Saturday, August 17, 2013
There are many potential business to consumer (B2C) 3d printing businesses but also alot of potential business to business (B2B) 3d printing businesses as well. This is a good example of a B2B you can start from designing, printing, and selling 3d logos for small companies. Many larger companies already have a plethora of logo toys, t-shirts, frisbees, USB sticks, and so on in order to increase brand awareness.
The problem is that to create these it costs a lot of money because of the scale at which these must be created. Of course, as already mentioned, 3d printing is a perfect solution to this problem. This means that small companies are the perfect target. They would love to increase their brand awareness but have no way to do so without you and your relatively inexpensive prices compared to traditional manufacturing.
The first step is getting in touch with target companies. You may want to start with local businesses because it will be best to show them examples in person. You can even find examples on thingiverse:
It may be best to print the logos with outside help so that you can color them or make them out of different materials. Of course it may increase the price of each 3d logo if they are made out of stainless steel for example, but this is between you and the company to negotiate. Essentially the success of this business will depend on your ability to break into target companies, talk to the people who matter, and make the sale. The technical part and the production chain are somewhat easier. You may want to start off with a rather small quantity of 3d logos so that everyone involved knows what they are getting into. Once you build a portfolio the sales process will get easier. You should suggest multiple ways in which the company can use your logos (keychains, desktop blocks, christmas ornaments, restaurant buzzers, ect.). If you have any questions, ask in the comment section!
Friday, August 16, 2013
Currently 3d printing is riding the overlap between actually being useful and simply being funny, zany, or cool. Sometimes we get lucky enough to find an application that is both. Handshake doorknobs are a clear case of this. They will require some customization as each doorknob is slightly different. Most doorknobs basically look like this:
As mentioned before, you will have to adjust this hand model differently depending on the doorknob you are trying to replace. Most of the adjustment will include adding a negative extrusion (or hole) into the base of the hand so that the spindle can be inserted into it. Because the spindle is asymmetrical, rotating the hand will rotate the spindle, thus activating the dead latch and opening the door. Then the functional part is done. What's left is making sure that you can add the Rose Cover or "Trim" back on by making sure that the base of the hand can fit inside of it (you may have to modify the hand more extensively trimming down the base drastically so that it can do this. Another thing to consider is that the spindle is often attached to one side so you can only do this to one side of the door. This may work out for the best as you will not be able to lock the hand, and this way at least one side of the knob remains "lockable".
Monetizing this creation will probably start with showing friends and family once you have perfected the design. It is certainly a conversation starter. Because the design must be modified for each doorknob it may be hard to sell these online on Shapeways, Etsy, or similar sites. Additionally it would incredibly hard to model these hands if you can't examine the doorknob in person in detail. Of course, another idea is to choose one specific doorknob that it works well with and simply sell that along with the hand.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Though a lot of chess fans now play online, there is still always value in a nice chess set. Because most of the functionality of the pieces is independent of their appearance and shape, you can get really creative. Aside from making sure that they are distinguishable, the crazier, funnier, and wilder, the better. Here are some examples found online for inspiration:
|gangster chess set: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8930|