EOS announced the availability of an “extended reality” system for certain training courses.
EOS, producer of well-regarded industrial metal and polymer 3D printers, is also well-known for their very extensive training program. Getting started with a production 3D printing operation is a non-trivial task, and EOS has squads of folks ready to get teams ready for actual production in a very effective manner. My suspicion is that education component could be a deciding factor in some company’s decision to go with EOS. It could be as important as anything in their offer.
Now we see that they’ve made some interesting improvements in their already comprehensive educational system: an “extended reality” app, specifically for the EOS M 290 metal 3D printer.
EOS North America’s Marketing Director Patrick Boyd said:
“This is our first step employing an xR technology approach to speed basic machine learning and make it much more accessible.”
What exactly does it do? EOS explains:
“xR technologies continue to transform education and contribute to the best possible learning outcomes when used correctly. The EOS M 290 Basic Training app, it is possible to place the award-winning system anywhere and give trainees an immersive augmented reality (AR) experience. This will allow them to be familiarized with the main system components and interact with a full-size model of the EOS M 290.”
EOS believes the new app, combined with existing training, can significantly reduce onboarding durations for new operators. They say it can reduce this time from “several months” to only a few weeks. That’s pretty significant, and would enable a company to much more quickly get staff on the job operating machines.
The app provides a virtual view of the EOS M 290 system, and provides the following abilities:
- Familiarize yourself with the main components and interact with the real-size model of the EOS M 290
- Navigate and distinguish between different components of the EOS M 290 System as well as define their key features
- Understand the key safety concepts when working with EOS metal systems
- Reproduce the right sequence of steps for setting up and unloading a build job on the EOS M 290 System
- Prove your learning with the unassisted mode
- Start your staff on-boarding before the system has arrived on your shop floor and/or up-skill your team without blocking a system for training purposes
EOS offers the extended reality app in three levels, all accessible from the iOS App Store or Google Play store. There is a free version, but it provides only very limited function and I suspect is really just a trial for people to take a look at the app to see if they want to purchase a higher tier. Two additional paid tiers provide full function, but one permits “remote training with an AM expert”.
Previously we had seen some experiments in virtual reality training for 3D printers by Aurora Labs, but EOS’ offering here seems more complete and integrates directly into their existing learning stream.
EOS likely views this step as an experiment. Should it succeed with clients, it’s likely they will pursue development of additional extended reality apps for other models and aspects of training.