Community 3D Printing Service

Matt Watts

Community 3D Printing Service
« on October 30th, 2015, 11:55 AM »Last edited on October 30th, 2015, 11:57 AM
I have an idea.  Maybe it has already been done, but if it has I'm not aware of it.

I'm thinking about a 3D Printing service that basically works in reverse of how eBay works.

Customers have print job files they submit to the website.  Similar to how you would send in a quote request to a typical printing service.  The difference here is, this is all about the customer getting what he needs at an acceptable price.  He has already done the work creating the STL file and just wants someone to print it for him, then pay that someone and get on with life.

So the other side to this website are the bidders/sellers.  If you have a 3D printer sitting idle and want to participate, you sign up as a bidder/seller.  This gives you access to look at the queue of print jobs submitted by customers, the current bid on these jobs and any additional information that may have been submitted by the customers.  You can then bid on any jobs you feel comfortable trying to print and submit information as to how long it will take, any after print prep work you may do, shipping, etc.

Back to the customer side...
Customers can review their print jobs and see the list of bidders that have responded.  If the customer sees a response they are happy with, he can tag it which is effectively the handshake agreement.  This tells the bidder to gear up and begin the print job.  Any particulars the bidder submitted are now final.  He must make an honest effort to follow through.

So now the bidder prints the job, preps the output, boxes and ships the final product and invoices the customer at the agreed upon price.  The last step marks the request in the website as complete.

This is a rough draft certainly open for polish.  Let me know your thoughts and comments.


Re: Community 3D Printing Service
« Reply #1, on October 31st, 2015, 04:24 PM »
yep, i think it would be a good thing to start.

I  however would think that things such as Tolerance, Material, and all the small details like infill and shell thickness layer thickness ECT will be a huge factor.

so things when bidders sigh up they will need to give there printer and all details like quality ECT. and the same for the buyer. this way (we) the site can manage connecting correct buyers with bidders.

any how. one big note is to just have one small fee to support the site for the both users. Then how to fallow up with any " un happy" buyers is a hole another thing to deal with...


Matt Watts

Re: Community 3D Printing Service
« Reply #2, on October 31st, 2015, 11:07 PM »Last edited on October 31st, 2015, 11:10 PM
Quote from ~Russ on October 31st, 2015, 04:24 PM
any how. one big note is to just have one small fee to support the site for the both users. Then how to fallow up with any " un happy" buyers is a hole another thing to deal with...
I'm thinking this needs to be customer-centric.  The obligation is on the bidder to make good on the deal.  If he can't show/demonstrate a good quality product, he eats it.  This makes the whole process more competitive, turns out better product and pretty much does away with a money-back guarantee--there is no financial transaction until the customer agrees it's good and accepts the end product.  Granted, there will be asshat customers that recant on a deal and in this case we may have to enforce a blacklist.  We could use some of the basic capabilities used on a forum, like for instance a moderator.  If a customer or bidder is gray-listed, then a moderator is assigned to handle the transaction so no one gets burned without at least having another set of eyes looking into it.

It will be tough to make it anywhere perfect, but if we could get at least an 80 percent satisfaction rate, that would still help a lot of people and push aside these outfits that charge an arm and a leg.

To recoup operating costs of the site...  Start with something simple, one dollar per successful transaction.  I think it's very likely we could get 50 successful transactions per month after being online six months or so.  That would more than cover the cost to keep things operational--certainly better than we do here at OSE.  ;)


Re: Community 3D Printing Service
« Reply #3, on November 2nd, 2015, 07:45 AM »Last edited on November 2nd, 2015, 08:13 AM
I can agree with this,

one question i have is how would we deal with the people who don't pay.

lets put it this way. as a bidder. i would want to be 100 sure i was payed from the customer.

almost as if we would need to Hold" the funds and release them when its cleared.

1. buyer and bidder agrees,
2. Buyer pay us, we " hold the funds" and we give the all clear to print and ship.
3. we would be sent photos of the item and shipping reipt.
4. we release the funds to the bidder.

yes. This makes it more difficult. however a lot more secure,  for the users. and it will also make it easier to take the1$ charge instead of "paying" 2 people

then lets say after 25 or so positive transactions. we can free up the bidder as a supper user or something. just a starting filter to weed out the unreliably people. ???

Just more brain storming.