The Polar Cloud is the Platform for Making
While printer manufacturers are making advances in improving the reliability of their printers, those same manufacturers have generally paid less attention to the desktop/mobile workflow of their customers as well as the process of managing shared use of their printers. This is where cloud solutions such as the Polar Cloud excel.
The Polar Cloud with members in nearly 100 countries allows secure access to 3D printers from anywhere in the world using any web browser. It further provides for sharing and management of printers with multiple users, including management of printing queues, full access to past prints, private libraries of 3D models, collaboration with other cloud members, integration with design tools, an extensive curricula offering, robust notification systems and usage analytics, and, incidentally, solves issues presented by the growing use of tablets and Chromebooks.
By integrating their 3D printers with the Polar Cloud, printer manufacturers take a big step along the road to making their printers more accessible to more consumers, especially students. Integrated printers do not require users to operate slicing software (although they may still do so if they wish), nor tether their printers to desktop computers.
The second generation Polar Cloud Printing Protocol (PCPP) was developed in collaboration with the Open Source OctoPrint community. Their implementation of PCPP serves as an Open Source reference implementation coded in Python, although the protocol itself is language agnostic.
Flashforge has also adopted use of the protocol in their present line of printers and is now rolling it out to consumers on their Guider II, Inventor II, and Finder lines of 3D printers. Pei Wenjian, Founder and CEO of Flashforge, noted, "PCPP's support for features such as cameras has allowed Flashforge to make remote viewing of our printers securely available without the need to develop our own apps: our friends at Polar3D had already done the work for us - it's a beautiful collaboration."
"Because of the tight security engineered into the Polar Cloud Printing Protocol, we can confidently make it publicly available," commented Greg LaLonde, CEO of Polar3D. These security features allow 3D printers and similar IoT devices to be connected to the Polar Cloud and controlled from the Internet with confidence. And certainly more securely than typical IoT devices using RESTful HTTP protocols. The Company looks forward to connecting more types of devices as they grow the Polar Cloud into a full-fledged platform for making and not just the hottest ticket in town for 3D printing.
Dan Newman (CTO Polar3D)
Greg LaLonde (CEO Polar3D)