Nate

Nate's picture
Nate
@CollectorCNC
Member since

March 2016

4 months 1 week ago - Commented on Amazon Patents print to order service

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After reading the patent, I'm surprised that they were even able to get it issued.  It appears to be an order taking, production and Delivery process that they patented.  It appears to be set up in modules for each part of the process and is very generalized.  

4 months 1 week ago - Posted a new Thread

Just thought I'd post this to see if anyone else has thoughts on how this will affect the 3D printing marketplace.   https://all3dp.com/amazon-secures-patent-for-custom-3d-printing-service/      

5 months 2 weeks ago - Commented on CAD Software recommendation

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FreeCAD will convert stl to step then any 3D cad software can edit it.  OpenScad slso will work 

8 months 1 week ago - Commented on Reprap Guru Prusa I3 V2 axis motors not working

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What drivers are you using? A4988 or drv8825

 

what is the amp rating of your steppers?

 

what is your vref set to on the drivers?

8 months 2 weeks ago - Commented on ./../../../avr/bin/ld.exe: region text overflowed by 19524 bytes Pls help

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Throw that board in the trash and get an MKS Base 1.3 or 1.4 or a MKS SBase 1.3.  Sanguinololu is trash and will only cause you ongoing problems.  

10 months 4 days ago - Commented on 3D hubs mandating how a hub delivers a print

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Yep form2 is a gem!   Takes a little time to figure out strengths and weaknesses but I have s nearly 100% success rate for print and ship

10 months 6 days ago - Commented on 3D hubs mandating how a hub delivers a print

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I agree with @ProtoCulture .  3D hubs is in the business of providing the interface to connect service providers with service seekers.  They should focus on providing an interface that allows us to operate with just as much flexibility as our customers have, not dictating how we do business.  

 

3D Hubs produced an excellent layman's guide to 3D printing.  Why not create a similar guide for potential customers who want to know what they don't know about ordering a printed part.  This could educate the potential customer about the interface, how to use it, and what to expect (things like do I want or need support material removal), and could integrate into the order process to guide the customer to the right hub service.  It would also have the potential to guide customers to hubs that offer things like full finishing and painting services.  In my mind it's a no brainer that an educated customer is going to be more willing place orders, and may want services that they wouldn't otherwise know they can get thru 3D Hubs (read that as higher avg. transaction amounts).  

 

My opinion, working with hubs to allow us to be flexible, is the only way this business model will work for both of parties.  Maybe I am totally wrong, and 3D Hubs wants start buying their own printer fleets and selling their services direct... ? 

 

BTW just to illustrate  proto's point, I've attached some images of 2 prints that required support removal for a customer.  Both prints cost about the same to the customer before additional services.  Guess which one required 2.5hrs of model re-work and 2 hrs of support removal and nurb removal that wouldn't have been quoted into the autogenerated price? 

 

 

@Robin3D

10 months 6 days ago - Commented on 3D hubs mandating how a hub delivers a print

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@Robin3D,

 

Thanks for providing some insight.  I think everyone will agree that guidelines around dimensional precision for prints make sense.  Managing customer expectations is a much different animal and can, as I am sure 3D Hubs has found, be very difficult.  Please understand that my intention is not to bite the hand feeds me.  

 

3D Hubs initial promise to me as a hub operator was to deliver opportunity through an online marketplace that I could only dream of building which in turn would allow me to position my small business to grow.  My job was to present my business effectively enough to differentiate myself from the other hubs, and deliver on customer expectations to ensure good reviews and repeat business.

 

So far, I feel like we've both kept our agreement, but I hope what you read below gives the 3D Hubs team some insight into how this feels to smaller operators such as myself, and why I object to some but not all of the changes that are happening.

 

What I see:

The 3D Hubs marketing has been increasingly focused on prints created using astronomically expensive equipment such as the new HP Jet fusion printer, while at the same time moving away from the maker/decentralized manufacturing movements.  This comes across as 3D Hubs wanting to position itself as a more direct competitor to shapeways.  In order to make that shift, a change is business strategy is required.  

 

  • Average order price must go up in order to attract hubs that can swing the initial expense of the new tech required
  • Order volume must be shifted to hubs capable of obtaining big ticket tech so they will stick around
  • Hubs delivering prints using older technology (FDM and SLA) must be shed to enable the volume shift  

 

All of this combined, allows remaining larger hubs to continue delivering the lower cost alternatives such as FDM and SLA that 3D Hubs is currently known for, allowing the marketing team to focus on the newest, shiniest tech while pushing public perception more the direction of shapeways and away from older less costly printing methods.  The easiest way to accomplish this without just booting hubs, is by introducing added cost to the transaction through guidelines that force the base price of a print up, ie the guidelines around base levels of finishing which have no connection to actual print quality.  

 

Once the base price has been pushed up enough, orders for $10 to $25 will decrease enough to choke out the little hubs (while remaining higher cost transactions continue to funnel to larger hubs), not because the customers aren't there, but because there is no discussion with the operator.  Customers simply don't place the order.  If they don't place the order, the hub operator doesn't get the opportunity to discuss whether or not the price can be adjusted based on a change in the agreed deliverable.  The flip side is, if as a hub, I don't go in and adjust the automated pricing, I get to look like the jerk who's adding charges that are supposed to be built in according to the 3D Hubs website.  

 

From a customer perspective all of this remains unseen because all they see is the slick marketing and a list of deliverables from the hub that they are mentally checking off without ever first having a conversation.

 

3D Hubs provides a valuable service, and I don't see anything wrong with being in the business of making money, but I was sold on 3D Hubs because it fit with what I see as the soul of our species "making" a comeback against rampant and destructive mindless consumerism.  I see 3D Hubs moving away from that and hope I can sway your needle to think again about the initial idea, decentralizing, and expanding the network of providers, while helping providers get in touch with local customers in an online world where it is increasingly difficult to be seen without large scale, complex, and expensive web development.    

10 months 1 week ago - Commented on 3D hubs mandating how a hub delivers a print

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I think you are missing the point entirely.  The policy is that you must remove and sand support material.  That means I don't have a choice between offering that as a service to my customer or not.  To comply with the use agreement for 3Dhubs.com, Hubs must remove and sand the supports.  

 

Yes I can decide to charge or not, but I have to perform that finishing service regardles of my customers preference and budget.  

 

prior to this mandate I could offer levels of finish work.  This takes one more level of control from the hub and I personally don't appreciate this level of interference in how I do business. 

 

The fact fact that hubs in populated areas are getting high search rankings while many hubs are being downgraded by some magical algorithm in favor of hubs that are hundreds of miles away suggests that this could be an attempt by 3Dhubs to cull a glut of hubs from their service while still appearing to support the maker and decentralized manufacturing movements.  

10 months 1 week ago - Commented on 3D hubs mandating how a hub delivers a print

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I agree it's nothing new.  I operate both FDM and SLA printers.    If you read the guidelines it says hubs WILL remove and sand the supports.  As I stated, I HAD the option to use support material removal as an optional upcharge.  Now I do not have that option and am forced to include that service in my base price making me less competitive especially for customers who wish to avoid paying shapeways level pricing.  

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