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 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.”
“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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
A 3D printer can be used in many different industries for multiple purposes. Some of which are:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Welcome back to Bockman’s Bites … now, on to the second one…
I’ve decided now is not the time to discuss the benefits of additive manufacturing, but rather the challenges. While additive manufacturing has evolved for the past three decades, it’s still a relatively young industry, and we are beginning to see new hardware, software and material providers pop up everyday. It’s certainly an exciting time for AM enthusiasts, but it’s cumbersome for many commercial and industrial manufacturers who wish to maximize the advantages of AM. It introduces a lot of waste (muda) into the workflow that traditional manufacturing has conquered. In my estimation, these are the biggest challenges that L6S-AM can tackle. I witnessed it many times when I was visiting customers in automotive.
Combining with Conventional Manufacturing | How can AM be complementary to existing processes? For starters, designing with AM is unique compared to subtractive manufacturing and requires a different engineering mindset. In addition, most production facilities are unwilling to completely change their processes without understanding the time, quality or cost benefits associated with AM. This lack of knowledge and confidence leads to adoption hesitancy. How is the industry addressing it today?
Contract Manufacturing or Service Bureaus | Embracing new technologies and innovation comes with careful consideration for many machine shops and production facilities. The challenge is to find a complementary approach to manufacturing that seamlessly determines which technology is the most cost effective (or time sensitive) solution depending on the part or application. This is not easy considering the subtle design differences required to maximize each technology or material. For many machine shops and contract manufacturers, this connection may not exist which leads to poor utilization or worse, lack of technical understanding of the capabilities. How are manufacturers making it easier on themselves?
US Machine shops are oftentimes family owned businesses that have organically grown and adopted technologies as the business expands. They may have CNC, injection molding, tooling, sand casting, and additive manufacturing capabilities under one roof. A recent report suggests that 26% of major OEMs are already outsourcing parts to a contract manufacturer/service bureau and expect that number to increase year-over-year due to a variety of reasons. Machine shops are looking for a way to reduce the additive manufacturing process which tends to be super manual and labor intensive. Not to mention, contract manufacturers are without a software solution that can connect all the technologies which leads to cumbersome production, missed timelines or duplicated efforts. The anticipated growth forces many machine shops to identify a software platform that allows them to digitally view the production floor, assign projects, and proactively identify problems (failed builds, predictive maintenance, equipment downtime). Having an integrated software that aggregates data from these production processes will enable engineers to determine a cost/time analysis and get parts out the door faster and cheaper. The competition isn’t waiting, why should you?
Check back in next week to see how the L6S-AM is affecting the automotive and aviation industries.
Leveraging Equipment & Technical Expertise | Companies with multiple prototyping or production facilities are oftentimes handcuffed when it comes to optimizing technology capabilities. This is common for major OEM’s in aerospace, automotive and defense sectors that do not have access to partner facilities located in the US or elsewhere. We are beginning to see more OEM’s create AM Centers of Excellence, but it remains challenging for the entire organization to leverage resources and plan accordingly. L6S-AM is an important consideration because the bottlenecks associated with poor planning will result in wasteful spending or worse. Additive manufacturing machinery, like any major capital equipment expenditure—has a shelf life, and downtime is unacceptable.
Automotive & Aviation | Automotive and aviation manufacturers are notorious for having multiple production and final assembly plants strategically located throughout the globe. The technology at each site varies depending on a variety of reasons (expertise, access, proximity, etc.) but the glaring challenge is to leverage the right technology, for the right application, that provides maximum value to the organization. Too often, the different facilities do not communicate well enough and are completely blind to what is available for resources. There is no singular language or software platform that can seamlessly connect the departments and accurately monitor equipment or material inventory in real-time. Simply put, it’s a lack of resource utilization.
AM was originally destined to be a prototyping tool so OEMs never implemented lean practices that would enable the technology to be a true manufacturing alternative. While AM is revolutionary, many manufacturers are losing precision cycle time just waiting between queues.
Lufthansa Technik, a major supplier of maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services partnered with Oerlikon AM in 2018 to establish an AM Center dedicated to advancing the technology. The ability to produce one-off spare parts will cut costs significantly and improve lead times. Other manufacturers are adopting a similar strategy and beginning to centralize AM expertise while continuing to decentralize hardware capabilities, enabling on demand and localized production. With countless SKU’s, design standards, and testing data, it becomes challenging to aggregate this information for actionable purposes. Having an integrated software that combines data with production transparency will ultimately lead to better planning and less downtime.
Check back in next week to see how L6S-AM is affecting the medical market.
Data Transparency | AM introduces so many new technologies, materials, post processing requirements, pricing models and design considerations that it becomes dizzying. Not to mention, the industrial infancy of AM is a key contributor to the lack of standards available within the marketplace. How can engineers, scientists, doctors, and researchers maximize additive manufacturing without a proper execution system in place that can track, aggregate and monitor so many valuable data inputs? Without data or worse, inaccurate data, management is completely blind and unable to make process improvements. The medical market, well-known for its strict standards, embraces additive manufacturing but is still learning how to optimize it. Can a L6S approach help streamline additive manufacturing processes and improve efficiency?
AM has been tremendously beneficial to the development of personalized patient healthcare options. Custom treatments, prosthetics, surgery solutions, implants and more are now possible with additive manufacturing. However, implementing AM into a hospital setting compounds the challenge that already exists, too much data. Combining large, digital patient data with AM is a nightmare for most doctors and physicians. It’s cumbersome, complicated and inefficient.
Trim the fat. Cut your losses. Eliminate Muda.
I am writing a short series of bites about the importance of implementing Lean Six Sigma methodology in Additive Manufacturing. It not only drives efficiencies and increase output, but it can improve quality levels as well.
I will open up the first bite with the background of what L6S is in traditional manufacturing and some of my experience.
Bite I : What is Lean Six Sigma and AM Combined?
Continuous improvements for any department of an organization are paramount to the successful growth and adaptation of a business. In our hyper competitive commercial and industrial marketplace there is no excuse for downtime, so what steps are you taking today to maximize organizational or production efficiency?
Lean Six Sigma is a managerial concept born from the combination of lean manufacturing and Six Sigma aimed to identify operational weaknesses, expose variation and make adjustments for continuous improvements. While each concept was used separately during the 1980’s and 90’s primarily for automotive and electronics manufacturing, it became a joint idea during the early 2000’s and has since transformed manufacturing. With the ultimate intention to identify weaknesses and improve operational efficiency, Lean Six Sigma has become a significant tool across many different industries and professions. In my own experience at General Electric, L6S was a part of our culture, our DNA. I had the privilege to work with a Lean Sensei, who helped us learn and apply methodologies in our manufacturing plants. We made real improvements by identifying ways to remove unnecessary steps in our workflow and eliminate muda (waste). With my knowledge of Lean Six Sigma and a decade of implementation experience, I’m turning my sights towards additive manufacturing. What needs to be done in order to fully optimize AM and the future of manufacturing? Can L6S work in additive manufacturing?
The additive manufacturing (AM) industry is relatively young. However, there are countless hardware, software, technology and material companies popping up everyday and making significant impacts. For reference, the AM market is expected to exceed $20 billion by 2023. Alternatively, the CNC market was valued at approximately $7.87 billion in 2020, further indicating that AM is certainly here to stay. But we haven’t figured out all the kinks yet.
L6S is about efficiency. AM has already proven itself as a viable prototyping and production unit but what steps can be taken to truly maximize utilization? While 3D printing is a revolutionary piece of hardware technology, the brains and machine connectivity within a machine shop or manufacturing space is average at best. Smart manufacturing relies on actionable information collected through key data points and must be driven by intelligent systems. For example, contract manufacturing service providers in the US have grown significantly and are desperate for a software platform that allows them to digitally view the production floor, assign projects, and proactively identify problems (failed builds, predictive maintenance, equipment downtime). Simply put, how can we make additive manufacturing smarter? Check back in next week for our next installment of L6S-AM when we address the challenge of combining conventional manufacturing methods and what that means for certain industries.
Feel free to share comments, your experience and where you think it’s headed.
While there are plenty of subjects that are easily adaptable to remote learning, when it comes to more practical subjects – engineering, art and design, for instance – things can get a little bit tricky. 3D printing has been adopted by many educators, because it allows students to prototype, iterate, and prepare themselves for the future of manufacturing.
So, Covid or not, there’s still learning to be done. Students are heading back to school and perhaps now more than ever it’s vital that we practice social distancing and wear the right PPE gear, to try and keep a lid on infection rates.
But how can educators remotely manage 3D printers and stick to social distancing guidelines?
Before we dive into the solution, let’s take a look at how things have happened in the “before times” and why it’s not really a viable solution, at least not for the immediate future.
People in a room together: 3D printers are, typically, clustered together in a class, meaning not only are students and educators having to be in a room together, they might be forced within 6 feet of one another.
Now, you could maybe get around this by having students and educators interact with the 3D printers individually, but this quickly becomes impractical and time consuming. Maybe you could spread the 3D printers further around the faculty? But then that presents another set of challenges and makes managing and maintaining them less practical.
Communal surfaces: Like any practical subject, 3D printing involves a lot of touching. Touching computers for slicing and setup. Touching SD cards and handing them to one another. Touching panels and build plates on the printers themselves.
So, not only is everyone in a confined space together, they’re forced to get hands-on and touch a lot of shared surfaces. While providing every student with their own computer is certainly a viable solution to get around the risks of shared computers, providing everyone with their own 3D printer is less so. You could also enforce rigorous disinfection procedures, to make sure every surface gets cleaned between uses, but as we know, it’s perilously easy for someone to get complacent or simply forget.
Socially distant 3D printing: With a cloud-based 3D printing solution, students don’t have to be in the same room to print their projects. They don’t even need to be in the same country. Students simply log in to their dashboard, upload and prepare their designs, and when they’re ready, add them to the print queue.
An on-site print lab technician can then monitor and manage the student’s print projects. And once the print jobs are completed, the technician can retrieve the parts so they can be delivered to students or, more practically, have students come and collect them from a safe location – much like going to collect a food order from a restaurant.
This means students get the valuable, practical experience of creating designs and testing out prototypes using 3D printers, but they also get to do it from the safety of their own residence. The students themselves stay safe and educators and technicians are also protected from potential risks.
3DPrinterOS enables educators to continue guiding their students, and manage 3D print projects while keeping everyone involved safe.
To get started, all you need to do is create an account and connect your lab’s 3D printers (3DPrinterOS supports an extensive list of 3D printing hardware, but if you don’t see your hardware on there, you can request an integration).
Students can then create their accounts, while educators and admins retain full control over permissions, like print quotas for example. With their accounts setup and permissions set, students can now securely upload their designs to 3DPrinterOS. All of this can happen from any machine, anywhere in the world. Your students only need access to a web browser and an internet connection.
Once successfully uploaded, the designs are stored safe and sound ready for the next step: slicing. Again, the students don’t need to be on-site to slice and set up their prints, everything happens from the safety of the cloud, within the 3DPrinterOS dashboard.
Since 2015, 3DPrinterOS has been helping educators around the world manage large-scale 3D printing projects safely and cost effectively, by giving them powerful, simple tools to take the hassle and expense out of 3D printer management, so they can focus on doing what they do best: educating future generations of engineers, designers, and creators.
If you want to see how easily 3DPrinterOS can integrate with your faculties 3D printing lab, book a demo today and we’ll show you how to run 3D printing projects while maintaining safe, social distancing practices.
Aaron from our team had the chance to speak at and attend the Construct 3D conference this past weekend in Atlanta, GA. Here is the presentation from his talk on “How to manage students, 3d printers and data at scale“. We will be posting more content from this event over the next few days on the 3DPrinterOS blog.
On this upcoming Wednesday and Thursday, from the 18th till 19th of November, the annual 3D Printing Live 2015 sponsored by IDTechEx is being held in Santa Clara, California. Located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, this event will bring together the current and future markets and technologies of 3D Printing.
We’re proud to announce that 3DprinterOS CEO John Dogru will be sharing his vision with a speech about “Envisioning the Virtual Factory of the Future”. John’s talk starts just before the noon on Thursday, 11:40 am in Room 210. More and detailed information can be found here.
This year the conference spans over 2 consecutive days where full range of state-of-the-art technologies will be covered, including many world first announcements. With over 200 exhibitors and 3,000 attendees expected under one roof, this is the largest event on emerging technologies in additive manufacturing.
When you sit down at a restaurant and order a steaming, medium-rare New York strip, you usually expect that steak to have at one point in time actually to have been attached to an animal. The same applies to a pork chop, or fried chicken. While that might have been true in the past, things might be changing, particularly if the 3D printed food industry takes off the way some are expecting. Not sure what 3D printed food is or why someone would want to eat something that came out of a printer, rather than off the hoof or out of the ground?
HP – the name is synonymous with printing technology, although it’s also become a household name in terms of desktops, laptops and, at least to some extent, tablet computers. However, times are changing and HP has had to change with them. The significantly decreasing market share for desktops and laptops combined with HP’s inability to create a tablet that saw more than lukewarm enthusiasm from consumers has had an enormous impact on its profitability. In a recent press release, the company announced how it would handle that impact. Apparently, it will split itself into two separate firms.
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