It’s a very tough business these days running a printable 3D model shop, but 3DShook seems to be experimenting with a variety of different shopping methods to overcome the challenges.
Most 3D printable model shops simply offer a (hopefully) vast pile of 3D models that you must tediously search through, perhaps through categories. Upon identifying the desired 3D model, you purchase the model and download it for 3D printing.
It’s usually a one-at-a-time process. But 3DShook has other ways to put 3D models in your shopping cart.
When I first wrote of 3DShook, I described their interesting “all you can eat” business model, in which you pay a consistent monthly fee to gain access to a set quantity of 3D models for download each month. The number of models was often more than you’d likely be able to print on a single machine in a month, so it worked for everyone.
3DShook still offers the monthly subscription model, but now they have another concept: File packs.
For a set price, a file pack will enable you to download a fixed quantity of 3D models from their comprehensive printable 3D model library at any time. It’s not a subscription; it’s a kind of bulk purchase, where you choose what’s in the shopping cart. Also, the right to download from the file pack does not expire, like the monthly subscription quota.
Think of it as a way to try our 3DShook without committing to a long-term subscription. For many 3D printer operators, a subscription is not suitable, as they may not have confidence they’d actually be printing consistently for months at a time. For them, the file pack approach is a good option, because it permits use of 3D models at any time for a fixed, known price.
And the prices are actually very good. Here’s the current set of file pack options from 3DShook:
- 12 downloads for USD$10 (USD$0.83 per model
- 40 downloads for USD$25 (USD$0.63 per model
- 100 downloads for USD$50 (USD$0.50 per model)
Those prices are practically near-free, making it almost at par with models found on totally free sites, such as YouMagine or Thingiverse. Pay a small fee once, and you can then use 3DShook for downloads in the same way you’d use a free site, at least as long as your download quota has not been depleted.
That, I believe, is a small price to pay to gain access to 3DShook’s very fine collection of very well-designed 3D objects. All are considered printable, and you can find 3DShook provides some unique ways to filter your search for 3D models:
- Requires support material or not
- The time to print is short, medium, long, overnight, etc
- The number of parts in the print
I haven’t seen these filters in other services, and they answer the most typical questions one considers when examining a potential 3D model to print. In fact, other pay-for 3D model services might consider this style of business.
If you haven’t tried out 3DShook, it just might be time to do so.
[UpDATE] We've learned that 3DShook is offering a 30% discount on FilePacks until Saturday the 23rd. Just use code "BDAY' at checkout, which celebrates their one-year anniversary.