Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: 3D printing is in the midst of a sea change. And you can take that how you want. Either 3D printing itself is poised to become more user-friendly and reliable or 3D printing is having an increasingly tangible impact on the way real companies that make real things do real business.
While both are true, there’s still a fairly large gap between grand predictions and the reality of day-to-day printing.
Someday we’ll do amazing things like print organs as if it’s no big deal. Today, it’s probably more important to focus on what’s at the front of the mind of anyone 3D printing with any regularity: workflow and visibility aren’t great. That means someone has to build a solution that makes it easy to coordinate print jobs across the enterprise, transfer files in a manner befitting of the 21st century, get rid of dumb STLs, and support machine operators with the tools necessary to supply usage analytics to whomever pays the bills.
That’s how you scale innovation. Maybe a beachhead for business processes isn’t breathtaking. But approved business processes spur adoption and it just plain makes people’s lives easier. Sound like something you could get behind?