Use cases

Increasing Machine Utilization of 3D Printers with IdeaFox

IdeaFox was designed to collect ideas and suggestions from a large group of people and implement them together. Many of our customers found different ways to use the many advantages of IdeaFox for processes that require cross team collaboration. One company adapted our unique features to develop a successful process for the 3D printing in the prototyping team. By adapting the functionalities in an easy way, a new workflow was created.

All the features in IdeaFox are easily customizable, including the entry form, evaluation fields and task management. To begin the setup of 3D printing, the project lead created a new project and established a workflow with different process steps. In each stage, the project lead can define the colleagues that are assigned to enter required information, comment on questions and fulfill tasks.  

Each time an entry moves from one workflow to another, the colleagues in the incoming workflow receive a notification in their workspace. The task includes a date and the name of the project, and once completed, can be checked off. When this occurs, the project lead is also notified. In addition, all colleagues are able to discuss on 3D printing technology and expand their knowledge on that topic.

“Machine utilization sat at 40% prior to using the software, and increased to 80% after the instillment of IdeaFox’s platform. “

The company organized their workflow in a way that worked for them, and were able to see valuable improvements within a short period of time. By using the software for 3D printing, all employees were able to obtain access and information to different machines. The team noticed that there was a large uptick in knowledge sharing, due to the interactions and comments made in the platform. 

In the form designed by the project lead, participants could submit orders for specific 3D printing parts:

The 3D printing workflow consisted of five steps and one archive: 

  • Inquiry: Entry form filled by the requestor
  • Order: Technical details to prepare production and if required discuss different production options
  • Production: Sub-workflows for different machines and external production options
  • Remodeling
  • Dispatch / Pick-up of prototype: Finalization and hand over
  • Rejected: an archive for orders that could not be produced 

This set-up, which was customized to the team’s needs, allowed them to spread 3D printing across the company and increase the utilization of existing machines from 40 to 80%.

In conclusion, 3D printing is only one example of a simple ordering process that can be run with IdeaFox. Other examples are requests to shared resources like Designers, Helpdesks, or ordering of standardized products like office material, and many more.