3D Printing Industry News and Updates | 3DPrinterOS
March 18, 2022

A case study: managing print queues

What happens when your 3D printer program is too successful?

The year is 2010, and Makerbot has completely upended the paradigm of 3D printing being too expensive for general use. 

On a whim Brian Slocum uses part of his budget to buy one, and sticks it on a stand outside his office, inviting those in the building to use it. 

Within days Brian is surprised to find 4 people standing at the Makerbot, waiting their turn to print their file. There is no plan for dealing with multiple people showing up! And a day later it is 8 people, all wanting to jump in and print their file quick before class.

Brian buys a second 3D printer, but it does not alleviate the problem. By the end of that year Lehigh boasts five or six of them.

Managing the print queue becomes impossible

2011 and Brian has scaled to 10 3D printers. Still running on SD cards, the technology is embraced by early adopters who challenge themselves to put it into classes and build curriculum around it.

The real jumping off point comes when The Wilbur Powerhouse has 15 or 20 Makerbots. The 3D printing program is now impossible to manage. There is no structure; it is first come first serve.

There is no way to queue up whose turn is next. Whichever student can be there at 7:00 AM when one print ends, is the student that can get to 3D print on it next.

Not in line with core values

And first come first serve is not really fair. It turns a lot of students off, and goes against Lehigh University’s core values.

Lehigh is supporting 3D printing in classes, which can’t operate on that type of schedule. And though The Wilbur Powerhouse is building up staff, they are spending an inordinate amount of

time collecting 3D print files and prioritizing them.

Lehigh university, maker space groundbreaker

As Lehigh University was a groundbreaker in developing a makerspace, so in 2016 Lehigh is one of the early adopters of the 3DPrinterOS platform. This software allows all the 3D printers to be managed from one platform.

3DPrinterOS connects 3D printers, files and users. Every part of the 3D printing process is tracked, monitored and audited with the reporting tools. Print queues are seamlessly shared

between students and 3D printers, allowing for exponential growth in use.

3D printing: an attractive entry point to making

Brian finds 3D printing has a magnetic attraction to students. He frequently gives tours to prospective students and faculty, and showcases the 3D printing room. He tells them, “You can be in your dorm room, or you can be in Africa, but as long as you have an internet connection, you can upload your file. You could be on spring break in Florida, send your file, and when you get back to Lehigh on Monday you can walk in and pick it up.”

As well as empowering remote printing, 3DPrinterOS also allows Brian to track usage and tie it to individual users. This provides oversight: students learn to that even when they’re printing for fun there’s a real dollar value attached to it, and it helps become creative with a purpose.

Brian finds that 3D printing is an attractive low-barrier entry to other aspects of The Wilbur Powerhouse. Students may not be familiar with shop tools, so it’s far less intimidating as a first experience, and can serve as a stepping stone to embracing more of the deep resources The Wilbur Powerhouse has to offer.


Brian Slocum

Managing Director The Wilbur Powerhouse Lehigh University

A Lehigh University alum, Brian Slocum has been an integral part ever since the beginning of Lehigh University’s premier makerspace. Known as The Wilbur Powerhouse, this makerspace started as a metalshop and woodshop. With Brian as managing director it has evolved to include everything from laser cutters to CNC machines to 3D printers.


January 28, 2022

Nominate the Best School or University Makerspace

From our vantage point – the software running 3D printers – we get to see the coolest developments almost in real time.
 
Nominate the Best School or University Makerspace

From our vantage point – the software running 3D printers – we get to see the coolest developments almost in real time.

We get to see new products evolving that will change the world. We get to see businesses taking production back to the local market. And we get to meet talented people who are making an impact every day.

Some of those people are setting up their schools and educational facilities to train the oncoming generation. These academics are building the most impressive makerspaces you can imagine.

Some are building from the ground up, after lining up the resources to do so, while others are retrofitting classrooms, basements, and any spot they can find to create these innovation zones.

We would love to recognize some of these schools and the people behind them. If your school – or your teacher – has gone above and beyond to create a hackerspace for you to learn and explore, to hone your skills and develop new ones – please let us know!

Of course we find the 3D print labs to be fascinating, but a good makerspace will often also include a woodshop, a metal shop, an electronics lab. You’ll find some sort of flex space too – we’ve heard rave reviews of creator rooms with quiet zones for research, for planning, for thinking – and then collaboration zones for sharing ideas, for hashing out plans on whiteboards, for critical thinking.

Another key feature schools build into the design is accessibility. Universities want their makerspace to be loved and used. While some may reasonably have limits or fees, others are open to any student, staff or faculty member – without even charging for materials used such as the 3D printer filament.

Often the students have a hand in running the makerspace, too. Training is provided to use the tools and equipment safely, and students that want to are trained to become trainers themselves.  

And that’s what we love seeing! Consider the possibilities for a few minutes. Teams of students, working together, on projects as varied as they are themselves – with the tools, equipment, and mentors available to help them see them through to fruition.  Experience gained they’ll be able to use far into their post-graduate life.

So again – give a shout-out to your school or teacher! Tell us about your experience. What did you build? What did you love about the makerspace? What would you improve if you could? Use the form below to submit your nomination!

School or University Stellar Makerspace Nomination (Form)


January 27, 2022

3DPrinterOS Founders Story, History of two devoted individuals (Last Chapter)

Anton Vedeshin’s Background and History

Since adolescence, Anton was always curious about electronics and mechanics. In fifth grade, Anton began playing with hardware, soldering things together and trying to figure out how they worked. He used to make up theories for how a bulb or a microwave works and operates — by just pressing a button, something happens. 

He didn’t play video games, viewing them as trivial. Instead, he used to write small programs on the computer. The computer didn’t have a hard drive at that time and Anton would regularly stay up all night working on the computer until the sun came up. One day, he stayed up all night working on a new program in BASIC. In the morning, he slept for a while, woke up at 12, and saw that the computer froze, and it did not have storage. All his 550 lines of code were missing.

In tenth grade, Anton TOP 10 ranked for programming competitions in the city and in the country. In eleventh grade, he was among the top ten in the nation, as well as the first and runner up in his city and town. Anton did not study programming in school, he studied on his own. Anton had achieved such high marks at gymnasium that he became part of an Honor Roll recognized by the president of Estonia.

In twelfth grade, he competed in the TalTech programming competition and won the second prize, which helped to earn him a ticket to TalTech University in Estonia. During his time at TalTech, Anton founded his first software development company at age 21. His first client was a government agency, and he also worked for various European Commission projects.

When the global recession hit in 2008, people were losing jobs, many IT projects were closed and companies were laying off people as well. In this difficult time, Anton began working as a consultant in the banking and insurance sector. He used the money he earned as a consultant to pay his software engineers because he didn’t want Estonia to lose momentum in IT, and they continued to build government projects, even though the government couldn’t pay. 

 

In early 2009, Anton started working on a lab process automation product for skin samples. Starting from scratch, he got the best people in the city, ordered a bunch of hardware and electronics for experiments, and assembled his first 3D printer—a Prusa Mendel version. It took several months to create the first prototype for a fully automated mobile laboratory medical processing unit used in the fields for the rapid diagnosis of skin diseases and pathologies using skin samples and biomarkers as inputs. 

As Anton and his team did not have much experience in hardware and firmware development, they moved all the business logic and important IP into the cloud, the hardware robot was basically a player of commands coming from the cloud, also sending back the telemetry data, so the cloud can make a decision and send a next command to the robot. Thus, they basically sent g-codes from the cloud to this machine, which was comparable to moving all of the different stuff and giving back the photos, results, and computer processing. It might be similar to the 3D printers we use nowadays. 

Anton and his team created protocols for such communication: cloud-to-hardware-to-cloud. Initially, it was a $50,000 project, but it quickly grew to nearly a $500,000 project as soon as the medical robot needed to be FDA approved. They created three prototypes and the last was a pre-production prototype. The medical equipment they created was very similar to 3D printers, but with syringes, tubes, cameras, reagents, various fluids, chemical solutions, and more. At the time, Anton couldn’t comprehend why every piece of medical equipment had so many buttons. However, the medical gadget they created had just one button, which was to turn it on. Additionally, one could use any laptop or computer nearby to operate it and view everything since the software was hosted in the cloud. One of the objectives of that customer at the time was to retain as little business logic as possible within this machine because they were afraid that someone would buy it, place it in laboratories as a sample, and examine the software, firmware, and internal operations. This valuable experience was used by Anton at 3DPrinterOS, where Anton and Dogru connected. As of now, 3DPrinterOS platform has more than 55,000 3D printers by more than 175,000 users around the globe. 

Today, Anton holds a Ph.D. in cloud computing and cyber security, and is the author of numerous cybersecurity and digital manufacturing scientific papers (e.g., IEEE, ACM, Springer) and patents. He also teaches Cloud Computing and Data Security at TalTech and has developed multiple security and e-government solutions for the Estonian government and EU Commission. 

Anton knows very well how to process sensitive data on every level of networking and computing. Anton’s stack includes C, C++, GoLang, Python, Java, Haskel, Rust, PHP, Cassandra, Hadoop, Spark, Aerospike, Redis, Postgres, Radoop, H2O, Deep Learning, AI, ML, BitKey, Kali Linux, IronKey, Ethereum, Solana, Polkadot, Cosmos, Cardana, Corda R3, Hyperledger, AWS, Azure, GCE, and GovCloud.

Anton realized that although he knew a lot about technology and business, he still needed someone with great sales abilities, negotiating skills, and the ability to take charge of any meeting and persuade others. 

Dogru and Vedeshin  

When Dogru moved to Estonia, he met Vedeshin, and the two began investigating 3D printing technology. The first 3D printer they bought was the MakerBot. Following their purchase, they realized that these 3D printers were exactly where PCs were 40 years ago, where they had started.  They established a lab in Estonia and spent many sleepless hours developing the product that would become 3D Control Systems. 

Following this, they met Aaron in the United States and incorporated it first in the United States, and then  the Alchemist Accelerator. They then traveled to Silicon Valley to pitch the new product that he was  developing with John. [1] 

Following that, they attended Alchemist Accelerator. They received the funding in the summer of 2014, and it was critical that they quickly form a team. They employed a total of 24 and 25 engineers. Prior to  meeting with MakerBot, they provided them with information about desktop 3D printing.  

The Origin of 3D Control Systems

With the combination of Dogru’s experience in the computer industry, automated manufacturing, how to launch items inside corporations, how the sales cycle works, and how sales automation works, Dogru and Vedeshin assembled the beginnings of 3D Control Systems. Since then, they’ve been doing 3D printing integrations to the cloud and making it easy for over eight years, long before the advent of APIs.

They’ve been doing it for over eight years, and they saw the vision a long time ago that if one can go from  design to production with a single click, this is the future.  

Eight years ago, most additive manufacturing users did not have as many top-of-the-line machines as industrial machines. So, they started with the early adopters, such as Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft. They started in universities, and the university area grew the quickest since universities are early adopters and can validate concepts.  

As a pilot, they started with Duke University. The college only had ten printers and ten students, but John and Anton showed that there is another way to get things done. Instead of having someone send a design from their computer to the administrator to someone who will operate the machine,  they intended to create a system through which their clients could operate the machine completely remotely and autonomously. As a result, the self-ruling stage became an important factor, and today Duke has the world’s largest real-time 3D printing deployment in a university, with more than 200 printers and 7000 students.  

After these successes at Duke, they extended to MIT, Harvard, and Yale, and students at these institutions quickly acknowledged that 3D Control Systems could be the next Microsoft for digital manufacturing. 

Indeed, Dogru and Vedeshin have proven that they have made 3D Control Systems the simplest solution for networked additive manufacturing. The company has the world’s most prominent desktop 3D printing management platform, which is widely used by universities and businesses too, including Google and John Deere, organizations that use lots of desktop printing for design and prototyping.

Now, they’re taking what they’ve learned in other markets, and are applying it to advanced manufacturing. In the advanced manufacturing world, 3D printing only makes up less than 5% of production, but 3D Control Systems is working on a new solution that can integrate industrial additive from invention to production, with a hardware and software-agnostic platform.  

The difference between the impossible and the possible is defined by an individual’s level of certainty. This is how Anton and John structured their company, with the help of their committed employees and their day and night hard work. For Anton and John, there are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. Successful people are not gifted, they just work hard and succeed on purpose.  

Tough times never last, but tough people do.”


January 10, 2022

3DPrinterOS Founders Story, History of two devoted individuals (Part 3)

Creating Connections Part 3: The Minds Behind 3D Control Systems

In previous sections of this multi-part article on the founding of 3D Control Systems, we examined the startup years of the company, and the passion that drives 3D Control Systems Co-founders Dogru and Vedeshin to succeed. In this final chapter, we’ll dive deeper into the origins of these entrepreneurs.

John Dogru’s Background and History

John Dogru started as a hacker in a boarding school before receiving a full scholarship to study electrical design and software engineering at the College of Texas, Austin, which ranks among the best in the United States. During the dot-com boom, Dogru joined a startup called Austin Digital, which made aircraft data record retrieval systems. These automated aircraft data record retrieval systems allowed airlines to obtain information from aircrafts as soon as possible, reducing the latency from six months down to minutes. They helped the airlines adjust service intervals based on how hard the plane was flown; thus, accessing all flight data after every flight was critical. The platform worked with all major airlines, including FedEx, Lufthansa, Swiss Air, and others. At Austin Digital, Dogru received his first taste of what it is like to program and build products and take them to market. That startup was later acquired by General Electric. 

While still in school, John began working for Dell Computer as a lead engineer in automated manufacturing and developed an automated motherboard testing system. Motherboards used to be tested via integrated circuit testing (ICT), and the cost to test every motherboard with this technology required approximately $1 million per test station. Dogru developed an automated software testing platform able to retrieve the failure analysis data at a much lower cost. At Dell, his platform became the gold standard of how computers were tested. 

During his time at Dell, Dogru learned about just-in-time manufacturing. At the time, Michael Dell, the Chairman and CEO of Dell Computer, was just realizing the power of just-in-time or “zero-time” manufacturing, having learned about it from his mentor, George Kozmetsky. At the time, Dell stated, “Zero Time provides valuable insight into the critical success factors of the digital age: total customer experience, velocity, and operational efficiency-all components of Dell’s direct model.”

Dr. George Kozmetsky: The Visionary who Shaped the Austin Technology Industry

“Technology continues to shrink the world. There is no choice other than to participate in the global community. Science and technology is too precious a resource to be restricted from drawing the world together. That is what the 21st Century is all about.” — George Kozmetsky

Dr. Kozmesky and Dell’s adoption of zero-time automation inspired Dogru to build products that served the customer at the point of need and time of need, with zero latency. 

In his time at university, Dogru managed to gain valuable professional experience. He went from a startup that provided just-in-time data for aircrafts to an enterprise that manufactured just-in-time computers. At the time, Dell was the most advanced manufacturing company in the world. If someone requested a PC through Dell.com, the inventory of parts needed would only be purchased at the time of need. Thus, supplier trucks would be sitting outside of Dell’s manufacturing plants, depreciating by the day, by the minute, by the second, and Dell would only pay the price of the hard drive when the order was made and that truck opened its door to the manufacturing plant. The sales system was connected to the manufacturing plant, and in real time the assembly line would start to produce the computers for that specific order. The computer industry was innovating so quickly that building a computer and putting it on a shelf would leave it outdated within months. For that reason, it didn’t make sense to build a computer and mount it on a rack because hard drives were $200 one day, $190 the next, and then $100 not long after. With zero-time manufacturing, Dell was revolutionary. 

Learning from Dell Computer

There is an inflection point right before a technology experiences mass adoption. With 3D printing, the knowledge is here, the technology is here, and the tools are here, but the implementation to combine all of these disparate systems has been lagging. This is the opportunity that the 3D Control Systems team is focused on: to unlock the power of digital additive manufacturing for billions of people.

Following his time at Dell, and later as the lead engineer pioneering motherboard testing automation, Dogru worked as an internal auditor for the CFO to gain an understanding of corporate controls, IT security systems, disaster recovery, and financial systems, and helped work on large pre-project implementations such as the world’s largest NCR 44 node implementation. 

Still, Dogru always wanted to launch his own company. Thus, he began learning how startups are established and researching how larger manufacturing operations build parts on demand.

At the time, the industry was constantly looking for new technologies and competitors, and Microsoft was manufacturing the Xbox. Dogru spent a long period working with Dell’s top executives and learning how an organization operates, including business controls, security, innovation, mitigating risk, and intellectual property control. In two years, he began leading a project called Symphony, Dell’s new state-of-the-art internal and external facing sales tool. This included spearheading the point-of-sale technology team at Dell, which is responsible for processing all orders from Dell.com and by phone. As the lead program manager, Dogru was in charge of 85 software developers and more than 120 project owners. 

Following his time at Dell, Dogru launched his own startup, NuScribe. NuScribe was a medical voice recognition company before Siri existed. On average, 25 doctors would spend half a million dollars per year speaking into a tape recorder and then having someone transcribe it. Voice recognition on the Pentium 2 running on Windows was still quite slow. He sold that company for $9 million.

Thereafter, Dogru moved to Estonia, where he worked on numerous projects in online marketing and many intriguing technologies. He was semi-retired, yet always on the lookout for the next big thing.

To be continued…


December 9, 2021

3DPrinterOS Founders Story, History of two devoted individuals (part 2)

Creating Connections Part 2: Winners Don’t Do Different things; They Do Things Differently

This article is part of a series on how 3D Control Systems was founded. To read part 1, please click here.

In the previous part of this story, we highlighted our founders’ passion and commitment to bootstrapping the company, starting with agile universities rather than slow-moving enterprise clients. One reason for the company’s success, apart from the hard work and strategy, is that Dogru and Vedeshin both have  excellent software and electrical engineering backgrounds. They have a unique point of view, and a combined total of 70 years experience in building software and hardware. 

Both our founders came from the early personal computer hacking world, manufacturing PC’s at scale, building and selling companies. Prior to creating 3D Control Systems, John Dogru built and sold 2 tech companies. In the fast-moving 3D printing market where 3D Control Systems operates, many of our competitors’ founders are coming from the worlds of venture capital, sales, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering. For founders actually involved in the work of the company, it takes real computer and software know-how to connect disparate software and hardware systems, especially as fragmentation in the industry continues to grow. This core foundation of knowledge has been beneficial for Dogru and Vedeshin to crack the ‘missing link’ in 3D printing and develop 3D Control Systems. Historically and statistically, technical founders have created some of the most successful tech unicorn companies in the world, due to their ability to solve complex technology problems themselves.

Foundational Knowledge

Dogru and Vedeshin have been using computers since they were 4 and 10 years old, respectively. They have a wealth of knowledge in programming and designing technology platforms. They have been involved in the evolution of hardware and software which is embedded into the core DNA of the company. 

 

‍John started off on computers before the age of 4.  He grew up on campus as both of his parents were completing their  PhDs in Petroleum engineering at the University of Texas Austin. His cousin had his PhD in Electrical Engineering, frequently stopping by Radioshack after picking him up at school to purchase parts to build robotics and gadgets, and helped him build his first CPM computer. 

This was the period of the PC industry when each PC was sold with a different set of software. As a result, hardware manufacturers realized that they needed software to sell their hardware. That’s when companies like Microsoft came around and revolutionized the PC industry and information age. 

History Repeats Itself

Today, the same mega trend is happening in digital manufacturing. 3D printing manufacturers are building software to sell their 3D printers and are slowly realizing that by selling closed hardware/software systems, it drastically reduces their ability to scale and sell more hardware.  Over 80% of the market is running on closed hardware, and many 3D printer OEMS are trying to force their customers to only use their products and services and commit to a brand ecosystem. Because this approach closes doors for the customer and limits their ability to fulfill their needs, the closed ecosystem approach may actually be hurting 3D printer OEMs.

That’s why companies such as Materialise and NetFabb were born: from solving the customer’s problem of managing different 3D printers in a factory. These players have developed leading software for this purpose, but they still try to lock their customers into their entire software stack. It’s a trend seen across manufacturing, even with massive industry players like Siemens. This desire to force customers to only use your entire software stack limits the ability for 3D printing to achieve mass adoption.  

Imagine if Apple only let your Macbook use Apple-developed applications?  Where would personal computers be today?

Probably something like this:

A Lack of Openness to Innovation

Unfortunately, most of 3D printing does look like this today. Not only does every 3D printer manufacturer still build their own proprietary software, they are also starting to become increasingly similar by acquiring and building the same hardware technologies as their competitors. Doesn’t this remind you of the computer industry 40 years ago?  

Just imagine the Dell.com of the 3D printer market. 

Instead of reinventing the wheel, a new 3D printer vendor can simply purchase stock hardware from China, put a sticker on it, and with a $100 license of 3DPrinterOS, go to market. Why spend the money to reinvent hardware and an OS everytime you want to sell a computer?  Michael Dell simply put a sticker on a computer, purchased a license of windows, and sold it online.  Seems like he did pretty okay, right?

The extremely high barrier to entry for a 3D Printing OEM is part of the reason why the market has not exploded.  Stop spending money recreating the wheel.  “The best artist copy ”, said Steve Jobs. To create something truly valuable in the 3D printer space, vendors need to focus on making it easy for the user to get value from their 3D printer experience. Reinvented, expensive hardware and a closed software stack don’t accomplish that. So what does?


December 3, 2021

3DPrinterOS Founders Story, History of two devoted individuals (part 1)

Story about two individuals who are behind the achievement of 3D Control Systems are Mr. John Dogru and Mr. PhD. Anton Vedeshin

Creating Connections: How Two Engineers Changed the Game for Networked 3D Printer Systems

Eight years ago, John Dogru and Anton Vedeshin, PhD., founded 3D Control Systems. This is their story.

Our Vision: Create Easy Access To Manufacturing

“All dreams can come true if someone has the courage and confidence to achieve them. Starting a business is always difficult. Specifically, a startup building something 8 years ahead of the market.” John Dogru

Eight years ago, most people thought we were crazy to build an OS for 3D Printing.

 

‍The usual reply was,

“Why do you need to network 3D printers?”  

Even just 3 years ago, top 3D printer OEMs told us,

“I don’t understand, we only sell 1 printer at a time to a customer.”

“Why would anyone need to network farms of 3D printers?”  

“We will build our own software.”

“We will wait for standards to appear.”

When we asked them, “Can you imagine a customer trying to manage 10 different 3D printer brands, with 10 different software tools, and trying to scale?”

Usually, they went blank. Then the answer was: “We will become the ‘Apple’ of 3D Printing.”  

But even Apple allows compatibility with a variety of network protocols and allows anyone to write applications on it’s platform. Right?

In 2020, everything changed. 3D Printer Management became a real problem and pain point! In a post-COVID world, how do manufacturing enterprises do more with less people?

 

One word: Automation

“For 8 years, we had been fighting for our customers to scale 3D printing by hacking the machines, attaching network capabilities, and making them work the way we knew they should.” 

  • John Dogru, CEO and Co-founder, 3D Control Systems  

OEMs started to open up APIs and to acquire software companies to ensure their printers could be made easier to use, access, and manage on networks.

It all started with the top 50 universities in the world like MIT, Harvard, and Rice. Duke was one of the first pilot customers of the fledgling startup, 3DPrinterOS. Today, Duke has the world’s largest real-time university-based 3D printing network in the world, with over 7,000 students 3D printing on over 200 printers in real time, any time of the day, from anywhere.  Another customer, Google, has over 30 locations worldwide running 3DPrinterOS.  Even in a post-COVID world, anyone can print safely through the web browser, from the comfort of their home, any time of day, making their ideas a reality with one click.

As the company grew, a few lessons became clear. When pursuing a passion, give your all and stay fully devoted.  When you can clearly see the future, it doesn’t matter how slowly the market moves, as long as you don’t stop and you focus on staying ahead by helping customers faster than anyone else. The secret of getting ahead is to execute relentlessly, no matter what challenges arise.  

This is the history and background of two dedicated people who had, and continue to carry, a vision to make it easy for the entire world to manufacture with one click. These are “the doers and masterminds” of producing one of the most productive, forward thinking and innovative companies in the industry.  

3D Control Systems is built entirely on hard work and the lessons learned in those founding years. The team’s technical skills have proven they can make the impossible possible, by working days, nights, weekends, and holidays to help their customers make 3d printing easy and scalable. They were connecting 3D printers online before printers even had onboard network capabilities.

The two individuals who are behind the achievement of 3D Control Systems are John Dogru  and Anton Vedeshin, PhD. They started from nothing, bootstrapped the company, and now lead a global presence that continues to set an example, breaking the barriers to democratize 3D printing. Carrying forward the power and momentum of the best and brightest early adopters in academic institutions allowed them to build, measure, refine, and iterate the product at a faster rate compared to starting with slow moving enterprise clients that were stuck in their old school ways.  

We’ll be publishing more instalments of the inspiring story of 3D Control Systems history and founders in the weeks to come. Stay tuned for more.


September 20, 2021

The Best Practices on How to Run a 3D Printing Lab at an Educational Institution

Join us to learn how they are paving the way in #3dprinting and their outlook on how to run 3D Printing labs efficiently.

Sept 23rd, 12PM EDT

Register to Webinar

Come and learn more about Harvard and Montclair University’s experiences on how to manage 3D printing at their Institution.

Chris Hansen is the Digital Fabrication Technical Specialist at Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Christopher Hansen will also be presenting his newest findings on his latest research paper: Comparative Analysis – 3D Printers vs Laser Cutters. He will be examining the financial costs and usage patterns of 3d printing and laser cutting equipment at Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD)over six academic years to help serve as a guide to other makerspaces in their allocation of resources and decision making.

He has an interest in fabrication and making things, in both the physical and digital worlds. His background is in design and architecture. His early experience in creating things was in silversmithing. Since then, He’s expanded his skillset to operate and manage physical tools and resources with over a decade of experience in academic shops. Enabling users, faculty, students, researchers the ability to create physical objects of their research and explorations. He believes that the future of education and commercial industry is a merging of both the physical and digital worlds to create extended reality methods of representation and interaction.

Jason M. Frasca is the Entrepreneurship Instructor and Startup Mentor at Montclair State University.

Jason has dedicated his career to designing radically innovative technology solutions and processes for his companies, employers and clients. By deconstructing complex problems Jason provides a systems design approach to the execution of optimized business performance. This optimization mindset has yielded massive results with limited resources. He is an entrepreneurial business executive, marketing, and sales professional with 20+ years of experience managing Fortune 500 and nationally recognized clients in direct marketing, non-profit, entrepreneurs, startups, private investigations, insurance, and international law firms.

Rene-Oscar Ariko is the VP of Global Sales at 3DPrinterOS (3D Control Systems)

Oscar has helped to deploy thousands of printers for tens of thousands of students at leading universities such as UC Berkeley, Duke, MIT, Columbia, Yale University and many other ones. He’s been with the company for more than 7 years and pioneered how to establish 3DPrinterOS as the leading 3D printing management SaaS platform.

Join us to learn how they are paving the way in #3dprinting and their outlook on how to run 3D Printing labs efficiently. 

Register to Webinar


September 13, 2021

New Branding for 3D Control Systems

With a New Brand, 3D Control Systems is Ready for a Unified Future in Advanced Manufacturing

Making things together. It’s what humankind has done best since the very beginning. At 3D Control Systems, it’s what we’re more excited about than ever. That’s why we’re announcing our new brand and logo, unifying 3DPrinterOS,Secured 3D,and ZAP under the 3D Control Systems structure.

The way we make things together is changing. Today, manufacturing is enabled by next-generation technologies and controlled by connection and automation. The power to control, analyze and improve manufacturing processes is in our hands more than ever before. With our portfolio of brands focused on automated workflows for additive manufacturing, advanced CNC and industry 4.0, 3D Control Systems aspires to make manufacturing accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time.  The simple vision of making it easy for our customers to innovate and manufacture parts.

When the time came to create our new brand and logo, we wanted most of all to connect the history of humankind’s excellence and ingenuity with the exciting things we can do today. Our new logo brings together the wheel, humankind’s fundamental invention, with the gear, calling back to the power of industry to build things that work. Lastly, our logo is built around the 3-dimensional cube, which signifies our commitment to engineering excellence in today’s world of advanced manufacturing, including industrial additive manufacturing, robotics, and CNC. You’ll get a first look at our new brand at RAPID + TCT (Sept. 13-15) at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. The transition to our new branding across our portfolio will be a gradual process.

“We aim to partner, push and lead the world of 3D printing with our technologies, concepts, and tools.”, while talking about the brand’s vision. “Connect. Integrate. Automate. These our are guiding principles and we remain committed to that path to transform benefit the future generations of 3DP users.” 

We believe that making things together is humankind’s greatest challenge and purpose. Our new brand connects the power of today’s advanced manufacturing with humankind’s history of innovation and engineering. We’re excited to meet your digital workflow needs and get to work making things together with you.

About 3D Control Systems

3D Control Systems is the parent start’s up company of 3DPrinterOS, which revolutionized the desktop 3D printing industry with their Operating System platform introducing “one click” manufacturing.  3D Control Systems has now launched ZAP, an automated, workflow platform purpose-built for advanced manufacturing, helping customers drive efficiencies and simplification.  

To learn more visit www.3dcontrolsystems.com.


August 18, 2021

How to set up Octoprint easily with 3DPrinterOS.

How to set up Octoprint easily with 3DPrinterOS.

3D printing is becoming more accessible to the general public, and its use will be further facilitated as OctoPrint and 3DPrinterOS have announced that they will be partnering up.

Customers now can easily log into 3DPrinterOS.com and the Octoprint Plug is easy to install and connect your 3D printer online, for remote control and easier access.  

This is exciting news as more homes and companies are using 3D printers for different purposes, and this integration brings with it the expectation of a more streamlined use.

What is a 3D Printer?

A 3D Printer creates three-dimensional objects from different materials like powder or plastic by using computer-aided design (CAD). These printers are very flexible and can print a variety of different things. The printing works in layers where they are piled up on top of each other, bottom to top, until the finished object is complete.

What is Octoprint?

OctoPrint is a Web interface for printers. This application is used to control your 3D printer remotely.

This open-source solution first launched in 2012, with the more stable version that came out early this year. It is a globally popular product available for Windows, Linux, and macOS, and it is all being developed by a lone German software engineer – Gina Häußge.

What is 3DPrinterOS?

3DPrinterOS is an operating system for 3D printers, and it offers complete software packages such as Firmware, Cloud Platforms, etc. It covers all the aspects of 3D printing, as well as advanced manufacturing workflows.

3DPrinterOS has made its mission to ease 3D printer management, and this partnership is aimed to help ease integration processes.

What are the uses of a 3D printer?

A 3D printer can be used in many different industries for multiple purposes. Some of which are:

Medicine and Healthcare

3D printing is used in a few particular fields of medicine – namely bioprinting and prosthetics.

Bioprinting is where cells and growth factors are joined together to make structures similar to tissue where they can mimic their natural counterparts.

Prosthetics made via 3D printing are modifiable to a patient’s particular measurements and requirements, which are a cheaper alternative to normal prosthetics.

These are especially useful in children, as their size is constantly changing, so it would be expensive to purchase new prosthetics as soon as the old one is outgrown, but this is not an issue with 3D printable prosthetics as these can be changed multiple times a year at much lower cost points.

Education

3D printing allows students to easily create inexpensive prototypes without the need for advanced and heavy-duty tools. It gives the students a way to turn ideas from a page to a physical item that they can see and hold, and it brings their creativity to life.

Quicker Production

3D printed objects can get completed within a few hours, depending on the particular size, design, and complexity. This is still considered faster than traditional methods, which could easily take more hours, or even days to complete.

The designing process of the objects can also be quicker as creating CAD or STL files is relatively quick, and when these files are created, they are ready to be printed.

Construction

3D printing enables the construction industry to fabricate buildings and components inexpensively. The construction rate can be faster, the labor costs are significantly lower, the level of waste produced is also lower, and the construction is more accurate and complex.

Jewellery

Jewellery makers can experiment with different designs and try out more innovative and creative styles that would be difficult and waste resources in the normal jewellery-making methods. The jewellery can also be customized to the customers’ preferences and uniquely catered to their demands at cheaper costs when using certain 3D printing materials.

What will this integration bring?

By 3DPrinterOS teaming up with OctoPrint to become its corporate sponsor, it will open up a new avenue for the future of 3D printing. This promising integration will only benefit the 3D printing market and further normalize its personal and commercial use.

The problem with these integrations

The main issue with these integrations is that it is expensive and difficult to integrate 3D printers and build software.

You need to have a great level of experience and expertise, as well as a hefty chunk of change – easily in the millions. The programmer-level skill required is not easy to come by. This is where many companies seem to lack such resources, as in-house programming teams are needed to integrate OctoPrint fully.

Due to the companies falling short on these requirements, integrations have not been as successful in the past.

OctoPrint and 3DPrinterOS

3DPrinterOS brings with it its new 3D Printer Software Development Kit, where they aim to provide solutions to companies that have machines. This is not only catered to those working up to a new installation type. It also works for something new being offered to the market.

Whatever the case may be, 3DPrinterOS wants to facilitate these companies and help them get their products or services to the market.

3DPrinterOS strives to provide cost-friendly and less time-consuming 3D printing software solutions for you and your company’s FFF 3D printers.

When working with high-end customers such as FFF 3D printer manufacturers, users, makers, etc., 3DPrinterOS tries to find the best and easiest solutions for 3D printing integration. They offer this as a software service, where you get everything in a single place instead of needing to hire an entire team.

The 3DPrinterOS SDK comes in two versions – free and paid. The free version is packed with features, but the paid version is for the premium consumers that desire access to more advanced features.

To begin your integration, speak to one of our 3DPrinterOS experts, such as our CTO and Co-Founder Anton Vedeshin, to find timely and affordable solutions with guaranteed effectiveness.

Due to our financial sponsorship of OctoPrint, 3D printers sold with our license are a way to bring financial support to a community.

About 3D Control Systems

We are 3DPrinterOS’s parent company, known for pioneering the computer 3D printing market with their OS platform that brought forth “one-click” manufacturing.

3D Control Systems brings you an automated workflow platform meant for advanced manufacturing to increase efficiency and provide more simple solutions.

Check us out now at:

www.3dcontrolsystems.com


August 12, 2021

Bockman’s Bites on Lean Six Sigma in Additive Manufacturing Part 3

Bite III : Solutions

Welcome back to Bockman’s Bites … now, on to the last one…

The bedrock principle of Lean Six Sigma is to reduce waste by evaluating DOWNTIME or Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Non-Utilized Talent, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, and Extra Processing. If you’re familiar with additive manufacturing then you know that these same principles can be applied more often than we care to admit. However, there are solutions that will lead to process improvements. 

It’s important to remember the DMAIC model in Six Sigma and that’s where I start when approaching a customer who already has components of a workflow.  Understanding the outcomes expected, but first baselining and process mapping the entire workflow looking for those gaps is first and foremost.

The next generation of industrialization is committed to an agile manufacturing approach. Defined by the ability to quickly respond to customer production needs, agile manufacturing embraces AM and integrates sophisticated software tools to enhance productivity. If we combine that with the Lean Six Sigma concept, then we can begin addressing immediate concerns with AM and solve problems like supply chain resiliency. 

Production Planning | Having access to a centralized Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution capable of organizing AM technologies and material capabilities across multiple facilities enables production specialists to quickly print parts and immediately service customer needs. Oftentimes referred to as on demand manufacturing, this process eliminates the need for warehousing and will completely transform  the traditional supply chain that constantly faces logistical nightmares (tariffs, long lead times, emissions). This creates a significant opportunity for repair and spare part providers to locally produce parts for aviation, transportation and defense products that cannot afford equipment downtime. 

Maximize Throughput | Data is key to improving workflows. Management Execution Systems (MES) are designed to connect, track and monitor complex systems to ensure operational efficiency and improve production output. Having an integrated software that seamlessly connects conventional manufacturing with AM enables engineering teams to quickly assess technology benefits and assign production requests using time, quality and cost metrics. With the right software, engineers can identify AM ready parts, develop cost assessments and provide complete production transparency to management. It’s a strategic communication tool that relies on data and connectivity. 

Conclusion

Maximizing the benefits of Lean Six Sigma takes an entire organization into consideration, encompassing hardware, software, processes and people. Is one more important than another when it comes to overall productivity? Not necessarily, but I argue that a sophisticated software solution cannot be underestimated and can likely become the backbone to process improvement. Reducing waste, eliminating downtime and enhancing throughput all relies on accurate data and production transparency. Ask yourself, how are you reducing waste in your process? What type of data do you use to justify decisions?  

At 3D Control Systems, we are tackling this head on and invite you to learn more about our software solutions that are addressing the problems of today and proactively preparing for ones of tomorrow.  


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