Business partnerships within the 3D printing industry are a daily occurrence, but it’s not often that you see partnerships between two 3D printing platforms. There are so many online platforms that the competition is fierce, so it’s unusual to see any of them working together. But a new partnership between platforms Prototypster and CGTrader looks to be mutually beneficial. It helps, of course, that the two companies offer very different services.
CGTrader isn’t just a marketplace for 3D printed items. The Lithuanian company sells models for 3D printing, but it also sells a large collection of 3D models for the purpose of video gaming and virtual reality. Targeted towards professional designers and programmers, CGTrader is not a printing service for the most part; although some of its models can be printed and shipped, several of them are sold only in digital form.
Prototypster, on the other hand, built its business on printing items requested specifically by customers – replacement parts, custom jewelry, etc. Users upload their models, choose their materials and place their orders privately, without other users having access to their files. Designers do have the option to sell their models on the site, but Prototypster does most of its business directly with consumers, and therefore doesn’t have a large selection of items in its marketplace.
That changed with the recently announced partnership between the two platforms. Prototypster is now selling models from CGTrader directly on its own site, tremendously expanding its marketplace. More than 2,000 models from CGTrader are now available on Prototypster’s site; in fact, CGTrader’s models pretty much dominate. This should increase Prototypster’s traffic as its wider selection draws in more consumers looking to buy rather than design.
According to a statement from Prototypster:
“For Prototypster it is a great opportunity to expand their marketplace range with high quality 3D models bringing the best printable products to their customers without additional efforts for surfing 3D content libraries.”
CGTrader benefits from the partnership as well, as their models are now more widely accessible. Prototypster is based in Russia, where 3D printing has recently begun to really take off. CGTrader, by selling its models on Prototypster, has direct access to a new and enthusiastic market that is expected to continue to grow rapidly in the future.
This isn’t the first time the two companies have worked together. Recently they partnered up to launch a competition that challenged participants to design 3D printed accessories for the new Apple iPhone 6s. Staff from CGTrader judged and selected the winning entries, while Prototypster provided free 3D prints for the winners. Winners were also given free sales on the CGTrader website. Now that the official business partnership is in place, don’t be surprised if more contests and offers from the two companies are forthcoming in the near future.
Discuss this partnership in the CGTrader / Prototypster forum thread on 3DPB.com.