We can divide the whole process of printing into 4 stages:
- Customer sends an order through an ordering interface.
- Print shop receives their order.
- Print shop handles the order.
- Print shop finally prints the order (produces a print).
We use Hefest Digital to Solid Service blocks to arrange printing into a smoothly operating process. Here are these blocks in the reverse order:
To produce a print you use a printer and media. Also you want to know what size to print on this media and printer. We can say that any product is a combination of at least 3 blocks.
- Printer. You can add as many printers as you wish to structure your production line and deliver incoming orders directly into the printer’s queue, to the RIP station or handle printing manually. (How to add/edit printer)
- Media. There is no limitation to the type of media you can use. They can be:
- Size is a mandatory part of any product and you should add it to the system before you start to configure your product of this size. (How to add/edit sizes)
Product is a combination of the three points mentioned above. (See more on the description of the product)
When an order is sent the System informs the customer and the print shop about that. We want to know how the order should be delivered and if the customer paid for it. So we need to set up Delivery options, Notifications and Payments.
- Delivery options. You can have several delivery options depending on type of payment and the way of delivery. (How to setup delivery options)
- Notifications to the customer are sent automatically to the customer email address. If you want to add or edit notifications to the customers, you can do it in Editable section of the Management Panel. (See how). Email notifications can be sent to the print shop. (See how to add email addresses for such notification)
- In case you want to use your own SMTP server to send notifications from your domain use SMTP settings in the Management Panel
- Online payment setting can be accessed in Payments Section of the Management Panel
Receiving a printing job
Hefest Digital to Solid provides an application which connects your print shop with the server. You can install it on any computer connected to the Internet on the print shop’s local network. This application, which we call Agent, downloads incoming orders and redirects printing jobs to the printers. The Agent application can be downloaded from Agent Section of the Management Panel. (Read more about Agent)
Putting your storefront online
There are two options in the system to go live and invite customers to place their orders: you can either create you website within Hefest Digital to Solid or use our Integration tool and create links to ordering interfaces from any stand-alone website.
- PAGES is the section in the Management Panel where we automated the creation of a print shop website storefront. (Read more about PAGES)
- If you prefer to work from your own website, create links to the ordering service in Integration tool section and put them on your current website. (See how to do it)