New ordering system is sad.


#1

I just cannot understand how anyone in a decision-making capacity at 3dhubs could have thought this system is good. You guys seem set on standardizing everything as all costs, including misleading customers and removing services from search results. Anything that doesn’t fit into your arbitrary (and extraordinarily misleading) classification system is basically hidden from customers with your new system.
Making things more efficient and less confusing is great but that not what you’re doing. This is an artificial “streamlining” achieved by misclassification and omission of services.
You force the customer to choose 3 printing technologies (which already cuts out a lot of other methods) and not one of them is presented accurately.

SOME of the Issues:

  • FDM is more than just “plastics”. I print anything that melts.
  • ALL my FDM materials are for “prototyping”, yet only half of them are visible when “FDM Prototyping plastics” is selected.
  • Far as I can tell there is no way for someone to see the missing materials unless someone searches for them specifically.
  • What happened to flexible materials? TPU/TPE based materials have some of the greatest performance/properties in FDM and now they are missing.
  • I specialize in many materials that have special properties. Why not promote this, instead of hiding it?
  • Minimum feature detail of 1mm for FDM? Are you serious? I print layers below 50microns with 150micon nozzles on several of my machines, and with dimensional accuracy better than .5mm.
  • SLA materials are always advancing/expanding. Not all SLA materials are “Brittle, not suitable for mechanical parts”. But I guess anyone who prints those materials doesn’t matter.
  • Nylon is not specific to SLS (and vise versa). If I had an SLS machine, the last thing I would do with it is waste it on nylon. I print at least 5 varieties of nylon on FDM machines but no one will probably ever see them with this current system, and the materials that can ONLY be printed on SLS (like metals) are nowhere to be found. Madness.

This is a very exciting time for 3d printing. Everyday more materials and capabilities are available/possible and 3d hubs is full of people trying to push those limits and capabilities. (Where is multi-extrusion/multi-material support???) It’s both sad and confusing that 3d hubs would not embrace and encourage the hub’s like this. Instead they hide them and their services. I don’t get it.

How can you expect people to invest their time and money into making a real business out of this when you are so careless with them? How many of them are unaware that you stopped promoting some/all of their services suddenly?

My advice to 3d hubs: If you want to compete with companies like Shapeways (which I assume is the motivation for this) you should embrace your advantages over them instead of imposing their handicaps on yourself.


#2

I have still been getting ninjaflex and other exotic filament orders. Customers that need those know to search for it.


#3

I understand the search feature and that’s great for the customer who’s already well informed and knows exactly what they want but for customers who need a prototype and are unfamiliar with the capabilities of different technologies it’s useless and overshadowed by the “select a material” tool.

You don’t think the way this tool classifies the tech, materials, capabilities is an issue?

It doesn’t even properly execute it’s own inaccurate classification system. If someone selects “prototyping plastics” many of my “prototyping plastics” are hidden and there is no way to make them visible without starting over and only using the search function for the exact material. I call that BROKEN.


#4

You can still click view hub and see all they have to offer.

I realize a lot of the changes seem drastic but as 3dhubs has mentioned in other forum posts that they are trying new things, running tests and collecting data on changes. According to them these changes have caused more orders made.

I have not noticed any negative affect with these changes in last month. Im currently having best month ever on my hub and have still been getting orders for materials besides PLA. So customers that know what material they need are still finding me.


#5

This gives the impression that all the materials are “select”-able, when they are not. No more browsing local hubs to just see what they offer???


#6

“According to them these changes have caused more orders made.”
They have said this in response to EVERY SINGLE COMPLAINT about any new changes for the last couple years. I can think of at least 3 specific ones that were reversed after implementation regardless.

As someone who understands the effort involved in what we do, I sincerely congratulate you on your success and wish you many more successful months ahead. However, the assumption that these changes are directly related to your “best month” does nothing in terms of addressing my concerns, even if the relation is substantiated.

The “view hubs” menu, which used to show local hubs before you narrowed the search, is only visible after you “select material” or “advance search”. If someone clicks on a hub in "view hubs” there is nothing to indicate to the customer that they’re not already seeing all the “prototyping materials” offered, so why would they view the hub page?

Even if someone does make their way to the hub page, they are terrible. It takes FOREVER to scroll through materials. My materials can no longer be viewed in a drop-down menu (that fits nicely on the screen) from the “view hubs”. I’ve tried to have clients from outside of 3d hubs place orders off my hubs page and it’s always a nightmare, which is really part of my bigger point here.

If they cared about the hubs then that’s where they would be making improvements. When is the last time they did any work to the hubs pages? They don’t because it’s a relic of the original strategy, which has since been abandoned. I’m literally trying to give them money from my outside clients because I like the payment platform and it’s more and more like pulling teeth every time. The payment platform and hubs pages should be light-years ahead of where they are but it’s been crickets for the last year. Multi-extrusion? Design work? 3d Scanning? More abandoned relics. Seems like they are no longer interested in empowering the hubs and expanding their tools, features, services. We got one widget a year ago…. abandoned relic.

It’s obvious that they want orders to take place on the main page and they want them standardized. They want most of the decisions to be made before the customer gets to a specific hub, and then THEY will decide which hub is best. Remember when they used to be excited about the number of hubs (and hubs in general)? In fact I don’t think the word “hubs” is used at all anymore on the homepage. Now we are “3D Services”.

The focus has shifted away from the service you and I provide to the service that 3d hubs provides. The new model is to get customers for 3d hubs and outsource the work to us. They are focused on 3d hubs customers instead of getting more customers for hubs. Those might sound like the same thing but they are not. All their “improvements” seem focused on efficiently routing jobs to hubs. They give you metrics of the data THEY think is important. These metrics are all geared towards making you a better subcontractor, not a better hub.

I didn’t join 3d hubs to be a subcontractor or a “3d service”. I joined because it was a platform for me to operate MY business and get customers for that business. For this, I gladly give them a cut. When I started, I felt like I was their customer. They were providing services to ME. Now I feel like they want to make me their employee. This current strategy of 3d hubs is at odds with my own.
They stopped putting work into anything that would empower me or my business individually because I’m not their customer anymore.

-Jesse


#7

Bottom line is 3dhubs is trying to run off the FDM printers because they see us as a hassle. Low income for the work put in. All of their “great” ideas are ill conceived and very poorly thought out and implemented.

A recent customer found it so confusing to place an order he did it twice by mistake. Now, instead of just deleting the duplicate order it is a “decline” for me and the customer. And someone please explain to me how archiving an inquiry is a “decline”? This is ridiculous.

I agree completely with @MindFull. This is becoming a joke. Why would we ever want to have a return customer actually go through the hub? This is the one complaint I get from customers. The hub is not user friendly and a pain to use.

You can wash and wax the car all you want to make it look good, but if it doesn’t run, it still won’t get you anywhere.


#8

@keebie81 not disagreeing with you, but can you show me where they state that these changes have caused more orders made for FDM. I think you might be falling prey to semantics, where they continually state that “no fewer FDM orders” which is something entirely different. This statement says that FDM is holding steady, not exactly a laudable goal.

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#9

Again, not being disagreeable, and glad you are getting some more orders. But most hubs have stated outright that their orders have declined.


#10

With everything they had to eventually put in some quality guidelines and dimensional standards so people understood the quality or accuracy they will get with a printed part. That may be why you feel like an employee since theres rules to follow now. Its not the wild west from when they just started.

Before when response time and orders declined didnt affect hub ranking, hubs would take time responding or possibly cherry pick the orders. Now that those metrics affect your ranking they become more important to provide a better experience to the customer. Quicker response times and only declining orders if not feasable to print.

I think they are focusing more on the changes that benefit ordering page and technology they recently acquired. Now theres 3d model and it shows sections that may have print issues.

The changing from using the word hubs to service doesnt bother me., Its the same as some places calling HR people service instead of human resources. I added a picture from the site that still shows the amount of 3d printing services on the site
clipboard01.jpg


#11

You might see all this as “benefits” but I don’t and I have explained why. The things I do care about are ignored and neglected. What they call “issues”, are the kind of prints I specialize in. What you call “rules” I call limitation. They are literally telling my clients that I’m not capable of doing things that are my specialty. I don’t need them getting involved in my orders like this. They don’t help my clients, they confuse them. They give you the metrics that an employer gives to an employee. Other than “hub views”, I’m interested in none of them. I don’t need to know my accept rate, it’s meaningless to me. I want to know what people are searching for when they end up on my page. Do they place an order elsewhere after viewing my page? Etc… They have no interest in providing such tools because they just want the order to get made quickly.


#12

Well if you are so dissatisfied with change you can always take your toys and leave and start your own playground.

And as they have mentioned before things such as remove supports or accuracy guidelines are just the basic rules. If you and the customer can agree on something different you are fine to do so.


#13

@MindFuLL has every right to post his dissatisfaction without being told to go away. You have no right to say this.

We all pay a fee to 3dhubs, and many of us have brought customers to 3dhubs. Many of us have websites that take customers directly to 3dhubs. So yeah, we have the right to point out our dissatisfaction without being told to go away, and we deserve honesty from 3dhubs.


#14

Wow, great attitude. I should like it or shut up and go away, huh?
This is why I stopped contributing to this forum.


#15

@keebie81 I still await your response to the above question.


#16

well if you feel its so bad here you can always start your own site providing the service the way you feel it should be. It just seems every time theres any change everyone freaks out and starts complaining. Why stay with something if you dont like how it is ran


#17

I guess “everyone” doesn’t know what they are talking about and “everyone” should just be happy to get experimented on, especially if they don’t even think the goal of these experiments are in THEIR OWN best interest.

Are you telling me that I should start my own 3d hubs as an alternative to posting some complaints about the direction of the current 3d hubs? You’re sounding like a troll now.


#18

I agree with @Perry_1 and @MindFull.


#19

Thought this was funny.


#20

@Kerry@Enza3D@imagine3dps@BoozeKashi@PepCo_Parker@Steelmans@PlastiPrint3D@plvcpt@AlltechM@Vienna3DPrint@btdevine@cobnut@MikeD@jminer85

Opinions? I missed the last round of complaints on the recent changes. Have your concerns been addressed in any meaningful way that I’m unaware of?