John Dogru is the former Lead Engineer for Dell and the founder of multiple tech startups. He is currently the Chief Architect and Co-Founder of Secured3D, the leading providers of 3D printer security and remote cloud printing. Aaron Roy had the chance to meet with him at the recent 3D Printshow in New York and pick his brain on his introduction to 3D printing; their position in the market and the direction 3DP is heading as a whole.
Aaron Roy: What made you enter the 3D Printing Industry?
For me personally building, breaking, and designing things has been something that has been part of my DNA from a young age. My parents were PhD engineers and let me hide under their desks while they gave lectures.
When I started working for my first startup Austin Digital, it was amazing to have the ability to work on both the hardware and software. It was like a Radio Shack that I got paid to work in. Being at Dell and working with Zero-time manufacturing completely opened up my eyes and mind to what was possible with computers and automated factory assembly.
The inability to take an idea from the virtual computer environment and make it exist in the physical world has been a mitigating factor in building rapid prototypes for companies of all sizes since the beginning of manufacturing.
While 3D printing has been around for 30 years, it originally was only accessible to very few large companies and key individuals. Unless you were lucky enough to work with a big company, or given unlimited flexibility to build anything that came to mind, you were limited and restricted to what you could construct out of the materials at hand.
With the success of the RepRap open source 3D printer project and low cost printers making their way into schools, we are seeing something revolutionary happening with the rate at which innovative ideas can materialize into real physical objects. The 3D printer will be as valuable, if not more than the pen, paper or computer.
If the computer was the bicycle for your mind, then the 3D printer is the rocket ship for your inner child
Aaron Roy: Can you describe how the idea for Secured3D came about?
Anton Vedeshin and Taavi Kikas were running a company called Innovative Technology and Business Systems based in Tallinn, working on some of the most cutting edge software and hardware projects in Estonia. (Editors note: Tallinn is home to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, as well as start-ups such as Skype and GrabCAD to name a few). Anton was finishing his PhD in Cloud Computing and exploring ways to encrypt the transmission of designs to 3D printers. Using their knowledge and team’s qualifications in cyber security, they started to experiment with the concept of streaming the G-code to the 3d printers in such a way the source file was not exposed.
At the time I was a mentor for the Tallinn Technology Incubator, Tehnopol, and instantly was drawn to 3D printers. After seeing what Anton and Taavi were working on I dropped everything else and jumped on board.
For 3 months, day and night were spent creating the solution for securing design files. This led to purchasing our first MakerBot Replicator 2X for the lab and I began designing remotely from Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Our idea was to network control 3D printers from the cloud as well as encrypt the design files thus ensuring designs could finally be streamed and protected during the transmission to a 3D printer. While working towards this simple goal of copyright protection for 3D designs we realized this project was starting to grow into something much bigger.
We’re excited to expand our operations into the U.S. this month and work alongside the incredible minds at the forefront of the 3DP industry.
Aaron Roy: Who do you see benefiting from this technology the most?
Well we hope for the entire world
Our goal is for anyone with a computer and an idea to materialize that object anywhere in the world instantly and have that idea protected. We want to level the playing field for individuals to do things that only large companies could do in the past.
This totally eliminates the latency with having to have something tooled in China, and the Internet makes instant distributed manufacturing accessible to anyone with a web browser. Our cloud allows anyone, with or without a 3D printer, to upload, encrypt and instantly distribute his or her design to almost any 3D printer in the world instantly.
The 100’s of 3D printer manufacturers coming online without a cloud solution can easily benefit from using our software, and also networking their printers to our cloud. We imagine a near future where every desktop 3D printer in the world can be turned into a manufacturing hub with just one click.
Aaron Roy: Besides your own, what exhibits really stood out to you at this years show?
I really liked the www.woelabo.com project and their use of recycled desktop parts to build a 3D printer. I firmly believe innovation comes from a lack or resources.
If you are given all the tools and resources to do the job and build something, you are less likely come up with something creative and outside the box.
Aaron Roy: What’s your favorite application for 3D printing you’ve seen thus far?
Hmm – this is a tough one. Right now I would have to say the carbon fiber printer, The Mark One, by MarkForged, I saw it at MIT and it was simply amazing. I tried to bend the print but it was as light as a feather and as strong as steel.
Aaron Roy: What is your vision for the next 5 years of 3D Printing and Secured3D?
3D printers are in the same place computers were before DOS.
Almost every 3D printer has its own software and it seems the same mistakes that we saw in Personal Computing are being repeated in the 3D printing world.
3D printer manufacturers are already starting to cannibalize each other, and sustainable margins will suffer for it.
Software is the key to widespread adoption of the 3D Printing industry. Our plan is for the cloud to be the spinal cord connecting minds and machine.
Aaron Roy: Any parting advice for those trying to join the 3D Printing industry?
If you love it and are passionate about it then just do it.
If you do it just for the money, you’re more likely to fail.