In the expanding 3D printing market, it might be hard to make your 3D printing business as quick, efficient and clean as the larger additive manufacturing service providers. After all, they’ve got the staff and the income to create a user-friendly experience. Dutch start-up ProtoCow wants to give you a break and make it easier for small service bureaux by offering them the ability to provide an easier ordering experience with instant quotes.
To this end, ProtoCow has developed a plug-in for 3D printing services called the STL Harvester. By embedding this plug-in onto a 3D printing website, customers of said site will be able to quickly calculate the price of ordering a 3D print from it. The Harvester takes into account material costs, machine costs and handling costs and generates a price based on pre-defined parameters. Then, the customer can order their print through the service at the click of a button. And ProtoCow has accounted for a variety of 3D printing processes— from SLS to FDM to SLA and more, as well as a variety of materials so that, no matter what you print with, you can use their system.
So, if you’re running a business out of your home, but happen to have gotten your hands on a Form1 with photo-curable resin, you can embed this widget onto your webpage. A customer can upload the .stl for a prototype fan blade and calculate how much it will cost based on your parts and labour settings. If they like your prices, they can order from you and you’ve both saved the time and hassle of communicating via email to negotiate prices. ProtoCow offers its service with a free starter package but with a commission of 10% per order. However, if you have a lot of business, you can pay them more Euros per month with a decrease in commission and an increase in the maximum number of quotes that can be generated with the Harvester.
Seems like a pretty logical service to spring up in the 3DP market, which means that there may be more on the way, offering their widgets for different prices (and maybe even for free). ProtoCow has a video describing their STL Harvester, which you can view below: