As 3D printing hit the mainstream, it was a technology that drew in many educators because of its unlimited potential for inspiring all ages in science, engineering, technology, and far more. Whether they learned about the technology on their own, through peers, or at conferences where 3D printing was highlighted, teachers around the world began to see the light.
But as they went back to their schools and sold administrations on the idea of getting 3D printers for their students, often they were lucky enough to receive the bare basics–a grant and some hardware that no one was really sure what to do with when it came right down to it–much less manage an entire lab. Thanks to companies like 3DPrinterOS, however, it’s no longer the blind leading the blind–and not only do they cater to the educational system, they want to see students and universities thriving with multiple 3D printers in classrooms and labs.
3DPrinterOS worked to develop a software process so that once schools were on their way to actually using multiple 3D printers, teachers and administrators weren’t clueless about how to manage them and learn from how they were being used as well.
How to establish order and manage workflow? That could get tricky, and especially in a busy school. In a flash of organizational brilliance that has now developed into a full-fledged program, 3DPrinterOS came up with the idea–in collaboration with multiple other respected entities–to offer licenses to handle workflow more efficiently, working with virtually any 3D printer.
Created with Dynamism, 3D Connectors, 3D Printlife, CreativeTools and 3dortgen, 3DPrinterOS worked to develop a 3D printing license that allows learning institutions to easily distribute and track access to 3D printers across their campuses.
“In the first four weeks of operation our students have accumulated 1478 hours of 3D printing across 601 print jobs. We did this using only seven printers and a small student support staff,” said Chip Bobbert, Digital Media Engineer at Duke University. “3DPrinterOS allowed us to maximize output while minimizing input and at the same time gave a tool to our makers that is simple, easy to use, and requires a minimum amount of training.”
The streamlined features mean that you only have to go to one place–your monitoring dashboard–to handle workflow on multiple printers. Not only that, the schools have a way to track–and audit–all the activity going on regarding their 3D printing equipment which assists in organization, analyzing, and planning.
“We use 3DPrinterOS to track the quantity of prints going through our doors and the amount of active users we have,” said Davin Huston, Clinical Assistant Professor at Purdue. “We can use this data as a point for calculating funding and costs for semesters to come.”
Below is a video introducing educational licensing:
The premium license offers direct API, which allows for customizable and editing tools like Magic Fix for design preparation and direct streaming, and Virtual Factory for managing workflows with versatile other tools and equipment such as laser cutters, CNC machines and industrial 3D printers. It allows for management from the beginning to the very end of a project.
We’ve followed 3DPrinterOS through a fast-paced, dynamic evolution as they’ve honed their talents in giving us access to 3D printing innovations, as they have gained partners, and surpassed impressive milestones in 3D printing one after another. Certainly it will be enlightening to follow the numerous learning institutions using the licensing for tracking and analyzing and to see how they proceed further upon having that information.
Discuss this story in the 3DPrinterOS Educational License forum thread on 3DPB.com.