Express Checkout - Print Queue Management

Is there a method of managing your queue if you are in the Express Checkout program? I meet all of the qualifications to enroll except, actually enrolling. If I were to enroll, what is in place to prevent me from getting 10 Express orders for next day delivery with no ability to actually do that with one printer?

To me, it seems 'dangerous' to my metrics to enroll in this since there is no way to limit the flow of orders in to my hub.

How is this type of thing managed? Or are there no controls in place to handle events similar to the one I described?

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I don’t get it either. They keep asking me to apply and I have no interest at all.  I don't understand why any hub would sign up for this.  After about 200 orders, only a handful have not required my input/adjustment or a conversation.  

 

I have about a dozen machines but most of them are set up for specific purposes (specific materials, scale, resolution, etc).  I intentionally attract difficult prints.  I print materials that are very difficult to work with and I often accept orders that other hubs have declined.  As a result, I often have to tell people “I don’t think this is practical” or even have to cancel/refund if I can’t make it work for whatever reason. 3D hubs has a problem with that, but I don’t.  I do not care about accept rate.  It’s a useless metric for me.

 

I do prototyping.  That’s what I’m here for.  I’m not a print farm.  I don’t want to be a print farm.  If I did want to be a print farm, why would I rely on this platform that can pull the rug out from under me at any time?  Constantly changing qualifications based on constantly changing metrics which are weighted in a way that is constantly changing… you know.... because....something something “conversion rate” something something....

 

My expectations for things that I care about on this platform improving, dropped to zero long ago but I'm here as long as there is a place for me and I'm allowed to do my thing.  I still think the next phase is farms run by 3d hubs themselves (if this isn't already going on).

-Jesse

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If you hate it so much and have no interest, why are you not only enrolled in the program but also the only express checkout for Ultem ?

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I think you are over reacting, the website is having issues currently and is running like crap. Its most likely a glitch at moment

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News to me.  Screen shot?

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A 4.95 rating?! 

 

How is that even possible, I have had 200 orders so far and I'm at 4.82 / 4.83.

All the other hubs who have more than 100 orders have ratings of 4.8/4.9. 

 

 

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Its quite difficult. You hope that the post office never loses or damages the order.  Or even screws up transit of it. 

 

I had an order that the post office misdirected so it took longer than normal. They also damaged it. So for that order i got a quite poor review. The part was perfect but post office dropped the ball. 

 

Once aware of issue I refunded part and reprinted but now I have a bad review that tanks my score until 50 new reviews can push it out. 

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Yep, that has happened to me as well.

 

 

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I'm at 82 orders, I expect a similar rating at and past 100 orders.

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I'm well past 100 orders and i have a 4.82.. 

i'm, happy with it.. there are so many things you can't control.. 

people that submit badly printable parts,. i tell them what the issue will be, they say oh that's fine, go ahead, then ding me for bad quality.. 

if i just accept a straightforward order, print it ship it out within a day i get dinged for communication. 

in the end, what I have seen is the only way to keep a high rating is to either spend hours of your time with each order and coach people through their order, or accept that you'll get a lower rating from some people.

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Yes, but it seems they want hubs to have a 4.95 rating.

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Got it to load this time. That's messed up that they are sending you the orders without your consent!

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but they are not, because I havn't received any.

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So that isn't your hub? 

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I don't see any hub. I see my hub in one picture you posted below, but I'm not sure what it had to do with express checkout.
 

What I do see is someone going over all my old forum comments and down voting them.  Good times.

 

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The picture you are referring to is the second page after clicking the express checkout button.

 

The number in the URL is the hub ID. That hub ID goes to your hub.

 

 

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I'm a long time member and contributor here.  It seems like you are accusing me of something and I really don't appreciate it. You seem really invested in this accusation for some reason, but you are mistaken.

 

I've gone so far as to show you screen shots of my settings.  I tried to place an order to test what you're saying and my hub does come up.  That's because the only other hub printing ULTEM is located in France.  When you try to hit express checkout, it freezes on the loading icon, just like you posted.  I'm assuming this is because I never enrolled/applied for express/instant check out. 

 

ya dig?

 

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You come up in the express. That’s not my doing. Sorry if it came across as an accusation. I guess the site is bugged, that doesn’t really surprise me.

 

But I’ve seen you coming up in express under that material for some time because we’ve looked at branching out into other materials and searched 3D hubs for ultem out of curiosity.

 

Maybe you didnt know. But your statements in your post above seemed to contradict that fact. I really don’t care if you’re in the program or not.

 

The only reason the wheel is spinning is because the site is having issues. It was fully loading yesterday and last weekend.

 

You can get upset with me all you want but that doesn’t get your problem fixed does it?

 

Why don't you report it to 3d hubs? You should be thanking me for pointing this out to you since you hate the program so much and want nothing to do with it. 

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I see no problem.  I come up for ULTEM and I'm not accepting express orders. 

If I receive an express order, there would be a problem, but that hasn't happened.

So what should I be reporting to 3d hubs?

 

 

If you disagree with my comments on "the program" or have a problem with it, then why don't you address the content?

 

Thank you. 

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I think you might have "instant order" and express checkout confused. 

 

Here let me break it down for you:

 

1) Enter location

2) Upload file

3) Choose PEI (Ultem)

4) CLICK THE BIG GREEN EXPRESS CHECKOUT BUTTON

5) Lands on your hub ready to accept an express order.

 

I don't know how to make it any more clear for you.

 

You shouldn't be getting orders routed to you from the express checkout button but you are. That is the problem.

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It's true that I may have confused the two in the conversation but that doesn't change the fact that I'm not signed up for either nor the fact that I'm the only hub printing ULTEM in USA at the moment.  I'm not even close to qualifying for express.  I only have a 75% accept rate according to them.

 

Your problem is that the only hub in the country offering ULTEM comes up when someone selects ULTEM???

 

Do I have that right?

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Hi guys,

Sorry for not jumping in quicker here to clarify.The Hubs in the Express checkout are still the "beta testers" and @MindFuLL was invited for that selection and has accepted it. This group will still be the ones representing the 3D Hubs Express until mid next week. 

I think it's good to clarify one misunderstanding: Express orders aren't necessarily "instantly paid". Most of the orders submitted through the Express Checkout will still go to the "Technical review" stage and will be handled as any other order. The only difference is that for FDM, the "Instant order" has to be enabled which will mean that some orders with strict requirements will be eligible to be paid immediately skipping the initial stage.

I hope this clarifies.

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I must admit that I didn’t realize express and instant were different things, and apologize for any confusion I may have caused as a result. 

 

I used to be very involved in the 3d hubs community but lost interest due to hubs being ignored and repeatedly being told that things were getting fixed/improved and it never happened.  It appeared that the hubs had no impact at all in the direction of things here, so I stopped following all the intricacies of this perpetual experiment called 3d hubs.    

 

3d hubs has asked me to participate in several beta tests over the years.  I didn’t realize that this express thing was a beta or that I was a part of it, especially since I have this menu on my dashboard telling me all the ways I DON’T qualify for it and emails telling me I need to apply for it if I want to participate. 

 

Regardless, if it’s about nothing other than routing orders to your hub then obviously we would all love to be “express” hubs, but it very much contradicts the original concept.  I’ve noticed that some of my recent customers are talking to me like I’m a 3d hubs employee and now I know why.  They didn’t select my hub, it was selected for them, and only because I offer the rarest of the 6 FDM materials you promote.

 

Other than regular/repeat customers, I’ve been getting mostly orders for ULTEM lately.  I offer over 30 materials and have many more, but I’ve stopped adding them to my hub because there’s no point.  We’ve been promised an updated material selection (next quarter, next quarter,…..) for about 2 years.  Instead it keeps getting smaller and more ridged and more inaccurate. 

 

I print 6 varieties of nylon.  You only list “nylon” and it’s an SLS material unless you hit “advanced options”.  Also, I see you’re now offering material data sheets as well, which I don’t appreciate.  When a customer asks me for a MDS I give them the one from the actual manufacturer of my material.  Where is yours from?  You have no idea where I got my material.

 

I would also like to point out that 3d hubs is currently in a state where you have me terrified to ever send one of my clients/contacts here and I know other hub operators feel the same.  I literally used to have my hub address on my business card but removed it over a year ago.   At best, they would end up on my confusing hub page and forced to endlessly scroll through my materials; or at worst, end up getting routed (now express routed) to my competition.

 

-Jesse

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I agree with the sending people to 3dhubs. I typically browse reddit and would see people that just need a one time print of something and would send them to my hub. But now that repeat orders from customers is a metric in ranking I stopped doing that. Theres no benefit to lowering my ranking, now its just paypal for those situations.

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So if MindFull is a beta tester how did he get in with such poor metrics?

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Back then, it wasn't based on these specific metrics. A wide offering of materials was a big factor in this case to make sure we offer all the materials in the Express.

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Theres still materials not offered in it that I stock but never got asked. Guess we will see how the next round goes. So will hub thats dont meet the metrics be kicked out of it eventually? Another hub i saw in it had some poor ratings

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Yes, We're planning a quarterly review for this. If by the end of the quarter a Hub falls bellow in a red range - he/she won't be eligible for express anymore. The final details aren't fully worked out yet, and I imagine some exceptions might apply. All the participating Hubs in the new Express will be sent the full agreement/information on Monday.

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It's just hanging now on your hub page for some reason, but you can see the hub ID in the URL 

 

I attached the model I used to get the quote.

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Not sure what you're showing me but I've never signed up for or applied for express check out, never turned on express checkout, never received an order for express check out.

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Yeah no idea. Upload the 3dbenchy.stl file I attached to the post and select PEI (Ultem) for the material and follow the express checkout. Take the hub ID out of the URL and input it like this: https://www.3dhubs.com/service/<hub id> to find out what hub it is.

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I agree, when you look at other companies such as cnc shops they all have a quote system. There isnt a one size fits all for 3d printing or cnc. The automated file checkers they have are a good start for estimating but it can't determine the best orientation or material to use.

 

Although I have enabled the instant checkout because as we have seen you are now penalized if we dont have it. I have had to adjust pricing to hopefully cover an error. But so far out of the last ~10 orders only one person has used it and it was a small part. 

 

They also want us to have one day turn around on most prints, but theres no way a good print at 500cm3 is going to finish in a day. Luckily no one has ordered something that big

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It really makes no sense does it.  They have all of these "metrics" and talk about customer service yet they want to fast track orders and not let you interact with a customer.  It seems their goal has become quantity and not quality.

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i used support@3dhubs.com and asked them the same question

 

the "retarded" response was to put the hub offline if i could not keep up

 

it would be a no brainer to calculate the print time if each hub uploaded their firmware config... the slicer might set the print to go slower but the firmware config would get it close enough for most i think

 

then hub clould click print has begun and the sytem would now have an idea when it can take in an order again

 

or it could tell customer when print can be started and when it could be done... 

 

 

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No matter what, I’m going to want to download the design onto a real computer and examine it with MY software before accepting/agreeing/quoting anything.  So, all this is a waste of time from my perspective.

 

For a long time, they’ve been pouring all their resources into trying to automate this check out, at the expense of everything else, and I think it’s a huge blunder.  Just like how they have buried this forum (which used to be the first google result when searching just about any 3d printing related question), they are burring the hub operator. They want your machines, but not you.  Mistake.

 

The more useless 3d viewers/analyzers/etc they add, the more expensive the site becomes to run and the more obsessed they become with “conversion rate”.  Seems like cannot afford for people to play around on here without placing orders anymore.

 

Getting this massive variety of people/machines/materials standardized and automated isn’t realistic. Instead of expensive software acquisitions, customer service people with minimal hands on 3d printing experience, and ridged check out systems, I think they would have been better off letting the hubs continue to do all this work. They seem to think that the hub operators are the weak link in their business instead of a resource.  

 

3d Hubs cannot manage my machines for me. They don’t know anything about them.  They still call my machines "other", so I don't think they would be interested in my firmware setting anyway.

 

My 2cents.

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That's not a bad idea. They could take in some variables such as jerk and acceleration, and your average print speed for each layer height then do a reasonable calculation of time based on that.

 

Factoring time into the pricing model would be great.

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@ProtoCulture 

You're right. We still don't have a dynamic "printing deadline". We don't take printing time or the amount of orders you have into account. We're actually working on this problem at this moment, but I don't have a solution for you yet. For now, you can always take your printer offline once you receive and order that would take more time or update your "order completion date" once you have received a larger order.

 

Hope this helps.

 

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I have another question, does enabling Instant Order automatically place you in Express Checkout if you are green in all metrics? (The way I do material pricing might make that interesting...)

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No, it's not supposed to automatically place you in express checkout unless you specifically apply for it.

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