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Transform Your Makerspace with a Leading 3D Printer Farm | Expert 3D Print Manufacturers

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Transform Your Makerspace with a Leading 3D Printer Farm | Expert 3D Print Manufacturers

6 Challenges Faced by Makerspaces, 3D Print Farms, and Manufacturers: Expert Solutions for Your makerspace 3D printer

If you’ve been experiencing some difficulties running multiple 3D printers, managing who uses your 3D printers, or scaling your 3D printing operations…take heart. You’re not alone. Following are some of the challenges our clients have faced, and how they’ve overcome them with 3DPrinterOS.

Challenge: Running multiple types of 3D printers

One of the big challenges that we hear from our clients who run multiple 3D printers is needing to use different platforms for each 3D printer.  

It’s a common challenge, because a robust makerspace, or an extensive 3D print farm, rarely comprises a single brand of 3D printer. Based on their needs, you'll find Bambu Lab, Creality, Flashforge, Formlabs, Makerbots, and many more.

You may even find custom-made 3D printers that the makerspace or 3D print farm has built for themselves due to specific needs. We’ve seen them with a specific build plate size, or custom printheads.

And typically, each of those brands (or non-brands!) of 3D printer is going to have its own operating system.

This can be extremely frustrating for even advanced users. It's a bit like jumping into a car and finding the dashboard controls different than you expect, every time you drive.

And it's one of the reasons our clients love 3DPrinterOS. They have found that they can drastically reduce the admin hours required to run their makerspace or 3D print farm.  All of those disparate 3D printers can be unified, and you can run all those 3D printers from one platform, with one interface.

Challenge: Managing users of varying ability and experience

And of course, another challenge is when you have different levels of user ability. This is very typical in a makerspace. You may have students arriving who have never so much as held a hammer or a wrench, while other students have completed every high school shop class they could get their hands on.

Often the technologists in charge of makerspaces tell us they use groups within the 3DPrinterOS platform, to enable or restrict access to the 3D printers, depending on the individual user's ability. Some of them use a Canvas quiz that has to be completed as initial training, or they may have student peers provide training. 

We've also heard of some top makerspaces that reserve some 3D printers for their most advanced students. These students are typically working on groundbreaking projects that have the potential to impact lives.

Challenge: Keeping intellectual property safe

In both makerspaces and 3D print farms and manufacturing and healthcare, intellectual property and privacy concerns play a role. This is why it's so useful to have a system like 3DPrinterOS where every iteration is tracked, and you have a complete line of sight into who is printing what and on which machine.

Challenge: scaling 3D printing operations

3DPrinterOS is the secret to how universities like Duke and MIT run their 3D print farms, and it's also how private schools are starting to run theirs. Many of our clients have told us that without 3DPrinterOS, it would be physically impossible to run their makerspace at the scale they currently are doing.

And scale is one main point of 3DPrinterOS. It integrates with Tinkercad; it allows for multi-user collaboration and teams; it organizes your 3D print queues; it systematizes your 3D printing tasks.

Challenge: fluctuating demand for 3D print time

Again, universities have a lot of fluctuation in demand. At the end of the semester, or when projects are due, there's a lot higher demand on the makerspace staff than at other times of the year. They've told us it was chaos before they started using 3DPrinterOS. 

You can read their success stories here: Duke and Worcester Polytechnic are great examples of 3DPrinterOS in action in university makerspaces, while Koenigsegg Automotive is uses 3DPrinterOS as part of record-setting automotive manufacturing. A great example of 3DPrinterOS in a K12 setting is Pine Crest School.

Challenge: making 3D printing easier for everyone

Setup is simple too. It takes about 5 minutes to bring a new 3D printer online. From then on, it's a question of selecting your printer from the drop-down menu. 

With features like failure detection and remote printing, it's easy to print from anywhere at any time. The failure detection allows for a deep dive into why something may have failed too – which settings were used? Was there adequate support?

Of course, we're going to like our product, but we've heard so much good about it from the people with boots on the ground in the makerspaces, that we highly recommend you consider it if you have more than three 3D printers.

Book a demo and see an action for yourself today!

Rene-Oscar Ariko
VP of Global Sales

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