We were contacted by Jonathan Placa, who's setting up a distributed 3D printing network called ProtoExchange.
ProtoExchange will attempt to create an online bidding system, in which those desiring a 3D print will be connected with amateur 3D printer owners who will do the job. The advantage appears to be that the printer operator will keep "100%" of the bid. Placa says:
The network allows owners of 3D printers to "lease" their time to visitors of ProtoExchange. In essence, ProtoExchange is a platform where amateur producers are paid to print objects that are requested by consumers/visitors!It is this "decentralized", peer-to-peer production platform that takes advantage of 3D printers' unique ability to materialize objects from anywhere in the world!
We're wondering how ProtoExchange will be able to operate if 100% of the fees are distributed to the printer operators. Nevertheless, ProtoExchange now has an Indiegogo campaign open for you to help launch the service.