Printers have become commonplace in our offices, homes, and schools. In the same way we experienced this technological leap forward with 2D printers, 3D printers now stand to become just as common. However, with this shift, the potential of what can be produced far exceeds that of simple 2D printers.
The expansion of 3D printers in schools and universities is a prime example of this, but to get a better understanding of how 3D printers will impact these educational environments, we spoke with John Dogru, CEO and Chief Architect for 3DPrinterOS.
Why have college campuses been a major focus for 3DPrinterOS?
It was by accident. University students are usually the best early adopters of technology, and when we began the company, we found that Universities were most likely to have the brightest minds of the future, willing to try new things. Enterprises are much more conservative. If you look at how Apple computers or Microsoft started, or Facebook, they started with the future generation. Currently, 3D Printing is a 20+ year old technology, much like supercomputers back in the day. Just like these mainframes, from Sun Microsystems, and Cray, enterprises back in the day didn’t want to take the risk with the personal computer. These companies like Apple and Microsoft found their early adopters inside the university campus.
Today, Sun Solaris and the mainframes like Cray have gone extinct and desktop PC’s which most enterprises laughed at back in the day, are the only way we really do massive computing and achieve productivity. The same exact trend is happening with the desktop 3d printing revolution. With Top universities like MIT, Harvard, Yale, Caltech, Berkley, Duke, etc, using 3dPrinterOS to give campus-wide real-time 3d printing access, we’ve seen an explosion of use. Duke started with 10 printers, 10 students, and 3D administrators. Today Duke has the world’s largest deployment with over 6000 students and over 150 printers online via 3DPrinterOS SAAS Cloud, are able to print physical parts at any time of the day 24/7 365.
Universities like Harvard, now have over 150 printers online waiting to print, running 3DPrinterOS. What Microsoft and Apple did for the PC revolution, 3DPrinterOS is doing this for the next generation of manufacturers, and the ability to connect any person, directly to a machine that can make it manufacturer and the learning curve is so easy an 8 year can use it. Out of 6000 students at Duke, over 47% have printed at least once.
How do you think the expansion of 3D printers could stand to change college campuses?
Just like the PC accelerated the ability to gain access to information, 3DPrinterOS is allowing all students, in mostly all disciplines to build for factor parts to help them complete projects, new business models. This capability to 3D print almost any form factor, drop in a Raspberry Pi, and program it to be a clock, train control systems, bionic hearts, etc. 3DPrinting touches almost all disciplines from sciences to art.
I have been informed that over 20,00 university students in top campuses (such as MIT) benefiting from the large scale of 3D printing programs using 3DPrinterOS. Congratulations, that quite a success. Have you had any feedback so far, and if so what are they interested in seeing?
The feedback is incredible. Over 47% of students that were given access, printed at least once.
What competition does 3DPrinterOS face, from others in this industry, when expanding into college campuses?
We have heavy competition form Autodesk Spark, the Android of 3d printing, but they lost over 250M+ trying to build a competing product, and they had to close the project down due to failing to build the platform and going over budget. When Autodesk failed with Autodesk Spark, Bosch came to 3DPrinterOS to replace its cloud solution. Currently, 3DPrinterOS, runs inside the Dremel Bosch 3DPrinter, which is rated #1 by PC Mag in 2019. There are a few other startups trying to build similar solutions, but they are far behind in the technology maturity and our team’s engineering capability has a proven track record for 7 years as being the leaders in 3d printer management and 3d printing operating systems. If you google both those terms, 3DPrinterOS is #1.
I understand 3DPrinterOS has managed to achieve its current level of success with “almost zero marketing.” Can you explain how you have achieved this?
Like Tesla, we focused on making a superior product, and spent all our money on engineering and working with customers to build the product. We push every other day, production improvements. While other competitors like Materialise (publically traded 3D printing software company) or Autodesk, our customers are happy that as a startup, we are able to make changes, improvements in days, not years. It took, for example, Autodesk 6 months to integrate the Dremel printer, and it took our team 48 hours. As we focused on making a superior technology that allows, for the first time in history, unlimited users, to easily, click into production, making the customers happy, and reducing the latency as close to zero form Design to Production has been our goal.
Our vision of the company is everyone is a manufacturer, and our mission is to make it so easy, an 8-year-old can use it. That’s exactly what we’ve done. Just like the iPhone, there are minimal instructions. If you were to give access to the 3D printers without our platform, according to our survey, over 70% of our customers said their 3D printing program would be halted without our product.
Here is an example of how all MIT students can log in and print campus-wide. https://project-manus.mit.edu/
Imagine what the server did for all of society’s information revolution when we were able to share that limited resource in a super-easy way, WWW HTML. That’s exactly what 3DPrinterOS is doing to the manufacturing revolution. We are giving easy access for anyone to upload via the cloud, web browser, prepare their design in realtime, on any web-enabled device, without any experience, without any need to own a powerful server, anyone can log in, upload, prepare, video log into the exact machine, start the print, see the print, with no other human intervention.
3DPrinterOS has unlocked access to manufacturing, for the common human, at a scale never seen before. Now over 111 of the fortune 2000 enterprises, are using or evaluation 3DPrtnterOS.
What is 3DPrinterOS’s main goal for campuses over the next 2 years?
Become a category king, de facto, for the new generation moving into all next-generation manufacturing jobs. In the next 2 years, we would like to help all the top universities worldwide, wanting to deploy a successful campus-wide 3D printing program. The new generation is the future, and one-click print is the way they will remember they manufactured in college.
Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company