Today we’ve been talking to Allen Cosby from 3D Printworld, one of our Affiliated Resellers and earliest advocates of the Robox 3D printer. 3D Printworld specialise in selling within the 3D printing arena, but are also focussed on educating interested people on the benefits of the technology, and as such host regular workshops in Milton Keynes which allow people to gain a better understanding of additive manufacturing.
The next seminar will be held Saturday 6th June at 9.30am at the Harben Conference Centre, Newport Pagnell, Milton Keynes. If you are interested in attending the workshop, click here to find out more and register – http://www.3d-printworld.co.uk/events
Tell us about 3DPrintworld – when did you set up the company and why?
The background to 3D Printworld is rooted in our technology and engineering consultancy. Since 2007 we have been managing complex development projects for a range clients in the public and private sector. Over recent years we have seen our clients increasingly use additive manufacturing (3D Printing) to help with rapid prototyping and overcome other production and manufacturing challenges. Having become increasingly involved with these projects it quickly became apparent to us that additive manufacturing and ‘3D Printing’ was an exciting, fast moving and dynamic technology, and something we wanted to be involved in.
In addition to working with our commercial clients we also started to become ‘makers’ ourselves, experimenting with our own desktop 3D Printers to really get a feel for the technology. From this passion 3D Printworld was born in 2013.
What are you trying to achieve as a reseller within the 3D printing arena?
We really want to add value. Anyone can go online and buy themselves a 3D Printer. We want to be a supplier with a human face, focusing on our local region to help guide companies and individuals through the confusing minefield that purchasing a 3D Printer can sometimes seem. We want them to end up with a product that is right for them, and add value by supporting them with training, guidance and maintenance services. As well as selling 3D Printers to the local area, we are able to offer online support too for those customers who buy directly from www.3d-printworld.co.uk
How many 3D printers do you currently have in your repertoire?
At the moment we have 2, we sell both the Robox and the Ultimaker. We are currently looking at launching other brands / ranges, but we want to keep it to a maximum of 3 or 4 brands. This is because we want to build a close working relationship with all of our suppliers, to make sure we understand the products and can really add the value to our customers with our tailored training and support.
How does the Robox fit into your repertoire of 3D printers – how is it different?
The Robox is our ‘go to’ printer. It combines a high spec and a range of unique features, with usability that caters for all levels of proficiency. It a good looking product and is built to a high standard so it’s a printer we are happy to be associated with. Another key point is the fact that the Robox is designed in the UK. The UK has always produced some of the world’s best Engineers and Product Designers. Chris and his team at Robox have carried on that tradition, and we are keen to support that, as are many of our customers who react extremely positively when they find out that it’s a UK design.
In addition to your affiliated reseller status, you are also a little different to other resellers because you also run seminars about 3D printing, tell us why you started running these seminars?
We think that the levels of interest in 3D Printing are so high at the moment because the possibilities really fire people’s imagination. Whenever we demonstrate one of our printers all kinds of passers-by are immediately drawn to it. They find watching the process fascinating and are always keen to find out more about how it works and what it can do. We wanted to give as many people as possible the chance to see 3D Printers in actions and learn about the possibilities they offer. So many people see 3D Printing in the press and on television, but feel it is not accessible to them. We decided to stage these free events to allow people to engage with us, and come along in a no pressure environment to learn more. So far the response has been outstanding.
When and where is your next seminar going to be held, and how to visitors attend?
The next event will be staged in Milton Keynes on Saturday 6th June, from 9.30am. You can find out more and register to attend by visiting www.3d-printworld.co.uk/events.
What will people learn about if they attend your next seminar?
The lecture will cover:
- How does 3D Printing work and what are the different methods
- How is 3D Printing used today and what is the potential use for the future
- How the technology has become accessible through the introduction of ‘Prosumer’ desktop 3D Printing
- A demonstration of the process: 3D Design to slicing in Automaker, then printing on a Robox.
- Types of desktop 3D Printing – Which printer for which application?
- Open discussions – How could you use this technology at home, at work or in the classroom.
What type of people usually attend your seminars – are they usually full of geeks and nerds (?!), or are you appealing to everyone, regardless of age and knowledge base?
We have a very diverse mixture of people who attend our lectures. At our last event we had teachers and students, engineers, artists and designers. They ranged from the enthusiasts who were building their own 3D Printers at home to those who had heard about it in the press or from their children, they were simply curious and wanted to learn more about this exciting technology.
At the seminars, what are some of the strangest questions you have been asked?
We had quite a few innovative ideas such as tactile boards for those with visual impairment, and archaeological artefacts. I think the strangest thing I have been asked is if the printer can print oversize celebrity heads for a white collar boxing match!
Have you had anyone attending your seminars who already own 3D printers? If so, what are they printing?
We have had a few people who had made them out of kits, and they were very impressed by the Robox. One of these home makers was currently in the process of printing a second 3D printer for his wife. He brought the printer along to the event so that was interesting to see!
Have you seen a shift in the types of people wanting to purchase a 3D printer over the past 12 months?
We are definitely seeing a bigger pickup from organisations rather than individuals. Educational establishments and SME’s are realising that they must embrace the technology or risk being left behind. I also think more people are seeing the value of buying a high quality product like the Robox that prints ‘out of the box’, rather than risking building their own from a kit.
What would be your one piece of advice to anyone considering buying a 3D printer?
Our best bit of advice would be to really think about how you are going to use your printer and what you need it to do for you or your business. It’s easy to be seduced by a cool brand or by a particular feature, but think about what your printed models need to do and choose your printer from there. And of course, seek advice from the experts if needed to help you make the most of all the information about the current 3D Printers and market.
To get in touch with the 3DPrintworld team:
Tel: 07815 108233
8 Pyms Stables