West: Thanks for taking the time to chat, Tom. Tell me what got you started on the whole concept of monitoring and managing 3D printers.
Tom: When we started 3D printing three years ago we were the nerdiest kids on the block, being the only ones with 3D printers. Our friends were always asking us to print for them, but each of our printers had different software and different workflows, which slowed us down. So we had a backlog of print jobs that we needed to manually process and send to the printers. Even worse was we were terrified to let a print complete overnight, because prints would often fail and leave us with a ball of plastic spaghetti in the morning. We wanted a way to centrally manage and monitor all of our 3D printers from any web browser.
West: Necessity truly is the mother of invention. Tom, what do you think the biggest 3 problems you solved with PrintToPeer.
Tom: 3D printing is not as simple as people think. PrintToPeer can help solve these problems:
1. Wasted time and materials from failed prints, plus the cost of untracked print jobs.
2. Wasted time from slow printing workflows, file management, file transfers, and manual tracking of usage (often three different pieces of software with hundreds of settings in each, with intermediary file management).
3. The difficulty in sharing a 3D printer without print queues or networking, which means you need to check if a print is complete, share a computer attached to the printer, or deal with SD cards for file transfers to the printer.
West: I had no idea it was so complicated and it’s great to see you’ve come up with solutions. What can people expect from the webinar coming up on November 4th at 11AM ET?
Tom: In the webinar we will be demonstrating the easy setup process which doesn’t require any technical experience. We will show the real-time control and feedback of 3D printers and the webcam feature. We will also show the printing workflow, queues, and job tracking.
West: I can’t wait for the webinar! What do you think are the biggest uses for 3D printing today?
Tom: For small businesses, the largest benefit is in rapid prototyping and new product development, where you can collaborate and iterate on a product much faster than before. We have also seen 3D printing being used for marketing purposes, as an innovative new way to visualize your brand assets.
West: Thanks for the interview, Tom. I can hardly wait to see it all in action. For those who wish to attend this exciting webinar that will showcase the reality of 3D print monitoring today, you can register HERE.