USA & Canada
USA & Canada
FDM Printers Now Enabled With Internet Protocol

FDM Printers Now Enabled With Internet Protocol IPv6

Rob Levesque Senior Marketing Content Manager
Robert Levesque June 25, 2024
June 25, 2024

Since the dawn of the internet, the types and quantities of devices accessing this connected network have grown exponentially. We’re now in an age where “things” other than computers and smartphones – 3D printers included – tap into the internet. With each device possessing a virtual address, it’s become a crowded party. This has strained the capacity of Internet Protocol 4 (IPv4), which has been the backbone of internet networking capabilities since the early 1980s.

As a solution, the Internet Engineering Task Force developed IPv6 to resolve IPv4’s shortcomings. A vital upgrade includes a substantial increase in the number of IP addresses it can accommodate. In addition to the ample address space, IPv6 offers improved network routing and autoconfiguration, upgraded security, and more efficient packet handling (“packets” being the chunks of information communicated by devices over the internet). 

While this topic might seem immaterial to anyone outside of IT networking, businesses and organizations that use 3D printers have taken note of IPv6’s improvements. The U.S. government and the U.S. Department of Defense are two examples, establishing the requirement that all new 3D printers be IPv6-capable. It may be just a matter of time before more public and private sector companies establish similar requirements.

Currently, most Stratasys FDM 3D printers are compatible with IPv6. They include the F3300, F900, Fortus 450mc, F370/F370CR, F190CR and the F170. The F770 is slated to be IPv6-capable soon. Additionally, FDM workstation software GrabCAD Print (version 1.82 and later) and Insight (version 19 and up) also support the latest protocol.  

IPv6 offers an almost unlimited address space and simplifies connecting and securing devices on the internet. It also speeds up data delivery and provides a more reliable internet service. When your 3D printing network requires IPv6 compatibility, most Stratasys FDM systems already meet the standard, with plans to include all FDM printers by 2025.