One of the more successful economic trends to emerge in recent years is the very simple and appealing idea of sharing: sharing a ride with Uber, sharing a house with Airbnb. These work because anyone who owns a car, or a house, and wants to earn money, can easily do so by just letting other people use it; you can set the desired rates yourself. This same sharing idea has now entered the 3D printing arena, with the recent launch of the new Threedigo platform.
The sharing economy online app for 3D printing wants to promote the growth of 3D printing, by offering an accessible service to 3D printing users all over the world. Threedigo is an online community marketplace that connects people who own 3D printers, and want to rent them out, with people who don’t have their own 3D printer, but still want to use the technology. The 3D printer owners get a little extra money in their pocket, and people who are curious about 3D printing, but maybe not curious enough to buy their own printer just yet, have the opportunity to try it out for a fraction of the cost.
Founded by 20-year-old University of Rome student Sebastian Rueda, the Threedigo platform is intended as a way to promote growth and further adoption of 3D printing by offering a valid sharing economy alternative to 3D printer owners and users worldwide.
“The market has been constantly growing during the past few years but not quite enough. Threedigo is the key to give a strong impulse to the use of this astonishing technology,” Rueda explained in a press conference.
Every year, many new 3D printer models are released, constructed to be smaller, lighter, faster, less expensive. So the temptation for people who already own a 3D printer, maybe one of the older models, is to upgrade. But what do you do with the older ones? With Threedigo, you can just rent them out! Most 3D printers are pretty durable, and can support most of the file systems that are currently available. They still print with software such as Autodesk 123Design, Tinkercad, SketchUp, and ZBrush.
So how does it all work? To list your 3D printer on Threedigo, you’ll need to sign up for an an account and wait for it be approved. Once you’re cleared you’ll need to enter all the pertinent information about your 3D printer, including the rental rates you would like to charge. Then just sit back, relax, and wait for the reservation requests to come!
If you want to rent a 3D printer, again, you’ll need to sign up for an account and wait for approval. Then, Threedigo lets users find available 3D printers by filtering locations, cost, printer types, size capabilities, and more. You can rent a small, medium, or large printer, and right now there are several types available, including a MakerBot Replicator Mini and an Ultimaker 2. You can find out more information about the 3D printer you’re interested in, such as filament capabilities, by reading the description. If the information isn’t clear, you can always message the host to find out more.
If you’d like to reserve one, you’ll need to submit your reservation with your payment information. Threedigo will collect 15% of the total reservation cost once the host has accepted your request. The rest of the payment will be made in cash, or by credit card, with the 3D printer owner when you meet up to get the printer. If the host declines your reservation request, no money will change hands.
I checked the map, just to see if there were any locations near me, but sadly, most of the available printers are located in Europe. But since this awesome sharing site only launched a week ago, I have hope that it will make its way to Dayton, Ohio soon. Luckily, I have Proto BuildBar to tide me over on using 3D printing until it does. Discuss in the Threedigo forum at 3DPB.com.