AMS Spring 2023

Interview with Alex Ziff of 3DCompare

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For the past decades the only way to get your 3D printed part made was through 3D printing service bureaus or by buying industrial machines and producing in house. Since around 2008 people have also been able to use desktop 3D printers at home or the office to 3D print, and 3Dhubs networked those destkop machines. A whole host of companies tried to tackle the same business idea which was to resell spare capacity on existing industrial machines. Several companies have already come and failed at trying to be a public face and platform for connecting service bureaus to consumers or businesses. These businesses could be real challengers to service bureaus because they have lower overhead and can focus on marketing and building software tools. In 2D printing companies such as Vista Print and pure play online print companies are wreaking havoc on the competitive landscape. Will something similar happen in 3D printing? We interviewed 3DCompare founder Alex Ziff to find out about his company.

3D Compare is a 3D printing and CNC upload service. You can upload your file and based on the material, shape and where you are located the company gives you the best price for that part. At scale this would be efficient for services working with 3DCompare and for consumers as well. By matching consumers to the right vendor at the right price the company could make pricing in 3D printing market efficient. Meanwhile half a dozen startups have tried to do this for CNC and 3D printing and have failed. Has 3D Compare cracked the code to do this well?

Why were you founded?
 “ was founded to brings transparency, ease of use and reliability to the growing On Demand Manufacturing services.”
So you don’t actually 3D Print anything? actually does not 3D Print anything ourselves, but our partners do, via our algorithms that help match them with our users. 3D Compare offers a wide range of technologies and materials for any company to manufacture from initial concept to mass production, by connecting verified manufacturers with customers. With quality and openness in mind, 3DCompare has been receiving great feedback from its customers since inception in late 2017. In less than a year, the platform has dealt with 17,000 quotes.

Where is the value add for your customers?
We have 2 types of customers: the users who need to get a 3d object manufactured and the actual manufactures who are using our manufacturing CRM.
To the user, 3Dcompare brings value with an efficient and easy to use our instant pricing on demand manufacturing platform where they can get anything designed and manufactured by the verified partners.
To the verified partners, we bring a marketing and technology stack with:
  1. A Marketplace Platform
  2. A White label Instant pricing tool (IPT)
  3. A CRM & CMS for Manufacturing
The White Labeled Instant Pricing Tool (IPT):  Quotes made instant and easy for your customers. The 3DCompare team has built an IPT that is very easy to integrate into your business website to offer your users an instant 3D printing quote and a request-a-quote form that links seamlessly to the CRM Platform to manage all your orders and customers.  The reason for us releasing a White label Instant Pricing Tool (IPT) for the On-Demand Manufacturing market is we believe that there is a gap in the market for a low-price high-end tool like this so that any one from a large enterprise to small businesses and hobbyists looking to get up and running can benefit to drive growth.
Their CSM & CRM platform (connected to the IPT) helps reduce administrative time, and the new update brings several new exciting features. They now work with both PayPal and Stripe as payment providers. This means they don’t hold your funds like others – it’s straight into your account.As we now add in more features, we are still looking to grow our number of Business partners who can offer first class high quality services to businesses looking to produce their 3D objects on our On-Demand Manufacturing marketplace.
What kind of customers are you targeting?
“The customers we are targeting are businesses who need to manufacture a 3D object. However anyone can use the platform.”
What materials and processes are printed most often with you?
“The most common processes are at the moment FDM, SLS and SLA, Metal 3D Printing. As for the most common materials, we had PLA, Nylon, Dental Resin and stainless steel.”
How do you think you will win?
We are best positioned to succeed with its growing base of verified partners, its strong technology offering and its business model. Indeed offer a free version of the White label Instant pricing tool (IPT) for up to 30 quotes or a Monthly subscription fee starting at £9.99 for up to 100 quotes/month. 3DCompare has an outstanding understanding of the on demand manufacturing market, they have a clear vision to capture the opportunity and a passionate and talented team of developers and marketers.
Do you think that desktop 3D Printers will kill services?
“I think quite the opposite. The mass adoption of desktop 3d printers is serving as a catalyst for the spread of on demand manufacturing into the $15T manufacturing sector. 3Dcompare is proud to be part of this tremendous opportunity.”

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