Coming out of the 3D hub is the question, “What is the best way to demo 3D print quality?” 3D printing quality is subjective, especially for those who have no direct experience with 3D printers. Tom and Tracy Hazzard address how educational aspects relate to what’s happening to the 3D printing industry. They also talk about the 3D hubs as a great way to demo anything and share some steps on how you can join it and showcase your prints.
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What’s The Best Way To Demo 3D Print Quality?
Our question is coming out of 3D Hubs, out of a hub. These are service bureaus, people who have printers who are offering them up printing. You virtually select them, maybe somebody in your area. It’s a great service especially if you want to try out 3D printing and things. Their question is, “What is the best way to demo 3D print quality and show my services?”
It’s a good question because you definitely need to manage the expectation of your customer. If they’ve never had you make anything for them before, they may have an idea in their mind about what that 3D print quality is going to be. If that doesn’t match what you end up producing, you’re going to end up with dissatisfaction.
You have a profile on 3D Hubs. We’re not a member so I don’t know. I think that’s how it looks. You have a profile and people go into you. You have reviews, ratings and other things. I’m sure somebody is picking you because you have good ratings and reviews. That may have to do with customer service, but those people maybe already knew 3D printing. You’ve got a guy who’s coming in. He has never tried it before. He doesn’t know. He thinks he just wants to make this prototype or something like that. In his head, he may have a comparison to SLA and you’re using an FFF printer. Now there’s a disconnect. Being able to highlight that and show it is essential. That’s a good point.
You’ve got to create a small object that doesn’t take a tremendous amount of time to print, that doesn’t cost you a whole lot of money in downtime or material that shows what your typical print quality is off your machine. You have to include some flat horizontal and vertical surfaces in an object like that. You’ve got to include some organic curved surfaces in that same object.
Include some text or logo because who knows if a company is going to come and print and they want logos on things. That kind of detail, you need to be able to show as well.
That’s all we can say. You’ve got to educate your potential customer. You should probably be prepared for that before you even get too far into that kind of business of accepting jobs.
You maybe ought to think about it as a cost of doing business to be able to send that object out to somebody. Make some, have them on hand and when somebody calls up and you say, “I can send you a sample, would you like to see it?” You might also want to do the same thing from a color perspective.
If you’ve got a few standard colors you have available and people are like, “I want red but I want it to be a certain kind of red or I don’t want it to be a certain kind of red.” You have what you have, I’m sure, but print up some of this sample object in multiple colors. I would do it in every different color filament you have. It’s like a swatch.
Send it out to them. It’s a great idea. It’s important. If you’re like The UPS Store, they have little objects there. Some of them were their clients so you could get permission from some of the clients, from some successful work you’ve done and take a photograph of it. Get their permission to be able to put that up on display on the website. That’s always a great thing as well to show successful projects.
As long as your intention is to help educate others and you’re not going to be selling somebody else’s object. Just ask them and they’ll probably give you their permission.
If it’s a designer or something, maybe you need to give them credit, but that’s not a big deal. It’s easy to do and it helps expand things. That’s the other thing is there are files for download, but the reality is a lot of those are covered under creative commons. You shouldn’t be displaying them on your website when you’re selling something without their permission. A lot of designers would give permission if you give them credit.
The other thing is if I see another one of those little elephants off a Thingiverse, it’s going to drive me crazy. I would caution against printing the same old thing that you’ve seen other people print.
Print something original, something difficult, something that shows skill because that’s going to highlight that you know what you’re doing on your end to help make a complicated print. That’s a sign of your good service.
It would help you stand out amongst the others that are out there.
It’s worth the time and investment because remember your one spoke on the hub. You’ve got to stand out your shop. You’ve got to market your shop and putting your best foot forward with products. Do it and spend the time on it. This is your marketing investment.
If you’re going to invest your time in your service or business, this is a great place to do it.
We hope that helps. Anybody else in the 3D Hubs or any of those kinds of services out there, please ask us questions.
Come and find us at our website HazzDesign.com. You can send us an email or on every page, there’s a send voicemail button where you could submit a question.
I hope that helped you answer your question. Thanks for reading.
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