It seems that many 3D printing companies are forced to include a “3D” in their name.
Having met with perhaps hundreds of 3D printing companies in my term here, I’ve noticed a pattern that continues to this day. Companies very often have a slightly different internet domain name than their official corporate name.
Let’s review an example of what I mean by looking at a company that everyone knows: Carbon. You’d think they would operate their website under “carbon.com”, but they cannot do so. It turns out that “carbon.com” is in fact owned by Apple, since 1994! And, according to Carbon, Apple is not interested in selling “carbon” to Carbon. If you try to visit “carbon.com”, you simply end up at apple.com.
No one knows why Apple has been holding on to carbon.com for the past 26 years and not doing anything particular with it, but they do. They may do something with it in the future, and perhaps that could be interesting — what could Apple make that has to do with carbon? But in the meantime, Carbon, the 3D printer company, is out of luck.
This scenario occurs with any 3D printing company that finds their domain name already taken and unwilling to sell at a reasonable price. At this stage in Internet history, any short combination of letters is already taken in all the popular top-level domains.
Here are some of the 3D printing companies I’ve noticed have taken this approach:
Aurora Labs auroralabs3d.com
And there are countless others. But some have taken slightly different steps. These companies have added a “-3D” instead of just “3D” to their domain name:
Other companies have added “3D” to the beginning of their domain:
Many companies have presumably given up on the domain name issue and formally include a “3D” in their legal company name:
Tethon 3D tethon3d.com
Adaptive 3D adaptive3d.com
Dynamical 3D dynamical3d.com
AON 3D aon3d.com
3D Systems 3dsystems.com
There are some fun variations that are occasionally used:
Titan Robotics titan3drobotics.com (Titan Robotics has inserted the “3D” into the middle of their domain name, in-between the two words.)
Tritone tritoneam.com (Tritone has added not a “3D”, but instead an “AM” for additive manufacturing. I’m not sure they got the memo on 3D printer company domain naming rules.)
Spee3D spee3d.com (Spee3D has incorporated “3D” into the actual word used in their name, and I’m never quite sure how to pronounce it.)
Robo robo3d.com (Robo is perhaps the most interesting one on the list, as they began with the legal company name of “Robo 3D” and robo3d.com as their domain name. But later they changed their company name to simply “Robo” and kept the robo3d.com domain name. )
As you can see by this analysis, it is somewhat important to carefully consider the name of a company before it is formalized. We wrote some advice on naming a 3D print company last year.
If you’re not careful, you might end up inserting “3D”s or “AM”s somewhere you don’t want to put them.