Kodak 3D Printing has announced a partnership agreement that should make their equipment a bit more sticky with users.
Kodak’s 3D desktop printing launched a couple of months ago with the announcement of the professional Portrait 3D printer (which I must say has to be the most appropriate name for a 3D printer coming from Kodak). We reviewed this machine when we saw it recently at CES.
But a 3D printer alone does not an ecosystem make.
Many other major 3D printer providers have endeavored to construct ecosystems around their equipment, but partnering with materials providers, 3D model repositories and more. Think of MakerBot & Thingiverse, Formlabs & Pinshape, Ultimaker & YouMagine.
While Kodak does not (yet) have a 3D model repository, they do now have some specific application content available. The new partnership is with UK-based learnbylayers, a source for educational materials related to 3D printing. The company was founded by Fabbaloo friend Philip Cotton, who has been involved in 3D printing for many years, particularly in educational aspects.
Learnbylayers, founded about a year ago, provides a wealth of teaching materials specifically on 3D printing. They explain:
Created by teachers for teachers. Learnbylayers was started in the summer of 2017 as a project to help teachers access high quality educational resources. In the short amount of time that we have been running we have helped thousands of students with our 3D Printing curriculum.
Teachers understand how lessons run and what work's with children. That's why all the learnbylayers curriculum has been written by current teachers for teachers. With technology advancing at such a rapid pace it is vital that school children are taught these new skills as early as possible. 3D Printing will change design and manufacturing like computers and coding have changed how we operate every day.
That's why it's imperative that children are taught about this ground breaking technology. For the teaching of 3D Printing to expand it is vital that it is driven from the front line, that is why our teachers have been 3D Printing in the classroom for years. These resources are tried, tested and validated by current teachers form the UK. The resources can be tailored to any curriculum as they can be fully edited and come with a life time license.
According to Learnbylayers’ site, they currently provide 162 resources to over 10,000 students in six countries.
That could change as a result of the partnership, where Kodak will become a global distributor for the Learnbylayers materials. Kodak’s intent is to sell a great deal of the Portrait machines worldwide to professionals. In this deal, it seems that they may be specifically focusing on higher-level educational institutions, as the machine is perhaps best suited for those students due to its powerful capabilities.
That’s all very good news, but I think this means that Kodak is beginning to construct a sophisticated ecosystem around their new 3D printer product. I would not be surprised if they announced a partnership with a 3D model repository service, for example, sometime later this year.