Investing in a 3D printer for your school or business is an important decision that requires evaluating the problems that could arise.
To ensure you make an educated decision for your business needs, we're going to discuss the four problems that 3D printer owners often encounter.
Then we'll provide the solution to these four problems, so be sure to read through the end.
First up, let’s discuss these common problems.
What are the 4 problems with 3D printers?
1. Cost management post-purchase
According to research, 45% of 3D printer users said the costs were high and hard to manage, making this the top concern with owning and investing in a 3D printer.
While the initial investment of a 3D printer costs money, so does managing the printer post-purchase, which is often overlooked and unexpected.
Similar to how printers use toner or ink to print, 3D printers use a material called filament to create three-dimensional objects.
Every company is different, but each spool of filament will cost around $30. If you’re printing frequently and/or printing large projects, this cost can add up.
Luckily, we have the perfect solution for this (and the following three problems). More on this later in the article.
2. Underutilizing the printer
Has your company ever adopted a new piece of equipment and committed to this new process or product 100% just to forget about it after the newness wears off?
Or, in your personal life, perhaps you have thrown yourself into a new hobby just to lose steam after the first few weeks?
This can happen with 3D printers as well. New equipment is exciting but can be forgotten as the interest fades, resulting in underutilized equipment.
Underutilized equipment can make 3D printers seem not worth the investment.
3. Hard to incorporate into lessons
Research tells us, “35% [of educational professionals] needed ideas and materials to incorporate 3D printing into lesson plans.”
Learning and implementing a new device will take training and time. If you purchase a stand-alone 3D printer, it’s up to you to plan lessons around the printer, which can be challenging and take valuable time.
With all the other tasks teachers must complete in a day, it’s understandable that planning and incorporating a foreign device into lesson plans can be challenging.
4. Not clear on who will manage the machine
According to Y Soft, “IT manages the 3D printer fleet in 50% of the surveyed schools. While IT manages 2D print fleets nearly 100% of the time, there is no clear mandate on who manages 3D printers.”
Confusing management, along with the other problems discussed, can make investing in a 3D printer seem like a hassle and more expensive than it’s worth.
However, there is a solution to this and the other three problems discussed above.
What’s the solution to these problems?
These four problems are common when purchasing a stand-alone 3D printer. However, investing in a 3D printer with print management, like Y Soft, will resolve these issues.
Y Soft’s 3D printer with print management and Learning Academy will help you control costs, maximize your product, incorporate into lessons, and manage the device.
1. Control cost
Y Soft’s enclosed 3D printer with print management allows you to track how much filament is left, how much is being used, and by who. This way, you can make necessary adjustments if some individuals are overusing the device.
The ability to track, analyze, and take action to control costs will save you more money in the long run than buying a stand-alone printer with no ability to see how each 3D printer is utilized.
Additionally, Y Soft’s print management software gives administrators complete control over who can access the device. Due to the enclosed design, only those with the proper credentials can use the machine, eliminating unwanted users, and providing maximum safety.
The print roaming feature allows those with proper credentials to submit the object for printing at any available printer. The printer will be securely locked until the users can retrieve the object.
Y Soft’s be3D eDee printer with enclosed design:
2. Maximize your 3D printer
Y Soft’s print management software will track which machines are underutilized.
Via print usage reports, you’ll be able to see which machines are underutilized. From here, you can take action to decrease the number of printers in your fleet or enhance lesson plans to better utilize the technology.
3. Incorporate into lessons
Y Soft offers a BE3D Academy with preplanned lessons to help education professionals incorporate the 3D printer into their curriculum.
The Learning Academy takes away the stress of creating plans around a device you may not be familiar with.
The Academy provides worksheets, 3D model files, presentations, and videos around the STEM subjects. Remote lesson plans are also available.
These plans are ISTE standard-compliant, ensuring this technology is maximizing your student’s learning.
4. Simultaneously manage your 2D and 3D fleet
Y Soft offers print management for 3D and 2D printer fleets, allowing your IT department to simultaneously manage both fleets. This removes the stress and confusion of managing these fleets separately.
Through the touch screen interface, the printer can be monitored and controlled by the IT department or administrator of choice.
The administrator can control basic settings and maintenance from the device.
Add print management to your 3D printer.
Without a print management software like Y Soft, there is no way to track and analyze costs. Users could be using filament on unnecessary prints, and without an enclosed 3D printer, anyone in the school/office could walk up and use the machine.
Stand-alone printers take time to integrate into the classroom. Without a preplanned lesson, teachers must figure out how to incorporate this new device into lessons themselves.
Lastly, without print management software, the IT department or designated administrators will have a difficult time monitoring the device.
Without print management software, these problems will likely make your investment more challenging than it’s worth.
If you’re looking for more information about Y Soft and/or their 3D printers, read these articles next:
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