As a thank you to the employees, we bought a 3D printer for the office for Christmas 2018, designed for printing parts for drones and other toys, such as special tracks for Lego. It was great fun! But aside from gaming, we found that our printer - like the vast majority of other FFF printers - does not have a network connection, so we have to go around with an SD card to access it. And this is where our aversion to unnecessary work and the programmer's belief that it has to be done more simply came into play.
Right in January 2019, we discovered OctoPrint and set everything up to reduce the number of steps around the offices. Unfortunately, not everything is solved perfectly in OctoPrint, so we thought we'd help improve it. We had ideas for useful features and at the same time realized that many businesses and organizations would like to be able to manage their printers in one place. OctoPrint cannot do this, it is always tied to one printer. We thus got an idea for an interesting product, precisely at the time when we wanted to invest in development after a while. We did not stop at market or competition analysis, cost and revenue calculations or product specification, but we started from what would suit us and what would be easily scalable to multiple printers. We named the product Karmen because it is an easy-to-pronounce name and at the same time it is a strawberry variety. The strawberry — technically fragaria — gave our company its name earlier.
Although the first Karmen prototypes fulfilled their purpose, the product had to be properly developed and tested for real operation. In this direction, 3D arena and Prague's IKEM, where they print real copies of transplanted organs. We found that Karmen has great added value for schools and coworking workshops as well. It is very popular in companies, because it allows you to easily connect the department that prepares print materials with the branches where the printer is physically present. She doesn't have to be in the same building, or even on the same continent.
Martin Burián is happy to talk to you about project management and new ideas that will make the working environment more pleasant for employees. As the original focus is an auditor, he makes sure that everything in the company works properly. At Fragaria, he is in charge of HR, finance, economy and corporate infrastructure. During his 15 years as CEO, he experienced ups and downs, from which he was able to learn. The Karmen project has become a matter of heart for him as well as for the entire company and fills it with great expectations.
Martin Bílek started programming as a child. At that time, his main working tool was Didaktik Gama, which used audio cassettes as storage instead of current hard drives. Therefore, he himself is very well aware of how important it is to keep up with developments and constantly look for new innovative solutions. Today, he considers open-source software to be the best direction, which makes it possible to constantly develop and improve the programs and the solution itself. Karmen is also built on open-source foundations. Martin is also the chairman of the Czech community around the Python programming language - Pyvec.org.
The company Fragaria is a traditional Czech specialist in the field of custom development of IT solutions with many years of experience in areas such as banking, e-commerce, media houses and startups. As part of development projects, Fragaria emphasizes agile development methodology, prototyping and modern solutions that bring maximum benefit and added value to clients. In addition to custom development tailored to customer needs, Fragaria also invests in the development of its own products. Further information can be found on the website fragaria.cz.