Ladi Goc is the Founder & Chief Visionary at IMADE3D. In this interview, he shares his company’s journey and insights about its specialized 3D printing solutions and services. He explains how they are developing unique 3D printing crash courses specifically designed for his printer that’s easy to build while maintaining a high print quality.
Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between Ladi and Insights Success:
What are the cutting-edge products/solutions offered by IMADE3D?
We developed our JellyBOX premium 3D printer kit from scratch for education. Its unique construction allows anyone to build their own 3D Printer, from age 7 to 107. We designed JellyBOX as a ‘learning experience’ that can be repeated over and over. Our simplified construction method uses cable ties to hold it all together and this allows anyone to easily ‘un-build’ their JellyBOX and builds it again, for example with another group of students. The cable ties also reduce vibrations that affect print quality. Last but not least, we sport a fully transparent design with colorful accents that make the printer feel more accessible and less intimidating to beginners and kids.
We also provide build-your-own-3Dprinter training workshops for students, teachers and general public in schools, libraries, and Maker Spaces. In addition to our signature face-to-face workshops, we are continually updating our build instructions and freely publish them online so that anyone can build a JellyBOX at home. We have produced hundreds of photos and hours of videos JellyBOX users can access at any time, and we have a responsive User Forum.
In 2018, we launched JellyBOX 2 – a thorough redesign of the original printer informed by hundreds of builds all over the world. JellyBOX 2 is faster to build, and easier to use and maintain, making it even more student-friendly. Our latest upgrades even allow for wireless printing.
Describe the experiences, achievements or lessons learnt that have shaped the journey of the company.
When we started, we didn’t know if our whimsical design with radical focus on DIY and the learning experience would find audience. Companies and consumers these days are more and more used to black-box machines that can only be serviced by professionals and used as described in the User Guide.
Yet, ever since we exhibited JellyBOX for the first time, it’s been a literary magnet for kids and adults alike. People love to see how the JellyBOX works – in no small part thanks to the fully transparent construction which keeps all wires and moving components visible while safely covered.
We have also been fortunate to find critical acclaim since the early days. We originally launched JellyBOX in 2016 and earned Make Magazine’s “Best 3D Printer for Schools 2017” award. The successor JellyBOX 2 launched in 2018, and won the same award for 2019.
What are the challenges faced while providing 3D Printing Solutions and how is IMADE3D serving to tackle them?
One of the most important focuses for us is ‘teaching the teachers.’ There are a lot of companies researching materials and 3D printing processes. Many 3D Printer manufacturers can train you to setup and run their machines. Since IMADE3D has a 3D printer that can be built in just a few hours, we can get you to a hands-on understanding of how a 3D printer works and how to get the best quality prints. We want everyone to be able to learn how a 3D printer works.
Our Professional Development workshops for teachers most often run two days. Attendees build their JellyBOX printers during the first day, and the second day they learn how to use it and where, and how to get 3D models. We call that our ‘3D Printing Driving License’ as this knowledge and understanding also applies to other 3D printers – not just ours.
What according to you could be the potential future of 3D Printing Solution industry and how does IMADE3D envision sustaining its competency?
3D printers are just tools; and one needs to understand tools, to know when and how to best use them. The biggest challenge to both our industry and individuals is education – the lack of 3D printing knowledge. There is no 3D printer or 3D printing technology that can fit all needs. That’s why, having a comfortable understanding of the underlying principles is essential.
IMADE3D is in a sweet spot because we don’t really compete with other 3D printer manufacturers. We don’t sell a 3D printer, but rather an authentic STEM/STEM learning device that happens to be a great 3D printer as well. We are in the business of offering amazing learning experiences.
Testimonials from IMADE3D Clients
“Whereas I HATED the frustrating “build experience” of my first 3D printer kit, I absolutely LOVE the uniquely innovative construction and simple build process of the JellyBox kit.” – Tom Meeks, 3D printing blogger and YouthQuest Foundation director
“I have had the luxury of using many 3D printers ranging in price from $1000 to $250,000. I have not seen print quality like it produces from $5000 printers and some even higher. The printer is well designed, engineered, and is mostly put together with zip ties. Yes zip ties!” – Mike Oakley, Technical Account Manager, Autodesk Inc.
About the Leader
DIY 3D printer is a perfect fit for Ladi Goc, who is an experienced software and hardware engineer as well as a gifted trainer. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having found and successfully exited 4 companies in his life. Realizing the importance of 3D printing as the technological movement of our time, he retired from his last successful software company to work full-time on bringing 3D printing education to life.
Ladi realized that while 3D printers were complicated and cumbersome to construct, they are in fact very simple machines and came up with the idea for a streamlined, implicitly educational, single-day workshop. Alas, after a few trials it was clear that the entire 3D printer on the market were too cumbersome and complicated. The only way to fulfill the vision of the perfect class was to purpose-design a brand new 3D printer – JellyBOX.