Conventional 3D printers are time consuming. The designs have to be manually programmed in to the printer, and each 3D printed object has to be taken out of the 3D printer manually before the printer can start printing another object.
Usually, a trained technician handles the unloading of 3D prints, and programming in a new one which can be expensive for organisations and institutions. An MIT spinout company called New Valence Robotics (NVBots) wants to make 3D printing as easy as paper printing.
The initiative was actually born by four students, Chris Haid, Forrest Pieper, Mateo Peña Doll and Alfonso Perez, who were part of the Maker movement, a hacking collective unlike anonymous with a focus on creating do it yourself physical products. The Maker movement is active in India as well. The students required the use of a 3D printer, but were too lazy to physically travel to the printer to remove a print before initiating another one.
They developed a system where printing instructions could be queued, just like an office paper printer, and a blade to cut off and deposit a fresh 3D print into a bin for later retrieval. Once the 3D print is removed, the next job in the queue automatically starts to print. There are products for businesses and educational institutions. The 3D printer is called an NVPro and can be remotely managed through a software known as the NVCloud.