As we are all seeing, 3D printing has the potential to change the world in endless ways, from revolutionizing the world of manufacturing and prototyping to facilitating greater advancements nearly everywhere, from space travel to medicine. As the minds of the public are captivated by one invention after another, inspiring new generations of makers, designers, and inventors, indeed many facets of our lives and the way we go about doing things are in the process of being transformed little by little–and in ways we never expected. With all of these developments also comes an uncharted, fledgling industry–that of 3D printing commerce–with an entirely new economy developing, centered around allowing designers and artists to market their 3D printed designs and wares.
No longer forced to wait on middlemen to finalize designs and create expensive prototypes, designers today can take the reins with their business ideas, even starting mini-factories in their own homes and workshops. But when they don’t have access to a 3D printer or need more complex help, 3D printing services bureaus are there to pick up the slack and help complete most any project. Picking the right service and finding the best prices can be time-consuming and complex for many, however.
3Dprintler is an ecommerce startup created to help with the growth and management of 3D printing manufacturing sales. Concerned that many designers do not seem to be making any real money, 3Dprintler has set out to change the process, becoming heavily engaged in promoting and encouraging 3D printing services for both customers and merchants, promoting their role in offering a global price search engine for 3D printing that also allows users to upload 3D printable files.
In partnering with larger companies like Sculpteo, makexyz, and i.materialise, 3Dprintler offers both connections as well as control for customers–allowing them to find great deals, similar to an Expedia or Kayak searching experience. 3Dprintler is even able to help with the best choices for quality, color options, and distance from your home or office.
“Our 3D printing services partners get customers exactly what they want with high-quality prints available in 256+ materials like platinum, ceramic, steel, aluminum, and high-quality plastic like nylon,” says the 3Dprintler team in their latest press release.
As CES 2016 Las Vegas, 3Dprintler also formally launched their new monetization API, meant to further commerce and open up new opportunities for designers in marketplaces like:
- 3D Part Source
- Autodesk 123D
- 3D Upndown
- Cashew 3D
With the API, designers and marketplaces actually get their own 3Dprintler button, allowing for instant comparison of prices from websites in order to garner the best deal. The API, or application programming interface, allows you to plug your design directly into the 3Dprintler button. When a customer clicks on it, multiple service bureaus are able to look at the 3D model in question and quickly offer a quote. In just seconds, they can purchase and set up printing for the model, as well as shipping.
This process means that designers are earning money doing jobs that they love, and 3Dprintler is constantly adding more services. 3Dprintler says that this system allows those who integrate with the API ‘to go from designer to business success and entrepreneur.’
“Actually, our API actually has two sides,” states the team on their blog. “On one end we can plug 3D printable models into our button, but on the other side we can plug more 3D printing services into our 3Dprintler button.”
“We want to bring on more providers so we can offer consumers even better prices.”
Their new launch was well-received at CES as attendees learned about how 3Dprintler is working to streamline processes associated with 3D printing–and as they say: “At the click of the 3Dprintler button the party starts.”
Founded by Michael Golubev, Anja Pujic, and Charlie Leduc, 3Dprintler headquarters are located in Ottawa. The team has also been responsible for ventures such as 3Dponics, which we’ve also reported on previously. They are currently seeking investors to help them continue in creating the largest database possible for 3Dprintler. Discuss this story in the 3DPrintler forum thread on 3DPB.com.