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An Interview with Drew Taylor, AstroPrint 3D
April 23, 2016
To say that 3D printing has become a massive technology may not be giving the industry enough credit. More and more vendors are seemingly popping up every other week if not more often, so it sometimes may be hard to figure out who is going to bring the next industry disrupting technology to market. With the subject of our next interview, AstroPrint, it is safe to say that they are doing more than their part to help people experience and gain knowledge about this amazing technology. Earlier this week, we reported on a guide put together by one of their employees, Dilanka, to provide a thorough introduction for all users. For this segment, we had the privilege to connect with the company’s CEO, Drew Taylor, who shared with us about how the company was founded, their principles, and what we can expect from them in the future. The interview was conducted via email and our questions with his answers appear below:
1) When was AstroPrint founded and why?
We were founded in July 2013. However, we started with a different idea. We launched as 3DaGoGo.com (pronounced 3D-a-go-go), the iStockPhoto of the 3D Printing world. In the Spring of 2014 we pivoted to AstroPrint.
The mission of the company has always been to make 3D printing so incredibly easy that anyone can use a 3D printer. We feel that this is needed to bring the next wave of mass adoption of the world changing technology.
2) Is there any significance behind the name of the company at all?
3) Who are the key employees of AstroPrint and what are their roles?
4) What is it from your backgrounds that led you to create a tool such as AstroPrint?
5) What, without giving away any trade secrets, can you tell us a little bit about how AstroPrint and the AstroBox work? Is it easy enough that a novice can work with them?
6) What file formats and software can one use with an AstroBox? Is it compatible with most 3D printers available on the market today?
7) How about the AstroPrint Cloud Slicer? It is very generous of you to host required software like Cura and Slic3r, but how does it all work for end users? How much cloud storage does a user get?
Honestly, at the moment we have not set a cap on the cloud storage a user gets. The day will come when we need to do so. At that time, we'll set a cap for the free storage and will charge a small subscription for additional storage.
8) What was the idea behind the open source AstroBox project? Has it led your own team of developers to make changes that we will see with future versions of the AstroBox?
9) Given the wealth of 3D printing technology out there, what would you say sets yours apart from the rest?
10) What can we expect from your company in the next 3-5 years? What do you think we will see happen across the industry?