RogerBW's Blog

The demise of 3dhubs 22 September 2018

Since December of 2016 I've been offering 3d printing services via 3dhubs. From the end of this month, it won't happen any more.

The service is moving to a business-to-business model, and as a hobbyist with a single printer I don't want the administrative hassle of registering a business; the time and expense would wipe out my profit margin.

(Also, to join the cool kids club, it was necessary to sign up for "instant order" - in other words, whatever the customer asks for, you automatically agree to print, rather than looking it over first. I have to reject about one order in ten because they're simply not possible with my printer. That's what the customer is paying for, as far as I'm concerned - someone who knows their printer well and can get good results out of it. It's an artisanal service rather than an automated one.)

So that's obviously a shame from my point of view. But I think it's a pity for the customers as well: while the details aren't clear, it looks as if most of them will not be able to use 3dhubs at all, and a few will be able to deal with the rather smaller number of providers remaining there. The vast majority of orders I've taken have been from private individuals who don't want to "revolutionise manufacturing", they just want one or oddly-shaped pieces of plastic for their custom electronics project, or as a toy for their child, or…

I've contacted some of my regular customers through the site (until that feature was suddenly turned off) to let them know that I'll still be available for printing. I have accounts on 3dseeker and a few other places, but I've had no business from them yet. I suppose I'd get more if I had a Facebook page, but I'm not that despeate.

I do feel a certain amount of ingratitude here: 3dhubs exists because hobbyists signed up with it, and because of that it was able to attract the larger players. Now they're doing a Google, and ignoring all their users except the most profitable.

If you have an interest in getting things designed and/or printed, give me a shout via 3d.firedrake.org.


  1. Posted by Chris Suslowicz at 12:20am on 23 September 2018

    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2905334

    ISAGN

    Chris.

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