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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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    • 4 weeks later...
    Posted · Digital Factory in Education and Subscriptions

    Would be nice to have some answers, I'm looking at buying another 2x S7 Pro bundles but need to know about the subscription costs we may have to start paying. 

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    • 1 month later...
    Posted · Digital Factory in Education and Subscriptions

    Hi Zane,

     

    We run 4x UM5 Pro Bundles and have them linked with 3DPrinterOS as we only use Chromebooks. Works really well apart from needing to re-enrol the printer each time a firmware is updated. Still trying to block students from being able to do this when they see the popup. 
    It's not a free solution but the cost is manageable for us. You look to have a larger fleet with a possibly more involved print process but may be worth looking at. Won't help with an internet outage unfortunately.

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    Posted · Digital Factory in Education and Subscriptions

    @mrzanee I would recommend reaching out to your local UltiMaker reseller to see what options you might have for Digital Factory that might work for your budget. 

    To note something..
    As @mbhsict mentioned, I am aware 3DPrinterOS appears to work as mentioned.. But this is a 3rd party solution and UltiMaker provides no support for this directly. So if you have issues you would need to contact 3DPrinterOS for support.

    Additionally going back to your original post.
    You would indeed be unable to use UltiMaker S7's in your environment due to that requirement, they wont even function properly without 8.0+ firmware. 

    It seems to be working at the moment however will our printers stop working via DF at some point? Can you please elaborate? I not understanding the question..

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    Posted · Digital Factory in Education and Subscriptions
    On 3/9/2023 at 10:05 PM, mrzanee said:

    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.

    The grouping is not coming back, I’m sorry to say. 
    Are you aware that you can still print from Cura to every printer over LAN? And every printer still has its own local queue, but indeed, jobs will not be divided across printers. Does this help you enough?

    The video feed is still available over LAN.  And reprinting is brought back in 8.1.2

     

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