3D Printing - "It's all about design and quality output. Not how fast the printer can run."
I have fallen into a deep cesspool of confusion and disinformation. I am doing research into high resolution 3D printing, generally in the realm of resin based print machines. The mainstay software application for low-end (cost) and hobbyist machines has been a freeware program named Creation Workshop CW3D. Apparently, it’s primary creators have sold out to commercial interests named DataTree3D. The program is apparently, no longer free.
I requested a free trial (as advertised) from the new owner website and received a non-functioning (expired) version. The trial software requires a registration before it will function. Oops!
Yearly fee is now $99.00, and a non-expiring license is $495. Frankly, I suspect the software may not be that good to demand those prices for a single hobby or micro-business user. They also ask for $2000/yr. for a distribution license.
DataTree3D web presence is apparently aimed at high end deep pocket equipment manufacturers and retail sales outlets. The small user may have fallen into the stink pit. Their “About” statement does say, “…a provider of 3D solutions for industrial manufacturers, hobbyists, and students alike.” I also downloaded the “user manual” which says on page 21:
“Notes about the license:
Creation Workshop is released under the Creation Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. This software and its source code are free for home hobby and academic use. Any commercial re-distribution of the software or any portion of the software requires licensing.
Licensing can be done through per-machine sales or vendor yearly site licensing.
Creation Workshop pricing is based off of the machine total sale cost at 5%.
License registration and license key handling are handled through Vendor Plug-ins.”
I hope that is sincere. I am awaiting a response for verification and evidence of their concern for the last two members of their “About” statement. Maybe it is only those $2000/yr. distributors giving away free licenses to hobbyists? Build your own hobby machine and you fall out of the control loop.
As a comparison, I have a completely free and easily obtainable, current version of Preform printer software from FormLabs. No strings attached. It is a very nice high-end printer control software application, specific for their machines. (Not freeware) They sell hardware, not control software.
Simplify3D, a commercial printer control product is in the $150 (one time) price range. It is great software. That’s the commercial market price-limit for hobbyists. Another good one is Cura, free to everyone from Utilimaker. This is the playing field. I wonder if DataTree3D will stay in the low-end game?
BTW, there are other options for free control software for the hobbyist. I may have to spend some time with further investigation. Control software priced higher than the hardware is just not going to make the cut.
REPLY: The answer!
So it seems clear that DataTree3D is not doing much (30 days - really?) for the hobbyist / student market as they claim in writing. Well, no skin off my nose. That's why I do my homework. It's clear DataTree3D is playing in a different league. That's just what I wanted to know. Thanks, J Cassity.
Oh yeah, No offer from J Cassity to get my 30 day free trial working. I guess because I said I was a hobbyist...
Seems DT3D wasn't aware license protection codes were enabled. Something was reset at DT3D HQ and my 30 day free trial has begun. I can evaluate the software. That's nice. Thank you "JJ".
I can now see if if there is enough value and uaeability (for me) to justify the cost. That's fair enough.