If you have a personal 3D printer, or are just interested in 3D printing,

If you have a personal 3D printer, or are just interested in 3D printing, check out http://www.layerbylayer.com! On Layer By Layer, you buy 3D prints - not files, template, or designs.

Interesting, and it solves the seller concern by paying per print. How do you handle buyer concerns - e.g. print later, print from SD card, print didn’t complete or wasn’t satisfactory, etc?

The FAQ does address the unsatisfactory print issue - somewhat.

@Layer_By_Layer so let me get this straight - what you’re offering is a marketplace for one-off print jobs.

  1. The customer buys the license for a single print
  2. You slice the file for the customer
  3. The customer uses a proprietary DRM software to send the pre-sliced file to the printer (i’m just guessing here)
  4. If the customer aborts the print before 80% completion, he gets another try, if it fails after that, he’ll need to contact support to receive another chance at printing the file

Am i getting this somewhat right? Because right now, it all looks like an attempt to lock down 3D printing with ****loads of DRM.

Not quite. This is streaming - much like a movie. The output is G-code to the printer (which could technically be saved). It’s a problem that needs to be solved, as once you download a file, anyone can copy it and pass it around. If you put 250 hours into a model that everyone will like, then $0.99 might be ok and not worth pirating. However, if few people will be interested, you have to charge a high price. That high price encourages pirating. This is just the music/movie problem all over again.

This model will likely fail in the hobby-rooted industry we have today, but might be successful for the mass market where people have a 3d printer but just want to print things, not design them. I like the Shapeways model - design is free to print but you pay to print in other materials.

There is room, and a need, for a model where designers can control how their models are printed. It is still early days in the opening up of this industry and I wish you (LxL) luck.

There’s probably going to be room for a convenience fee business like this in the mass market. Right now, in this forum, it’s like trying to sell water to a whale.

I’d evaluate it, but you don’t support my OS yet. Are you pursuing any patents?