Mosaic, the company the introduced the Palette multi-color multi-material accessory for filament extrusion 3D printers, is introducing CANVAS, a multi-material software platform.
Three years ago Mosaic was founded based on the belief in a future where multi-color, and multi-material would become the industry standard in the desktop 3D printing space. This is a critical step to enable printers to create a wide range of valuable end use products. Over the past few years a number of hardware solutions have come to market to help achieve a similar goal. Other then Mosaic’s Palette there were solutions from BCN3D Sigma, the Ultimaker 3, and the soon to be released Prusa i3 MK2 Multi-Material Upgrade.
However the software operating these machines was never designed to create more than a single color, single material part. All the products above operate off of the dual extruder framework – something that was created as a band-aid solution for a small part of the market. There has never been a software platform designed to allow users to operate these machines in a seamless manner – a platform built for especially for multi-material printing. This is CANVAS.
CANVAS is being designed as a universal platform, but it will not be open source. Mosaic’s Plaetter hardware can function next to different printers, and this will stay true with the release of CANVAS. The software will thus be compatible with market leading desktop 3D printers such as the Ultimaker 3, BCN3D Sigma, and other .gcode/.x3g multi-material 3D printers. As long as the hardware above continues to allow for non-proprietary file types, you will be able to use CANVAS.
At the beginning, the focus will be on simplifying the user experience that comes with multi-color and multi-material printing. This will be as a result of focus on the CANVAS multi-material slicer, intuitively allowing the addition and assignment of color. This will add a significant amount of value to users by creating a simpler workflow, and cleaner experience.
Next up the platform will work toward improving efficiency, ensuring that multi-color and multi-material parts are printed in an optimal way. This will include decreasing print time, decreasing transition towers and other waste material, and increasing the functional properties.
Cloud Model Customization
There are a few model customization tools on the market, like the one on Makerbot’s Thingiverse. While these tools work for simple parts like vases and keychains, they are limited in terms of the types of products and custom features they can support. Very few, if any, can support multi-material parts.
The CANVAS customizer unlocks nearly endless control over products that are on the platform. It is being developed with designer friendly tools and a simple interface. This provides the complete power of 3D printing to everyone, not just CAD experts.
The customization area within CANVAS gives you control over the products you print – even if you are not an advanced CAD designer. This will allow users to customize geometries, materials, aesthetics, and functional properties of what they’re creating. It will be powered by an industry leading CAD engine, meaning that it will support everything from the simplest product to the most complex . This integration will make it easier for designers to get up and running with our designer facing tools.
CANVAS goals extend beyond filament extrusion 3D printing, to bring a customization platform to all forms of digital manufacturing. Bringing the ability to personalize products to the mass market, and having these products be delivered through a number of manufacturing platforms. The platform is being built in the cloud allowing users to store and share printer settings, files, and most importantly their models.
Finally, CANVAS will launch as a free platform. Future premium functionality and a pricing structure for CANVAS will be introduced a later date.