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CASE STUDY

Autodesk Ember

Advancing the next generation of makers.

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From personalized prosthetics to rapid jewelry prototyping and custom consumer products, 3D printing is changing the manufacturing landscape. Autodesk is pushing the possibilities of 3D printing one step further for designers and makers by building an entirely open source platform. The Ember 3D Printer is not only a high-precision, rapid prototyping machine, but allows users to hack the hardware, fork the firmware, enhance the electronics, as well as build their own software with the Spark API.

While Autodesk’s team was hard at work developing a production-ready printer, Bitmatica built the web application powering users to print their ideas into reality. We worked side-by-side with their team to design a 3D printing API, create a real-time web portal to slice and print models, and launch a marketing site to get the printer in the hands of customers worldwide.

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Faced with the challenge of building an application that could report updates from the printer early enough to avoid expensive mishaps, Bitmatica designed a web application that interacted with the hardware in 100% real-time. Using Faye as our real-time communication layer, we were able to create a seamless experience where any change in the printer was instantly relayed to the frontend, and users could interact with their printer as if it were plugged in over USB.

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Ember Printer’s users needed a full-featured control center to manage their print workflow. Despite the difficulties of juggling competing conditions of physical hardware and managing software that could support numerous versions of firmware at a time, we were able to give Ember’s user’s just that. With the ability to monitor print jobs, view job history, cancel jobs, shared printers, view print history, and more, customers could now create and print from anywhere using their phone or computer.

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Following the implementation of the 3D printer’s web application, Bitmatica worked closely with the Autodesk team to design a marketing website that would support the launch of their new printer. Collaborating with Autodesk's marketing team, we created an editable CMS using Refinery and Hubspot to give the team flexibility to control the content, while keeping the overall style consistent. With an integrated shopping cart and optimized sales and marketing funnel, Ember continues to ship units more and more units to customers worldwide.