We spoke with representatives from Hatchbox to find out more about how they develop their 3D printer filament.
Hatchbox is one of several popular 3D printer filament companies that have emerged in the past few years. The company began several years ago when the founders worked in engineering design where they were exposed to the concept of 3D printing. And the need for quality filament.
Today they offer well over 100 different 3D printer filaments on Amazon, as well as a few accessories, such as spool holders. As you might imagine, they have a wide choice of colors and all the basic materials, including, ABS, PLA, HIPS, PETG and a few others. We’re told their Amazon venture is a “Really good business”.
But how did they reach this successful stage? It seems they have a couple of interesting development practices.
First they apparently spend “two years” testing products before they release them to the public. This means at times they are “scooped” by others offering similar products at earlier dates. However, they wish to be known for their quality and thus the testing remains.
The other interesting practice Hatchbox follows is that they apparently “troll” user forums to collect informal feedback. In fact, they require their managers to read such feedback as well.
I think this is a very good practice, because a great many users, when faced with the now-ridiculous number of filament sources, often turn to user forums to find out what other people are saying. If they happen to read someone saying “I tried Hatchbox and liked it”, then they might just buy some too.
That’s a very powerful marketing technique that I am not sure other vendors pay sufficient attention.
Where are they going now? I get the impression they are interested in branching out to market other products. And in fact they currently do offer at least one desktop 3D printer for sale on their Amazon shop, hidden among their lengthy list of products.
Like a few others in the filament business, they seem to want to expand their operations to a larger chunk of the 3D printing ecosystem.