In the beautiful Republic of the Philippines 3D printing is nascent and progressively emergent. There are a small but growing number of3D printing service providers, most of which are using desktop 3D printers from the cheaper strata of printer machines to perform mid-to-low end quality prints, fulfilling consumer service provision for entry level needs. There is a retail format service provider in the country’s most populous city, Quenzon City. These services are spread amidst various provinces in the country, with a number offering scanning for action figures, models and some accessories.
At 3D Hubs, currently the largest global network of 3D printers, there are now six 3D printers listed in the capital city of the Philippines, Manila — more than there are in my home city, the capital of Scotland, with its reputation of being an advanced premier city of commerce, here in the United Kingdom. This may be taken as a loose indicator of uptake of desktop 3D printers by those seeking to commercialize their acquisition: Although it is worth bearing in mind that Manila has triple the population of Edinburgh. There are two 3D printers available to produce prints for those who are yet to own a printer in the Philippines at the second largest network makexyz.
The increasingly vibrant Philippean 3D printing sector includes new 3D printing service providers such as WASP Designs & 3D Printing Services, based in Mandaluyong. For the retail format model of print service provision, the colourful 3D2GO, based in Quenzon City, harbour both Fused Deposition Modelling and Sterelithography printing services, with 3D scanning and post production services available for a three to five day production turnaround. The Philippeans boasts a local RepRap community, and the production of the first 3D printer designed and manufactured in the country, the Puzzlebox 3D Printer.
A new company seeking to specialise in the local market for 3D printing service provision is 3DFIED. The team at 3DFIED state that their business is a product development enterprise utilising 3D printing as a tool to produce our customer’s ideas. 3DFIED was initiated last August 2013,founded by a team of four engineers with combined experience in product development, mechanical hardware design, and service engineering. The team has an established familiarity with industrial level additive manufacturing. It was the new wave of available, accessible and affordable desktop 3D printers that was the catalyst that empowered the team to actualise the opportunity to share their combined capabilities with their community: With a notable niche onus upon sharing their knowledge, skills and experience with design and engineering students. Intrigued I asked the co-founder of 3DFIED, Jonathan Damalerio, some questions about the business.
3DPI: What are the range of services that you provide?
Jonathan Damalerio: We do accept creative stuff like simple personalised named tags, etc, but our focus is Hardware product development: conceptualisation, design, prototyping. Computer Aided Design for those who don’t have the capability, design consultation, design for 3D printability, and basic 3D printing.
Currently we are reaching out to schools in the province we are in, making them aware of our presence and what we can offer to students and educators. We have a modest space that we coined as a creative lab wherein they can make use to create academic projects as well us learn about 3D printing.
Looking forward we want to be able to drive a maker community and lead efforts on empowering Filipinos to be innovative.
3DPI: What methods to you use to emphasise benefits for students?
Jonathan Damalerio: For now we reach out to students using poster campaigns as well as rely on word of mouth marketing. We have helped some students so far with academic projects and we add that to our portfolio to communicate better to our next clients. Our value proposition to them is our personal support, convenience, and being approachable.
3DPI: Do your team teach the students?
Jonathan Damalerio: Yes we do, but indirectly. We educate them through the discussion and communications we have with them in doing their projects. Though they are students we treat them as professional clients so they can experience product development process and really appreciate their work.
3DPI: What 3D design programs do you use as part of your service?
Jonathan Damalerio: Most of the time the students have their own Computer Aided Design files, but for minor edits or designs we just use sketchup.
3DPI: Which model(s) of 3D printer do you own?
Jonathan Damalerio: We initially have a Makerbot Replicator2.
3DPI: Which 3D printers would you like to own?
Jonathan Damalerio: We are looking forward to having a 3D Systems Cube Pro and hopefully a FormLabs Form1, Stratasys Mojo and even a Connex one day as the business grows and when we can justify the price of supplies are affordable for our target market. By then we will be tapping other market segments and perhaps reach industrial applications.
3DPI: What is the pricing structure of your services?
Jonathan Damalerio: Our pricing is a total of Php 16/gram of consumed material (including supports) and Php 6/min of machine time. Professional fees are added case to case.
There appears to be a nascent flourish of 3D printing occurring in the Philippines right now, with new businesses appearing across the country, taking in a range of business models, targeting a range of audiences. Some of them have established a youthful but professional commercial presence. Others are at the start-up stage researching the potential by taking advantage of the relatively unique nature of the entrepreneur utilizing a cheap strata desktop manufacturing machine, confined by certain quality constraints, but with a little imagination niche market areas can be accessed for low overheads.
Other Philippine based companies that provide various kinds of services orientated around 3D printing include: 3D Prints Worldwide, Zhaidazz 3D Printer, 3D Print House, Palawan Island Enterprise 3D Printing Service, alongside a number of others that can be found in local business directories such as here.
Where will the prosumer service provision market be in this beautiful tropical nation in five years time? Will there be a continued growth in demand as the wider public becomes increasingly aware of the capacities of prosumer 3D printing? Where will those capacities be in themselves, as the technical aptitude of cheap-to-mid-range printers continues to rise and the cost of the machines continues to drop? 3DFIED certainly have their ambitions set upon accessing ever more professional and industrial grade printers to provide an ever more effective quality of product. We will doubtless return our 3DPI eyes to the Philippines in the near future to continue to observe how the industry evolves.