Recently the Senior Vice President and General Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Stratasys, Andy Middleton sat down with International Business Times to discuss the future of 3D Printing. In the interview he touched briefly on where he sees the industry going in the immediate future.
“I think we’ll see a lot more service bureaus opening up in towns where consumers can take the files from the web, change it, modify it, and then send it down the road to be printed,” Middleton explained to the IBTimes. “I think that is what’s going to happen it’ll be much like the copy shops of yesteryear, but they’ll be 3D print shops.”
If this is going to be the case, we will likely also be seeing an increase in demand for platforms which can handle both online and offline orders for 3D prints. Bangalore-based company df3d certainly hopes so. They have recently launched their Cloudf3d platform.
What Cloudf3d does, is allow for anyone, and any business to quickly and easily utilize the power of the cloud to offer a convenient, professional platform for all their 3D printed sales.
“Our Cloudf3d platform enables anyone to start a retail or online 3d printing business,” explained Deepak Raj, Co-founder, and Director of df3d. “We provide end to end consultancy, support, software & design platforms to enable your business. If you are already a 3d printing business, you can enhance your experience with our e-commerce marketplace, cloud based plugins & design back end.”
Basically, instead of having to go out and have your own web platform created from the ground up, Cloudf3d offers a streamlined process of customization for any business to get setup with an entire ecommerce suite of applications within hours.
Anyone can get started right away in creating their own marketplace. From there, the additional features such as the Quote3D and Custom3D systems will cost just $1 for each use, and there is no monthly fee or setup fee whatsoever. The Quote3D/Custom3D features will allow customers to upload and view a given model, at which point they will be presented with different pricing schemes, dependent on the material, color and dimensions of the print that they desire. The potential customer can also change a variety of attributes of a model, personalizing it to the look they want. All data and processing is done within the cloud, saving on server and management costs. An example of the Quote3D/Custom3D ordering platform can be found here.
As more and more businesses begin to sprout up, both in a localized sense, as well as globally on the internet, company’s like df3d will continue to play an expanded role within the industry. Although the prices of 3D printers are dropping substantially, it is not economically feasible for everyone to purchase a printer just for a few infrequent prints, especially when printing services are able to provide high quality fabrication at relatively affordable prices.
Do you plan on opening a 3D printing service anytime in the near future? What are your thoughts on df3D’s new Cloudf3d platform? Discuss in the Cloudf3d forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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