Let’s start at the very beginning – a very good starting point!
Now that it’s stuck in your head (or at least mine), there’s one important thing to take away from this musical earworm: to get started in any business, you have to start somewhere. For high-tech businesses, it’s not always as easy as it seems. To get started in 3D printing, who to turn to first? Are you buying an entry-level 3D printer? Learn to use 3D modeling software? Get started or dip a toe in the water by outsourcing services? While there are many amazing resources available to the maker community, one that has repeatedly caught our attention is the one offered by Bay Area’s HoneyPoint3D.
At last week’s Inside 3D Printing Santa Clara event, I had the opportunity to meet co-founder Liza Wallach Kloski and some of the amazing team behind HoneyPoint3D’s operations to sit down and talk about what’s going on. happened recently with the company, and where they are heading soon. We’ve already had a good look at some of their offerings, such as their Meshmixer course and their teamwork with Autodesk – and our writer Scott also had a nice chat with the HoneyPoint3D team in Santa Clara.
“Fun and accessibility are super important in this industry,” Kloski told me when we sat down together. “Some artists are not very technical.”
The basis of the ongoing work at HoneyPoint3D lies in these key sentiments, which in fact form the basis of much of the maker movement: being fun and accessible will bring more makers to more workshops, expanding the movement like the one we people want to join.
Kloski noted that it’s so entrenched in the company that it’s baked into its name: Honey folds over filler material in many 3D printed parts using a honeycomb pattern; Point refers to the entry point in the field; 3D is quite self-explanatory.
By appealing to the initial interest that attracts many aspiring creators, HoneyPoint3D strives to leverage this interest to “make 3D printing more accessible to consumers”. So far, HoneyPoint3D has a lot to show for its lofty goals: to date, they’ve trained 6,000 people, including 4,000 in-person and 2,000 online, with classes ranging from six students to huge seminars filled budding creators. The courses reach over 20 countries around the world via YouTube, and every review the company has received (51 from when I met Liza) was a five star, which in the age of reviews on the Internet, is almost unheard of. approval note.
“It’s much savvier than two years ago,” Kloski told me of the market. “I hear different questions now, more informed. The mainstream media brought the word to the surface.
This word, however, turned out to be a double-edged sword. As more and more consumers have heard of 3D printing, the mainstream media can often gloss over what’s involved. As Kloski noted, plug-and-play expectations can be disappointing. “Consumers want a microwave,” she explained, but that’s not what today’s desktop 3D printer is. HoneyPoint3D however offers a complete ecosystem for the consumer, with any level of service available. “They come to us to learn,” Kloski said, “or just have us do it.”
HoneyPoint3D operates a storefront in Oakland for hands-on learning opportunities, with hours of operation 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday or by appointment; the showroom is not open to the public Monday through Friday, as they do viewings during the week. Among the company’s full-service offerings is the website, “3D printing and scanning retail stores, which help our customers from concept to finished product.” We also offer educational courses, 3D printer sales, related accessory sales, and personalized business services dedicated to consistently delivering high customer satisfaction and corporate team building events.
The focus now is, as Kloski pointed out, on online education. Following HoneyPoint3D’s Kickstarter campaign, they found themselves nearly doubling their original goal, putting them in the top 7% of all 2015 campaigns in dollar terms. Autodesk will put the training offered by HoneyPoint3D on Meshmixer on the official website, expanding the scope to make this training available to all users of the free program.
Learning objectives include the what and the how – what is CAD and how do you approach it? Training is available for technical and non-technical (non-CAD) aspects, depending on the needs and wishes of the users. Because large companies often work with professional industrial engineers, “the void we think we’re filling is everyone,” Kloski said.
Another big milestone for HoneyPoint3D comes in just two months, as Make: First steps with 3D printing will be released in January 2016. With a narrative style, the book will focus on thought leadership, offering tutorials for teachers and students, from beginners to more advanced users. Hands-on lessons will include CAD modeling, printing, fixing, and working. The book is aimed at the consumer, with advice and recommendations in an easy to read and follow format.