It’s not often you meet a person as completely invested in their work as Jacques Groenewald.
The PaperCut product owner is obsessed with PaperCut MF’s new feature Job Ticketing , and it shows when we catch up for a chat about all things 3D printing, CNC laser cutting, web submissions, print rooms, CRDs (Central Reprographics Departments - I think he’s making names up now), and FabLabs.
From frustration to inspiration
“I used to work in a manufacturing environment where we’d make plastic prototypes,” Jacques recalls. “Then ship them off to somewhere in another country and wait six weeks, two months depending on how much you’re willing to pay - before you get it back and can see it working.”
The frustration shows on Jacques’ face as he continues the story:
“My company at the time had around 3,500 people in our building. Turns out my colleagues just across the passage at the other end of the elevator had a perfectly good 3D printer we could’ve used - we just didn’t know it.
“So they’d gone and bought all this technology and been using it all along. We were having breakfast one morning in the cafeteria, and I’m like: ‘Hang on, you have one of those?’”
Jacques realised the need for better management of 3D printers in business and education. It was solving this frustration that attracted Jacques to PaperCut and, in particular, the Job Ticketing project.
“We’re seeing so many of these engineering companies that are going to run into exactly these types of challenges,” he offers.
The problem with scheduling 3D print jobs
More and more businesses and universities are installing 3D printers and setting up so-called FabLabs (Fabrication Labs) to cut down production times, enable rapid iteration, and save costs.
“A lot of universities are investing in this technology,” Jacques continues. “This type of rapid prototyping technology can include a whole lot of services. It could be anything from 3D printing with cheapish plastic printers through to printing things in titanium; it could be laser cutting, CNC [computer numerical control] routers … and we wanted to help give people access to these tools.”
Until now, users have been scheduling printer time using spreadsheets and even email bookings. Meanwhile, print room and FabLab operators have been overwhelmed trying to manage these bookings. This has generally led to one of two outcomes: scheduling chaos or underused printers.
And that’s where PaperCut Job Ticketing comes in.
A Job Ticketing demo
To see how Job Ticketing brings FabLabs, print rooms and 3D printers under control, watch Jacques’ 15 minute overview video above. His demo is focused on document printing, but applies equally to 3D printing and beyond.