Cloud computing and 3D printing are the latest and trending buzzwords. It’s because both these facilitate systems integration which plays a vital role in any organisation. For one, they allow a centralised exchange of data, which keeps communication seamless between all systems. Secondly, they facilitate prompt updates across the board. And third, they are the key to enhanced efficiency, cost savings, increased simplicity, and higher employee productivity.
For these reasons, you may want to integrate cloud computing and 3D printing. Such integration enables you to share prototypes or models to clients worldwide and print on various devices. To do this effectively and efficiently, here are five tips for your consideration:
Integrating Cloud Computing and 3D Printing
1. Educate Yourself and Your Employees
If it’s your first-time integrating cloud computing and 3D printing, it’s good to take your time and learn how to do it properly. Among other things, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with the following aspects:
- Customization of the 3D printing application to suit your unique needs
- Format conversion
- Using the 3D model library
- Understanding 3D printing service interfaces
- Handling the 3D printer firmware
- Maximizing security and safety, given the printing is cloud-based
- Service registration
- Model parameter estimation
- Navigating CAD software
- Applying the principles of Design Thinking
- Selecting suitable technologies and materials for a given application
- Generating 3D mesh
In a nutshell, there is so much to learn. Just because other businesses are doing it doesn’t mean you should jump into it without the prerequisite knowledge. You risk messing things up in the process, leading to additional costs. For this reason, ensure all your employees are on board. You can create training sessions for your team to learn the associated dynamics of 3D printing and cloud computing integration. While at it, make sure to comprehensively define each team member’s duties to ensure a smooth transition to the new system.
2. Acquire the help of IT service providers
Integrating cloud computing and 3D printing may not always be easy. It is especially true if you are not an information technology (IT) savvy person. You may find it hard doing it yourself. You may even mess up in the process. Therefore, consider consulting IT companies such as Tenecom to guide you through the basics.
Such reputable IT service providers have all the required expertise and experience for integration. With them, you have guaranteed outcomes, unlike if you were doing it yourself. More so, it gives you time to concentrate on other urgent matters in your business instead of spending time learning the ropes from scratch.
Other benefits of acquiring the help of IT service providers include:
- Minimized business disruptions
- They are more cost-effective
- Improved protection against cyber threats
- It is time-saving
- You can get 24/7 customer support
- Access to the latest technology in 3D printing and cloud integration technology
- Improved efficiency
- Immediate implementation
3. Choose a cloud-based CAD Software
Your 3D printing end product is as good as the cloud-based software you use. So, aim for the high-quality ones with advanced features. More often than not, most popular software comes with instructional videos and live customer support. Thus, gaining the requisite knowledge on using them won’t be challenging for you.
A lot of cloud-based software solutions are available to choose from including applications like Fusion 360, OnShape, Solidworks, and many more.
4. Implement Security Guidelines
When integrating cloud computing and 3D printing, look into security issues. This combination may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. It may result in data loss, service interruptions, or website and data shutdowns. To combat the cybersecurity risks, you need to implement standard security guidelines, such as using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and file encryption. This approach ensures unauthorized people don’t have access to sensitive information.
On top of that, you may want to involve cyber security professionals. They play a vital role in ensuring that your data is well protected from breaches, attacks, and other cyber risks. They achieve this by tracing, identifying, assessing, examining, and reacting to data breaches. You can count on them since they are well versed in what makes a highly secure system.
5. Set Limits on How Much to Spend
Integrating cloud computing and 3D printing comes with a cost. Cloud platforms usually charge you based on your usage. On the other hand, high-end 3D printers are typically highly-priced. Without a definite budget, you may spend more than what is necessary for your specific application.
For that reason, make it a point to define your company’s spending limits and find a decent quality product that fits your budget.
Integrating cloud computing and 3D printing offers your business a competitive advantage owing to its speed, cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and accessibility. Before jumping in, take time to learn about it in and out. And for best results, you can outsource the help of IT service providers to guide you through the entire setup process.
About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D printing. which publishes the latest 3D printing news, insights and analysis from all around the world. Visit our 3D Printing Education page to read more such informative articles. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.