I’m looking at a new 3D printing startup, Womp.
The startup is taking an unusual path to offer several 3D services to the public in an easy-to-use fashion. The idea here is that for some individuals and companies, using 3D technology is a bit too challenging. They therefore offer easy access to 3D printing, 3D modeling and 3D scanning.
Each of the three services is set up to allow someone unfamiliar with 3D technologies to receive a properly formed 3D result. In the case of Womp’s 3D modeling service, you start by simply send them a set of “reference files”.
These reference files could be almost anything, from a photograph to a sketch, or perhaps even a narrative description, I suppose. Womp’s experts then review the material and produce a quote based on a flat-rate pricing system. If the client wishes to proceed, their CAD team then produces a suitable 3D model that can be used in whatever manner the client requires.
The 3D printing service is straightforward and similar to that used by other companies: a 3D model is uploaded (perhaps created by Womp’s 3D modeling service) and materials and sizes are selected. The object is then produced on 3D printers.
Somehow I get the impression Womp is actually using a commercial 3D print service behind the scenes, rather than operating their own equipment. This is actually quite common, as such services provide a commission payment for any business directed their way.
Womp 3D Scanning
Womp’s 3D scanning service is again straightforward. You simply physically send them the subject object and they perform a scan with their own 3D scanning equipment.
In their promotional video, it appears they’re using an Artec 3D Space Spider and Artec 3D Eva, both powerful handheld 3D scanners that come with software to match. This gives me some confidence in Womp’s services, as 3D scanning is notoriously difficult due to the frequent need to “fix” raw 3D scans. Artec 3D’s software suite takes care of most of that automatically.
Will this approach work? It’s hard to say, as it is really dependent on balancing customer demand with pricing.
For demand, there are indeed small and large companies struggling with acquiring 3D content on a one-by-one basis. For them, it’s not worth the relatively large effort to “master” the technologies for single projects. In those cases, Womp might be a good option.
As for pricing, that’s up to Womp. A good strategy would be to price services somewhat less than the effort required by a company to acquire the skills in-house.
I should mention that Womp is raising an investment round through crowdfunding. They’ve set up an entry on WeFunder that seeks to raise between US$75K-US$1M. So far, they are closing in on US$100K, above their minimum target.
If you’re requiring basic 3D services and don’t want to get deeply involved, Womp might be an option to consider.