A new UK based 3D printing comparison platform launches today. I caught up with Alex Ziff, CEO of 3DCompare, to learn more about how his company fits into the growing additive manufacturing ecosystem.
“Our platform, 3DCompare addresses the need for small batch, prototype printing which is affordable, easy to access and simple to achieve,” Ziff tells me.
Accessible via web browser, users can compare the cost of printing a 3D model and then order the 3D print from suppliers vetted by 3DCompare.
The prospect should appeal to both service bureaux looking to increase 3D printer usage and also end-users, those who want to benefit from 3D printing but are not ready, or do not have the volume, to make a capital investment in their own 3D printers. Through a global network, 3DCompare offers FDM/FFF, SLA and SLS 3D printing.
Increasing demand for 3D printing
I asked the 3DCompare CEO why his company are launching the service now, “We believe that the 3D printing market has matured enough to need a platform like ours.”
“There is growing demand for 3D printing. Industries such as jewellery, architecture and dentistry have realised 3D printings potential for cheaper and better quality objects. There is a real need for a service that guarantees a network with expertise, consistency and quality.”
The proposal seems an attractive one, with free registration for both businesses and users. The 3DCompare website promotes itself as the best way to compare 3D printing services online. Ziff explains, “Having started with North America and Europe, 3DCompare is rapidly expanding into a worldwide network which facilitates 3D printing for a myriad of business uses.”
It is not only 3D printing for business use that is growing, and 3DCompare represents another growing sector in the industry – 3D printing platforms. Late last year we reported how customer dissatisfaction with changes at 3D Hubs was causing a certain degree of consternation.
I asked Ziff how 3DCompare is different to current 3D printing services and platforms. “This is a B2B site, designed and run to meet industry needs for 3D Printing,” he explains. Indeed, the long list of 3D printing services working with 3DCompare includes leaders such as iMaterialise, Shapeways, Sculpteo and many more.
Transparency is key
Ziff is also keen to point out that transparency is another area where his company intends to stand out. “We offer transparency in pricing, costs, data and the platform itself,” he says. For users and partners this means 3DCompare guarantees partners and providers, and will give a full breakdown of costs on quotes. Cost is transparent, with the company charging a monthly subscription, rather than a percentage fee.
The 3D printing comparison service is designed to be straightforward, customers can upload a file, choose their material, see the price and make an order. Beta testing partners are reportedly happy with the service to date, with the CEO at Proto 3D saying, “Being listed on 3DCompare.com has connected us with a whole new range of potential customers from all sorts of industries, helping us to grow our 3D printing service. It has put us in front of customers and all without having to spend huge amounts on marketing.”
For a startup, 3DCompare has a large team of developers, boasting more than 25 years combined experience. The coding team is led by Jerome Charvet, CTO of 3DCompare. Charvet explains, “3DCompare is constantly evolving its software to reflect the needs of this innovative and evolving industry with new tools, functions and features being constantly added.” He says that users can also expect additional features, “This is not a static platform; 3DCompare is committed to providing our service partners with software that adapts to their needs.”
Users can test the service for themselves as the 3DCompare website is now live.
Don’t forget, nominations are open for 3D Printing Industry Awards 2018. Tell us who is leading the 3D printing industry.
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