Yet another 3D printer community network has emerged, PrintThis4Me.
The service operates as a community network, where those with 3D printers can join the network and receive requests to print for customers who, presumably, do not have their own 3D printing gear. They say:
We want to make it easy for folks that are interested in this great technology to be able to use it in their businesses and homes. Just as important (if not more), we want those that have 3D printers to benefit from using their printers to help others.
Here’s how it works, with a small infographic provided by PrintThis4Me. There are two types of participants, buyers and printers. Buyers post a job; printers bid on them. Winners do the printing.
The catch? It’s a small one. PrintThis4Me receives 7.5% of every completed transaction. PrintThis4Me also permits the printer operator to select whether this usage fee is included in the bid or must be added.
A key feature of such services must be a method of rating bidders so that buyers can understand the likelihood of a successful transaction, much like is done on eBay. We did not see such a rating service on PrintThis4Me, but perhaps they’re planning on implementing it in the future.
It’s a very straightforward service that could be used by many people. However, we’re wondering if PrintThis4Me is too late to catch up to the industry leading community networks, namely 3D Hubs and MakeXYZ. 3D Hubs, for example, has surpassed 10,000 participating printers and has obtained very significant venture capital investment. It seems to us that this kind of service works most effectively when there are higher numbers of participants, thus PrintThis4Me may have a hard time competing.
That said, their rates are less than 3D Hubs, who charge a 15% commission fee on prints. Will PrintThis4Me’s 7.5% commission fee attract printer operators?