Earlier this week, 3D model site Pinshape announced they were shutting down. Now, that might not be the case.
Pinshape is one of the premiere printable 3D model sites, offering a wide range of 3D models at no charge or for a fee on selected items. The site operates as a kind of middleman between designers wishing to offer their works to the public, and consumers, who seek interesting items to 3D print.
I and others always felt that Pinshape’s best attribute was it’s highly easy-to-use interface that was (and is) beautifully designed.
Thus, it was quite disappointing when they announced that they were shutting down due to an inability to generate sufficient cash flow for ongoing operations. They were to shut down on March 31st.
However, a surprise announcement was just issued by Pinshape:
We've had an overwhelming amount of interest and support from the 3DP community and we’re hopeful that we’ve found a company that shares our vision of Pinshape to take over. As a result, there will be no interruption in service! Yay!
Thanks to everyone for your outpouring of support the last few days. There have been so many kind words!
We look forward to keeping you updated with a more formal announcement in the days to come!
This is quite interesting, but I am a bit skeptical until we hear more details.
Here’s the problem: if Pinshape was unable to make a go of it, what would a new owner do? The same business conditions exist, namely a drop-off in interest by consumers, the folks who would be buying the models from Pinshape.
If this is just another company taking over, I don’t see how they would be able to turn things around unless something very drastic changes - in which case Pinshape wouldn’t be Pinshape anymore.
On the other hand, it’s possible the “company that shares our vision” might be a more established 3D model site that is profitable (although I have no idea if any of them are) or is backed by a big company (such as YouMagine by Ultimaker or Thingiverse by MakerBot). If that’s the case, then the same relationship could allow Pinshape to survive. But then again it wouldn’t really be Pinshape.
It is entirely possible Pinshape may be making similar shutdown announcements of some kind in the future, but I’ll wait to see the final details here before drawing a conclusion.