New 3DPrinterOS CEO: Ex-HP 3D Printing and GE Digital Exec Michelle Bockman

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San-Francisco-based 3DPrinterOS, specialists in cloud-additive manufacturing management software, has just appointed Michelle Bockman as Chief Executive Officer as part of its strategy to grow in the enterprise customer space.

Michelle Bockman, CEO of 3DPrinterOS

“We are pleased to welcome a talented, driven leader with exceptional industry experience who has a holistic understanding of the complexities, and security challenges that product managers and manufacturing executives face,” said John Dogru, President, Chief Architect, and Founder of 3DPrinterOS.

Bockman brings highly relevant experience in the enterprise sector, an area into which 3DPrinterOS is very much looking to further expand. This includes her time at GE, as Executive Vice President at GE Digital, and most recently at HP, where she served as General Manager and Global Head of 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing for Automotive & High-Value Applications. 3DPrint.com had interviewed her when she had joined HP as Global Head of 3D Printing Commercial Expansion & Development, to help drive global expansion and partnerships for HP’s MJF industrial 3D printing solutions.

At HP, she had a “broad responsibility to expand the overall 3D printing market for HP in partnership with our foundational customers, strategic partners, and materials ecosystem, and drive the development of new digital services for the 3D printing business. It means going beyond creating customer experience to being hyper-focused on customer success and all the steps needed to get there. Part of this effort was strengthening partnerships with key enterprise customers such as BMW, Jabil, Johnson & Johnson, and Nike.”

At GE Digital, she left having established a $15 billion software-drive business for large industrial customers.

3DPrinterOS sees Bockman as a leader who brings “a wealth of experience in the enterprise 3D printing industry, she is uniquely positioned to understand the challenges that customers face. Bockman is an executive leader whose experience spans the entire ecosystem of additive manufacturing, including supply chains, software platform development, and assessment of feasibility, applications, and product marketing.”

Commenting on her new role as CEO, Bockman, also a great example of leading women in the 3D printing industry, said, “With our game-changing platform, there is an opportunity to transform the way enterprise manufacturers do business. Our platform is primed to shake up the industry as it provides the essential missing link for mass adoption of digital manufacturing. We can reduce the time from prototype to market, while also ensuring the highest security levels for end-to-end encrypted 3D printing workflows that protect intellectual property.”

Cloud-based 3DPrinterOS platform. (Image courtesy of 3DPrinterOS)

3DPrinterOS was founded in 2014 in Estonia by John Dogru and now-CTO Anton Vedeshin, to provide a single platform to connect and track multiple 3D printing manufacturing technologies in real-time—bringing much needed efficiency and scale for printer farms. With a focus on cloud-based one-click printer and order management, the platform-agnostic software also provides storage, licensing and security for design to production to distribution 3D printing workflows.

The platform has developed beyond a workflow management tool to control, monitor, and audit the widest range of 3D printers, and traditional manufacturing platforms (CNC machines, laser cutters, industrial robotic arms), in the market. The platform allows for integration with other third party design or manufacturing software, is hosted on Azure cloud (and compatible with Amazon AWS and Google Cloud) and the company has partnered with Microsoft to provide IT-compliant software bundled for all Azure cloud users, particularly existing enterprise customers which include 14% of all institutions and 90% of Fortune 500 companies.

The problem 3DPrinterOS is solving for enterprises, government and educational institutions. (Image courtesy of 3DPrinterOS)

Early on, due to the perception in the industry regarding FDM printers and associated printer farms, 3DPrinterOS found universities and educational institutions as customers willing to try the product and help drive early stage development. One of their most prominent early customers is Duke University that started with 10 printers, 10 students and 3D printing operators. Today, the university boasts over 6000 students and over 150 printers all managed on the 3DPrinterOS platform, which has encouraged nearly one of every two Duke students to 3D print at least once. The company’s platform now has over 20,000 university students from MIT, Harvard, Purdue, Berkeley and Yale. Interestingly, the company compares its early stage development at universities as akin to that of Apple and Microsoft, when industrial mainframes were preferred over personal computer systems for enterprise customers from Sun Microsystems or Cray – or even Honda’s early beginnings in selling moped’s to students.

In the enterprise space, OEM’s struggle to build integrated, flexible, operating systems, focusing more on highly specific machines and enterprise environments than platform or industry agnostic solutions. In fact, 3DPrinterOS’s break into the enterprise space came primarily because Bosch decided to drop collaboration with Autodesk in developing the Dremel 3D printers, as the latter chose to merge its Spark platform into Forge. Bosch, needing a cloud solution for its Dremel platform, reached out to 3DPrinterOS and became its first major enterprise customer. Now, 3DPrinterOS’s customer’s include Google, Microsoft, John Deere, NASA, and governmental defence agencies, and through its partnership with Slant3D, also includes Amazon, Haddington Dynamics and Nickelodeon.

“We have given direct 3d print access to over 100,000 users on college campuses and saw a 70X utilization rate increase with 3DPrinterOS vs. the industry standard. Now we will give the same access to every enterprise in the world to enable their 1000’s of engineers to direct print without any other human interaction with the machine.  Ultimately we wish to give access to over a Billion people in the world,” said Dogru.

The company sees its platform as the missing piece in accelerating large-scale enterprise adoption of 3D printing and related-technologies, explaining that it is “an advanced manufacturing operating system software solution for enterprise organizations. Much like how the operating systems for the personal computer and smartphone allowed for many hardware and software manufacturers to accelerate adoption of the technology, and revolutionize the information age, 3DPrinterOS is aiming to revolutionize the digital manufacturing age. The operating system for manufacturing is the missing link for the industry to achieve mass adoption.”

In January this year, the company partnered with Florida-based MilleBot to provide the software platform connecting via 5G the latter’s container-based mobile 3D printing systems for production at scale. Previously, 3DPrinterOS had also partnered with Robo in education, and Kodak for their 3D Portrait printer.

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