Creating Connections: How Two Engineers Changed the Game for Networked 3D Printer Systems
Eight years ago, John Dogru and Anton Vedeshin, PhD., founded 3D Control Systems. This is their story.
Our Vision: Create Easy Access To Manufacturing
"All dreams can come true if someone has the courage and confidence to achieve them. Starting a business is always difficult. Specifically, a startup building something 8 years ahead of the market." John Dogru
Eight years ago, most people thought we were crazy to build an OS for 3D Printing.
The usual reply was,
“Why do you need to network 3D printers?”
Even just 3 years ago, top 3D printer OEMs told us,
“I don’t understand, we only sell 1 printer at a time to a customer.”
“Why would anyone need to network farms of 3D printers?”
“We will build our own software.”
“We will wait for standards to appear.”
When we asked them, “Can you imagine a customer trying to manage 10 different 3D printer brands, with 10 different software tools, and trying to scale?”
Usually, they went blank. Then the answer was: “We will become the ‘Apple’ of 3D Printing.”
But even Apple allows compatibility with a variety of network protocols and allows anyone to write applications on it’s platform. Right?
In 2020, everything changed. 3D Printer Management became a real problem and pain point! In a post-COVID world, how do manufacturing enterprises do more with less people?
One word: Automation
“For 8 years, we had been fighting for our customers to scale 3D printing by hacking the machines, attaching network capabilities, and making them work the way we knew they should.”
- John Dogru, CEO and Co-founder, 3D Control Systems
OEMs started to open up APIs and to acquire software companies to ensure their printers could be made easier to use, access, and manage on networks.
It all started with the top 50 universities in the world like MIT, Harvard, and Rice. Duke was one of the first pilot customers of the fledgling startup, 3DPrinterOS. Today, Duke has the world's largest real-time university-based 3D printing network in the world, with over 7,000 students 3D printing on over 200 printers in real time, any time of the day, from anywhere. Another customer, Google, has over 30 locations worldwide running 3DPrinterOS. Even in a post-COVID world, anyone can print safely through the web browser, from the comfort of their home, any time of day, making their ideas a reality with one click.
As the company grew, a few lessons became clear. When pursuing a passion, give your all and stay fully devoted. When you can clearly see the future, it doesn't matter how slowly the market moves, as long as you don’t stop and you focus on staying ahead by helping customers faster than anyone else. The secret of getting ahead is to execute relentlessly, no matter what challenges arise.
This is the history and background of two dedicated people who had, and continue to carry, a vision to make it easy for the entire world to manufacture with one click. These are “the doers and masterminds” of producing one of the most productive, forward thinking and innovative companies in the industry.
3D Control Systems is built entirely on hard work and the lessons learned in those founding years. The team's technical skills have proven they can make the impossible possible, by working days, nights, weekends, and holidays to help their customers make 3d printing easy and scalable. They were connecting 3D printers online before printers even had onboard network capabilities.
The two individuals who are behind the achievement of 3D Control Systems are John Dogru and Anton Vedeshin, PhD. They started from nothing, bootstrapped the company, and now lead a global presence that continues to set an example, breaking the barriers to democratize 3D printing. Carrying forward the power and momentum of the best and brightest early adopters in academic institutions allowed them to build, measure, refine, and iterate the product at a faster rate compared to starting with slow moving enterprise clients that were stuck in their old school ways.
We’ll be publishing more Installments of the inspiring story of 3D Control Systems history and founders in the weeks to come. Stay tuned for more.