I don’t do Black Friday. Few things are more horrifying to me than getting up early on a day off, going out into the cold, and heading off to big box retailers to deal with a massive amount of people who are even more rabid and irrational than usual. Don’t even get me started on the parking lots. I used to work in retail, so Black Friday brings out more dread in me than perhaps in others. I tend to do most of my holiday shopping (usually at the last minute) at small local businesses, popup markets, and through online craft websites such as Etsy. This year, I changed it up a bit by doing most of my shopping on Shapeways, which I’ve described to people unfamiliar with the site as “Etsy for 3D printers.”
Judging from the holiday gift guides from Shapeways, I’m far from being alone in my 3D printing-themed Christmas this year. To put it simply, 3D printed things are cool. If you own a 3D printer, you’re set on Christmas and birthday presents for life, but for those who don’t have their own printer, purchasing 3D printed items has never been easier. I’ve completely lost count of how many online 3D printing platforms and marketplaces I’ve written about just in the last few months. It doesn’t matter how specialized your taste is – if you can imagine it, someone can 3D print it.
The newest online marketplace invites you to treat yourself. Treatstock is not yet live, but the startup founded by Tim Arno is putting out a call for all designers, printer owners, print services, and “anyone who wants to make a profit on 3D printing” to register on the website now. The site is expected to be open to all users later this year. A wide variety of 3D printed items from fashion to tech to pet goods will be available. Additionally, “video tutorials and online support from professionals” will be provided through the marketplace.
“One of the main objectives of the developers is to provide the most extensive range for both unique and mass produced items that can be tailored to your own taste,” the company advises.
In addition to providing a large marketplace for online shoppers, Treatstock intends to support and guide all interested parties, whether individuals or companies, who want to become authorized 3D printing services. Registered users will have access to video tutorials and online support from professionals, and training will be offered to those who are new to 3D printing. All designers are assured that they will get fair compensation for any work sold through the site, and that measures will be taken to ensure strict copyright.
As for customers, Treatstock advises that its quality criteria will make sure that all purchased items will be well-designed and well-made. Delivery time will be shorter than that of many other marketplaces, too – once an order is placed, it will be sent to the printing service closest to the customer’s geographical location.
So if you’ve ever been intimidated by the thought of putting your 3D designs up for sale on an online platform, why not try Treatstock? It sounds as though all aspiring designers, no matter how new, will be given a chance to learn and be coached into building their own 3D printing businesses.