By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
When DE was just getting started, I held a story meeting with marketing to go over upcoming issues so that they could research then produce collateral for the sales squad. Stetson, a resolutely earnest chap with a knack for asking the wrong questions, was tapped to handle 3D printing. Soon he had all sorts of well-written, well-researched, and utterly useless stuff on laser printers, plotters, and wide-format inkjets. That 3D biz did not grok, so he grasped what he knew. I wish that I had today’s Check It Out to share with him. While both of us would have picked up useful information, my job would have been less vexing and his less for naught.
To readers of DE, 3D printing is no longer a mystery. You know that it is more than just prototyping. You know that it has benefits for every phase of your concept, design, prototyping, marketing, sales, and manufacturing processes. You know that 3D printing can transform your workflow. But the problem is that many of your managers are somewhat like Stetson. While they have an idea of what 3D printing is, they don’t quite get it when you describe the technology, so they revert to what they do know and see it as an expense rather than opportunity. Give them this paper to read as part of your capital expense pitch. Here’s why.
The purpose of the “3D Printer Buyer’s Guide” is, of course, to provide you with useful information so that you can make an informed decision when shopping around for the right 3D printer for your endeavors. That it does well. It covers the major application types from concept models to digital manufacturing as well as all that thorny stuff like accuracy, color, materials, build supports, part cost, print speed, and resolution. So, it’s all there in a nice neat package that gives you — the person with the theoretical understanding and lust for 3D printing technology — a compact guide of do’s and don’ts, reminders, and critical differences among options available.
But another usefulness of this paper is that it can serve both as your guide for structuring your discussion with the powers that be and as an exhibit for them to absorb so that they possess a functional literacy in what you’re talking about. Face it, as engineers you tend to lose your audience by going geek when talking about technologies. This nine-page PDF written by anonymous for 3D Systems is a well-written technical paper that is completely non-technical. It takes the issues inherent in 3D printing and explains their role, their differentiators, and key considerations without getting bogged down in granularity. Consequently, any reasonably intelligent person with a sketchy understanding of the subject will learn what they need to know to understand why you are championing 3D printing for your organization.
In short, the “3D Printer Buyer’s Guide” has attributes that make it a win-win for you whether you’re shopping for a 3D printer system or politicking. Hit the link over there to sign up for your copy.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering