight from the manufacturers. This makes it easier for you to select the right settings when you use certain materials.

This feature will be extended to a point where an automatic suggestion will be made for the slicer settings.

Whether your Internet is failing, you live in North Korea or you are afraid that someone breaks into the cloud and steals your prints. The Element can be used completely offline. Unfortunately you won’t be able to use all apps but you can still control your 3D printer and print whatever you like!

Plastic is fantastic but it might not be the best material for every use. In case you need to print something in a different material or quality you can directly send your 3D designs to one of our partners like Shapeways and MakeXYZ.

They have an extensive arsenal of 3D printers that unlock a whole new world for your print job.

Feeling lazy? That’s ok, so do we once a while. Sometimes you just want to print something awesome with not effort. For those days we have integrated 3D printing repositories likeCGtrader and Pinshape that offer high quality models that can be streamed to your 3D printer.

FormideOS is the operating system that runs on The Element which makes your 3D printer smarter. After hooking The Element up to your 3D printer you can access the easy to use dashboard through your web browser without the need of having to install any software.

Through the dashboard you can start, stop and pause prints, keep an eye on your print through a webcam (not included), manage your 3D printers' settings and much much more.

The OS has it's own drivers, slicer, 3D design tools (all the software your 3D printer needs) and takes full advantage of the cloud. FormideOS is embedded in The Element for networked environments and can be connected to the cloud to have access to all your printers at once, share settings between them and monitor them from anywhere in the world.

If only there was a platform where I can find a worldwide network of 3D printers near me…As it turns out, these “platforms” and “network of 3D printers” not only exist, but are also super psyched to expand their already-huge reach even further. Formide will allow you to tap in to these communities, even when you don’t have access to a 3D printer.

Once you access you can start modeling within minutes. Then select the color & material that you fancy and have it printed anywhere in the world through one of our partners. Printed objects can then, of course, be shipped to your home or picked up locally.

Did we mention that our platform is free to use for everyone?

Of course, we can’t create all the content in the world. That’s why we have an app SDK for modellers. Absolutely no programming skills required. Simply upload your designs, set the range in which users can customize that model and publish it to the platform with a click of a button. A clean drag and drop interface and a wide range of functions allow every 3D modeller to create 3D design apps within minutes. The entire ecosystem ensures 3D designs will be protected throughout their whole life cycle.

For the more advanced users, there’s also the possibility to extend the SDK with javascript plugins or use our REST API to work with all the data that our users generate while using the platform and their printers. For instance, integrate our API in your mobile application and let users print directly from your app.

Is your printer not in this list? If it runs Marlin or Repetier it’s compatible. 
More questions? Ask us directly on the forum!

We believe it is our duty to help drive the 3D printing industry forward. Every user, manufacturer and content provider contributes in their own way. 

Let the industry’s major players unite and 3D printing will no longer be just a buzz word.

And here is what some of them have to say about us:

"We met Printr's team and we were thrilled by there energy and dynamism.

Regarding Printr's cloud printing system, "The Element", we expect it to greatly improve the user interaction with the 3D printer. No longer the software will have to be installed on a computer, but also now it will be possible to remotely control the 3D printer through a mobile phone or any other device. It will be an important step towards 3D printing mass adoption.

Jorge Pinto
Co-founder / Head of Innovation


"Despite numerous improvements, the ease of use is still a major roadblock for the wider adoption of 3D printing. We are very excited that the Printr team is taking on this challenge."

Dalia Lasalte
Chief marketing officer

Last October, Printr was selected as one of the ten startups to join the Startupbootcamp accelerator program out of over 400 applicants. During this program we created a huge network to make sure we have every expertise within reach to build an amazing product and great company.

Join us on our forum and get to know the team a little better!

Risks and challenges

We're making something physical; atoms are harder to manipulate than bits and harder to fix when they break; so we've worked (and continue to work) very hard to make sure we don't mess things up.

Printr has a team of engineers and designers who have individually worked on products like "competition winning" solar boats. We understand what goes into making hardware and we know how to do it.

Our manufacturing partners most certainly will have made products that are in your pockets, on your desk, or plugged into your wall somewhere. As well as being experienced, our engineers have either worked with, or even worked for, the suppliers who will be building The Element.