Author Topic: Another business Model for 3D printing  (Read 951 times)

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Lemosteam

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Another business Model for 3D printing
« on: September 03, 2014, 10:28:47 AM »
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I read about a new RP business model for quoting, uploading and delivery of 3D printings.  The concept allows local owners of 3d printers that have available time and space to quote your needs.  They advertise ship times of 2 days from model upload to part shipped.  I have not tried nor am I in any way associated with the process.

http://techcrunch.com/2014/09/02/3dhubs-raises-4-5-million-to-make-local-3d-printing-global/?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000591

Allows a user to search for available printing spaces in his or her local area, allows for local puckup, presents chioces from that 3d printing 'hub' for various printers and respective capabilities and materials.

Seems to me there might be opportunity to discuss with the printer the desired printing orientation as you are communicating directly with them in the quoting process.

Admins, please move the topic if I have chosen the wrong place for it.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 10:31:01 AM by Lemosteam »

C855B

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Re: Another business Model for 3D printing
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2014, 11:11:41 AM »
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Interesting. I just looked at 3dhubs.com to see what's in my area. It was pretty thin, but I guess that is to be expected with something this new. This referral service is based out of The Netherlands, BTW, so several things about the site are Euro-oriented, such as metric distances to nearest service provider. Especially grating was the maximum distance from your location was 250km, which barely gets you to a neighboring city in the U.S. The next choice was "no limit", and then it tries to load their entire list.

I wouldn't expect much at this point. The list from my location @ 250km was a half-dozen people, all with kitchen-table setups. Most were MakerBot-type ABS or PLA extruders. One guy even mentioned N scale, offering time on his Solidoodle 2 Pro, quoting "High" resolution. There was one resin printer on my list, a Form1+, and while the 3dhubs site labeled it as "Ultra" resolution, we already know that's not a suitable source for N scale models. I wonder what they're going to call pro-type STL machines - UltraUltraUltraOhMyGosh? ;)

Amusing/alarming - the closest "hub" to me was in Ferguson, MO... you know, the location of the recent riots in the news.  :o

EDIT: I searched for hubs based on a Chicago location - 45 providers, of which 41 were extruders, the rest were Objet 30 Pro machines, which have a max resolution of 600x600x900 dpi. Still nothing suitable for N scale rolling stock production; maybe you could do building and other scenery parts on the Objet.

(So far I haven't found a single professional 3D service provider on their lists. This is looking a lot like the transition I suffered through when I ran 2D high-res service bureaus. Even though we were providing finish-quality output at 2500dpi, we were being undercut by kitchen-table operations with 600dpi lasers on plain paper. It was a rough patch because the pros couldn't make enough to keep their lights on, all while the easily-available output quality was horrid. At least based on this experience, it's going to be a while before we see accessible modeler-quality 3D prints.)
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 11:43:41 AM by C855B »
...mike

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We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

Lemosteam

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Re: Another business Model for 3D printing
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2014, 01:29:37 PM »
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Check the Dertoit area- Found at least on ultra resolution provider near the wayne state campus, in fact the guy has eight different machines!  I really like the idea that I could simply drop by to pick ip a printing on my way home from work!

sirenwerks

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Re: Another business Model for 3D printing
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2014, 01:50:35 PM »
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For the hobby as a whole, I still think Shapeways still offers the best model, as a modeler can create a product and offer it to others.  This promotes modeling as a whole.  Now if Shapeways would get its act together and improve its resolution...
Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.

C855B

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Re: Another business Model for 3D printing
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2014, 02:12:04 PM »
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Ah! Good find. At least for you. ;)

Voice of experience here - I think the "while you wait" aspect of 3dHubs is overpromising. Every day I had somebody walk into my shop with some sort of super-complex project that would crash the rasterizer after long periods of process. I spent many evenings trying to print somebody's "on demand" output, only to rush out the door with it still running so I didn't miss the last Metro for the night. So I can't believe that these 3D printers, at least the ultra-high-resolution ones, don't hit some sort of performance brick wall, or take an interminable time to fully execute something complicated.

I agree about Shapeways - they need to add a high-end machine at at least one of their locations to handle fine-resolution output. Yeah, it won't be cheap, but what they have now just isn't close enough.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

Lemosteam

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Re: Another business Model for 3D printing
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2014, 04:14:23 PM »
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For the hobby as a whole, I still think Shapeways still offers the best model, as a modeler can create a product and offer it to others.  This promotes modeling as a whole.  Now if Shapeways would get its act together and improve its resolution...

No disagreement here, just sharing a different business model.  Who knows the 'hub' might be able to offer a discount if you hand the design over to them. :trollface: :D

Lemosteam

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Re: Another business Model for 3D printing
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2014, 04:18:30 PM »
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Ah! Good find. At least for you. ;)

Voice of experience here - I think the "while you wait" aspect of 3dHubs is overpromising. Every day I had somebody walk into my shop with some sort of super-complex project that would crash the rasterizer after long periods of process. I spent many evenings trying to print somebody's "on demand" output, only to rush out the door with it still running so I didn't miss the last Metro for the night. So I can't believe that these 3D printers, at least the ultra-high-resolution ones, don't hit some sort of performance brick wall, or take an interminable time to fully execute something complicated.

I agree about Shapeways - they need to add a high-end machine at at least one of their locations to handle fine-resolution output. Yeah, it won't be cheap, but what they have now just isn't close enough.

Mike, I would hope they would account for this in their return quote.  When I learned the 3d systems SLA 500, even some of the smallest prints took overnight, sometimes to find the machine pulverised the printing.

Agree on Shapeways adding a better machine, the issue will be the cost differential from what folks are used to seeing and Shapeways trying to explain it.

up1950s

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Re: Another business Model for 3D printing
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 08:54:16 PM »
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The site push pinned a very close place , but when I looked for other places as I looked on the map with a wider area there were no other push pins . Given that I live near JFK I would think there were loads more than one within the 75 or so miles on the map I was viewing . I must be doing something wrong as I find the site not very intuitive for a knuckle scraper like me .

3rdboxcar

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Re: Another business Model for 3D printing
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2014, 02:53:42 AM »
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Ah! Good find. At least for you. ;)

 So I can't believe that these 3D printers, at least the ultra-high-resolution ones, don't hit some sort of performance brick wall, or take an interminable time to fully execute something complicated.


Yes Shapeways printers do hit that "brick wall" that is why they have introduced the "80% and above prints succesfully, 50 to 80% first to try product, and under 50% not printable." previously they would try 2 or 3 times to print an item then if it worked 2nd / 3rd time then nobody knew but them.

I also have the same view as you that the guy that bought his $300 machine and thinks it is the best thing since sliced bread and tries to pass it off as print quality equal to Shapeways $1,000,000 machines and the buyer gets a blob of plastic and no technical support then instantly thinks this 3D printing game is a load of rubbish. It is developing technology and Shapeways are still trying to get the best out of their $1m machines.