3D Hubs is deleting all non-manufacturing partner hubs. They sent out an email this morning. If you had anything to save from there, do it quick; all of them are being deleted on the 1st of October.
I was working with a group of guys who were looking to disrupt 3D Hubs, but they seem to have gotten absolutely nowhere quickly.
Yeah, I remember a lot of posts about an alternative, but all of those guys have seemed to disappear.
I also got shocked about that mail. I’m currently thinking about to build something, but I’m not sure if this would be ready till 1. October… And maybe the disappeared guys are already coding…
Actually I haven’t gotten that many orders from 3DHubs since I opened my hub. But I feeled good like beeing a part of the maker community and people from around the world could have placed orders. So this feeling ends on October 1st.
I got that email, too. I was surprised, too. To be fair, I setup a hub but then never really turned it on. In their defense, I suspect any competitor would come to the same conclusion(s) they did—that it was predominantly businesses that were requesting models to be printed. Most “home users” probably would just buy their own printer, especially now that you can get them for ~$300 from China.
I think it’s true the businesses are where the money is. That’s where most of my money came from. It’s kind of sad that the organization started from being a community thing that matched people up locally to now trying to be another Shapeways. Shapeways was there all along before 3D Hubs and frankly, Shapeways is better. For one, they knew how to pre-check a model for manufacturability whereas it was pulling teeth to get 3D Hubs to even implement half the checks.
It seems like they should do away with their name too, the “Hubs” has lost their meaning.
I think there’s room for something on the community side. I met a lot of people that weren’t interested in learning how to model something and they didn’t need or want to buy and learn how to use a machine for a one-off part.
I went from having 5 or so orders a week before the big shift last year to literally zero since. Their whole system has been messed up for a while for hubs (keep in mind I was no small hub).
That was useful - gmail is getting a bit too agressive with marking things as spam…
Where I live, I get about 3 orders a week even as a non manufacturing hub. I wonder how they will manage to shift all of the out-of-manufacturing orders to fulfillment hubs without overloading them.
Interesting side note: the upshot of this is they were able to leverage the community to build a customer list (the people who requested a model to be printed) and list of people who have 3d printers (the owners of each hub). That information (evidently) has value.
@Jeff_DeMaagd Shapeways has drastically blown off a good portion of their user base too by moving away from a community based market place for people looking to sell their designs. They also seem to be more focused on business 2 business than their existing user base. Their last re-branding/update really has gone over sour and most “shop” owners are reporting much lower sales.
3Dhubs decision is going to really hurt them. I’d not sure if I will keep on as a hub or not. I meet their qualifications but some of the ways they want their pro hubs to work isn’t too appealing.
What is going to kill 3D hubs is the amount of people who will want to cut them out of the process. 3D hubs wants the hub to invoice the customer, even though they are collecting and distributing all the money. I always make sure I document the service fee paid to 3Dhubs on my invoices. Large and frequent repeat customers (read business users) are the most likely to want to cut out the middleman once they find a hub they like. Individual users new to 3d printing and just looking to have a few parts printed don’t usually have a problem with that. Once all the US states start charging sales tax on out-of-state orders and all these small to medium businesses have to handle the collecting and reporting of the sales tax many will probably drop off the site too.
It was real depressing to see 3Dhubs turn their back on so many hub owners as well. The news about printerbot going out of business a few weeks back also saddened me. There has been a lot of negative changes for the hobbyist 3D printer community over the last few months/weeks