Why We Made MakerOS Free


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The 3D printing industry is becoming increasingly more mainstream. One way I can tell that’s the case is because, recently while walking around certain New York City neighborhoods like Midtown and SoHo, I noticed many storefront window displays included an item that was clearly 3D printed. That was certainly not the case when I moved here just a few years ago.

The influx of 3D-printed items in stores is not so surprising because the quality of 3D printing hardware has improved in recent years. There’s now a good base capacity for prototyping and low-volume production businesses that utilize additive manufacturing and digital fabrication, and more of those businesses are producing in the automotive, medical, aerospace, and consumer electronics industries.

But what about 3D printing software? What about all of the other associated costs to running a production business? I’m referring to the heavy expenses, low margins, and challenges that accompany collaborating and communicating with clients. The hardware is improving, but how’s everything else coming along?

I spent many years running fabrication businesses in Detroit and in Chicago before moving to New York, and growing those businesses from the ground up was a challenge. It frustrated me to no end that I needed to string together all of these different software platforms just to accomplish both complex and very simple projects for a client.

I always thought that, if Additive were to ever take off, to make a successful digital engineering or fabrication business, you would need to cut a lot of the operational costs and streamline tasks to reduce the time it took to run that business. You would need to get rid of a lot of heavy expenses to address the inevitable low margins. You would need to find a way to make it a viable business. I thought about that a lot and ultimately I decided to take on the solution myself. That’s how MakerOS was born.

MakerOS is an all-in-one software platform for manufacturers, engineers, designers, and fabricators to facilitate modern product development. Our platform provides an out-of-the-box set of tools that include an automated quoting system, a 3D file viewer, a project manager, a client portal, a payment gateway, and more. These tools emphasize connectivity and collaboration to reduce costs and time to market and increase the quality of remote collaboration. They’re designed to alleviate much of the day-to-day operations of managing a business, and in turn, the MakerOS platform enables makers to focus more on their passions.

Fabrication shops are facing aggressive price-shopping from prospective clients. To avoid cost becoming a full-on race to the bottom, modern businesses, both new and old, need ways to become more efficient with their time and resources without spending large sums of money. For smaller and medium-sized designers and fabricators, solutions from companies like Oracle, Siemens, Salesforce, Dassault Systèmes, SAP, and even QuickBooks can be cost-prohibitive. MakerOS is not cost-prohibitive because MakerOS is now free.

We believe that every maker should have access to the software tools and infrastructure to build and operate a successful fabrication or design business. We believe that access to those tools should not be cost-prohibitive. We want to democratize product development, and that’s why we made MakerOS free.

We want to give the power back to smaller businesses. By introducing a free option of our platform, we hope that it lowers that barrier to entry for any other SMB aspiring fabrication or engineering service to scale. Any leg up that these businesses can get, we want to support that and give them that advantage. We want to make it easier for them to run their business, serve their clients, reduce their expenses, and increase their margins. We’ve been in their shoes before.

The world has changed significantly. We’ve seen firsthand how a lot of SMB fabricators and designers are hurt by this pandemic, and we want an easier onramp to make a successful business. With the democratization of product development, we enable anyone anywhere to build a business, a storefront, a product. We’re providing the opportunity to start a product development company, and it’s never been easier to do so than with MakerOS.

Learn more and start for free at makeros.com. There’s no credit card required to get started. Build your production business today.

About the Author

Mike Moceri has deep experience in manufacturing, design, and software. In 2013, he co-founded the world’s first 3D printing retail service bureau in Chicago. In 2014 he founded Manulith, a 3D printing, and product design agency, where his clientele included Fortune 500 companies within the aerospace, automotive, and medical industries. Mike is also a mentor at Stanley+Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator, a mentor at WeWork Labs in NYC, and formerly a mentor at TechTown Detroit. He’s previously been featured on MSN, Make Magazine, NBC, and the Encyclopedia Britannica. D-Business Magazine called him the “Face of 3D printing.” Mike is currently the founder and CEO of MakerOS, an all-in-one business operating software for manufacturers, engineers, designers, and fabricators to facilitate modern product development.

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