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If you’re starting 2021 with the goal of adding more printers to your shop, you’ll need to know how to do it so you keep your head on. Before you get started, ask yourself the following questions; your answers will help you decide what you need to prepare before expanding and managing your fleet of 3D printers.

What is easy about running my shop?

If your answer is working with a great team of engineers and designers, you have to think about how having multiple printers (some FDM and some PolyJet), will affect your collaboration.

You’ll have to plan on having a solution that helps you track which designers or engineers have access to which technology. That’s where a good 3D printing management solution comes in.

If you have any doubts on the power of a 3D printing work order management solution, check out how GrabCAD Shop was able to aid in the production of thousands of face shields across multiple teams.

How GrabCAD Shop Helped Get Thousands of Face Shields to COVID-19 Front Lines

Is it easy to operate and manage all of my 3D printers?

If you have multiple printers from the same manufacturer like Stratasys, this might not be difficult — but still time consuming. The situation becomes dramatically more complicated if you have multiple machines of different types and manufacturers.

Having to potentially navigate through multiple print packing software or schedulers takes time. Time that is better suited actually printing. Having the ability to manage multiple 3D printers using a single software can do wonders in decluttering and saving on time.

Do you have problems with tracking usage stats?

When you have multiple printers and people needing to use them, the ability to track what material is being used, how much it costs per part, and even what color it is, can save on stress.

Tracking these usage stats can help shop operators fulfill the job when you know what materials you have and how much is left.

How much time am I spending keeping printer jobs organized?

Depending on how many people you are collaborating with and the amount of printers, this may vary. However if it becomes a question of when am I not taking the time to keep track of jobs, maybe it’s time to switch from using email chains and spreadsheets to keeping things organized under a single unified solution.

GrabCAD Shop, for example, provides a single platform for operators to collaborate with job requesters directly in the work order. GrabCAD Shop has been proven to save a 3D printing shop operator at least 15% more time.

How easy is it to communicate with your team or customer about their needs?

When someone wants a part or job done they usually want it completed sooner rather than later. If there are any hurdles or alterations needed most people would want to be kept in the loop so that deadlines can be met.

Instead of having to open up your email, compose a message about a problem, send it off to the person needing the part, what if there was an easier way to convey all of that at the push of a single button?

Why not consider a work order management software like GrabCAD Shop!

This last question is rhetorical but this last point really does answer all of your questions if you found your shop in any of these situations. On a weekly basis, about 15% of a shop’s week is wasted tracking down work orders, material costs, communicating back and forth between their teams. This can all be solved by using a work order management software like GrabCAD Shop!

GrabCAD Shop Challenge

Boasting a multitude of great features like cost calculation, order management, job and part tracking, estimations, and streamlined communication, GrabCAD Shop is the time saving shop software that can save you time and money while increasing productivity.

If you want to bring your shop and 3D printing workflow together and into the new year, test these features out at GrabCAD Shop to start a free trial!

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