It would seem the general consensus is that the world loves 3D printing. Whether you are a novice, a manufacturer, or perhaps someone who just received a 3D printed prosthetic or survived a complex surgery as the doctor used a 3D printed surgical guide, this technology is responsible for making changes in the lives of humans living all around the globe. And with a recent surge into the mainstream and continued, impressive growth, the popularity of 3D printing has led to what is quickly becoming a fierce and competitive industry. Marketplaces and maker communities are much more common these days and the more successful companies are often comprised of makers themselves. Because of that, they understand the artistic spirit—and even more so, they understand that a great 3D printing marketplace is only as strong as its group of designers and users.
We’ve been following top-notch marketplace companies like CGTrader for years now, from enjoying their reports on favorite designs to fashion challenges and collaborations with formidable tech industry titans like Microsoft. Headquartered in Lithuania, the marketplace was founded in 2011 by 3D designer Marius Kalytis. Investment capital infused early on by Practica Capital and Intel Capital helped propel them along, and in both 2014 and 2015 the company doubled their user population—each year.
To say CGTrader has grown could be taken quite literally, expanding to offer 500,000 3D models for a community of 500,000 users. Users are able to upload 3D prints, computer graphics, and real-time assets to CGTrader, and as the platform has grown, the team has seen categories such as miniatures, science-related models, and fashion rising to the top in popularity in the 3D arena.
Very hands-on with the community, they’ve also organized 13 3D printing challenges since the beginning of last year. And now, CGTrader is officially the biggest 3D model marketplace in the world, with three types offered: CG, Low Poly (or real time 3D assets) and 3D printable models.
Stating that they plan to soar even higher, the CGTrader team will also remain focused on providing a superior platform for 3D designers to be able to sell, share, and showcase 3D models. They realize how important it is to build a brand and offer great communication with customers. Designer success is, in fact, their absolute key goal.
“Our customers are mostly professionals who know exactly what they need, and having a large, diverse marketplace of downloadable 3D models is essential,” CEO Dalia Lašaitė told 3DPrint.com.
“Since 3D printing, AR/VR, gaming, and 3D sensing technologies are developing rapidly, 3D will be the next wave of content and will be used as commonly as video is now. We aim to provide the largest 3D design marketplace for getting 3D models, hiring 3D designers or just interacting with peers about all things 3D.”
The company sees growing interest from areas like medical, virtual reality, and design. Most commonly, those purchasing models are business owners, illustrators, artists, and art directors. Currently the bulk of customers are shopping from Western Europe and the US, although CGTrader offers their services worldwide, with users from 113 countries.
CGTrader is responsible for massive viewings as well, in terms of uploads to the platform with the three most popular gathering 10.5 million views, according to their recent blog. Postings on galleries are popular too, and so far there are 6,141 galleries posted, with 190,500 images uploaded between them all—along with 2,671 forum posts.
The designers obviously are very happy there and CGTrader attributes this to royalty rates that go as high as 90%, along with an easy system for communicating with customers and a great freelancing network as well.
“In terms of 3D printing, we expect demand for 3D content to explode once high-end 3D printing costs decrease to the level that is acceptable to mainstream consumers,” Lašaitė told 3DPrint.com. “Businesses will start using 3D printing as an alternative manufacturing method, and this will drive demand for 3D printable content and premium 3D designs, opening a lot of opportunity to 3D designers worldwide.”
Congratulations on these years of growing success, CGTrader—and here’s to many more! Are you a CGTrader user or designer? Let’s discuss their latest announcement over in the CGTrader Offers Most 3D Models forum at 3DPB.com.