3Diligent is a large 3D printing network focused on professional use, but this week they’ve announced a reorganization.
The company has grown significantly in the two years since it started, and now boasts apparently “nearly 300 industrial grade machines” in their network.
Unlike centralized 3D print services that operate their own equipment in regionalized factories, 3Diligent has made partnerships with a number of independent 3D printer operators who happen to have free time available on their machines.
Centralized operators also have fixed pricing for services, but 3Diligent’s network permits independent operators to “bid” on RFQs that are presented to the participants. This can mean lower prices in some cases – but also risks variability in production quality between operators.
3Diligent handles the requests for quotes and routes them to the providers for bids and handling. They take a small cut of the transactions to fund their operations – and this is a reasonable thing considering that many operators may have empty hours on their equipment that are producing zero revenue. Any way to keep expensive industrial 3D printers going is a good thing.
But this week they’ve announced they’re splitting their operations into two parts. Previously the company had a single, large market, but now they’re split it up based on their observations of how customers want to work.
One of the two parts is the 3Diligent Marketplace, where RFQs are received from buyers and routed to providers for bids. But there are two levels of participation: “Free” presents the RFQs only to “prosumer-level” operators, while “Premium”, at USD$99/month, presents the RFQs to “outstanding fabricators carrying professional and industrial equipment”.
The second part is 3Diligent Direct, which provides a more concierge-like service with end-to-end project management and additional expertise for clients requiring such assistance.