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Digital Factory in Education and Subscriptions

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Posted · Digital Factory in Education and Subscriptions

Hi All, I work for a University and have used Ultimaker printers for several years. We have recently updated our firmware and as many have noted lost the grouped printer feature, which for us is very disappointing esp the lack of an automatic print queue (ie a job in the queue gets printed on the next available printer), no reprinting (very handy esp for automatic print queue jobs that fail), and the video feed in DF is far from realtime making print errors difficult to spot. We occasionally have internet outages which means we're back to usb's. My major concern though I see that the free DF only onlys one printer (we have 13 printers across the faculty and up to 7 managed stations that print to them), a subscription would cost us $6,000USD / year for Ultimaker Professional, 6-20 printers/200 users. It seems to be working at the moment however will our printers stop working via DF at some point? The subscription would mean we would have to double our print charging which would be very unpopular (we offer printing with a zero profit cost recovery to cover materials and maintenance). If I try to absorb the cost it could mean the end of in house 3D printing as the overheads are too great. Not only this but we would be paying for something that only offers a subset of the feature we used with grouped printing. It may be that we have to roll all of our printers back to v7 firmware and I assume avoid the new line of S7's. Would love to know if there are third party options that could be run locally to manage our print queues and work with Cura and UM printers. 

Thanks, Zane.

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