We reported on makexyz a couple months ago, which is a crowdsourcing site that connects people that need things 3D printed with local people (and companies) that have 3D printers, and I love the business model so much, I decided to check in with the founder to see how things were going. Nathan Tone was pleased to tell me that makexyz is doing great, and now has 3D printers whirring away across the globe!
“With printers now in 18 countries, it’s an interesting moment for us — now with our global network of printers, you can deliver a product to a customer on the other side of the world for free, in less than one day,” Nathan told me.
Me: How is it shipped for free though?
Nathan: Say you’re based in the US, and someone in Japan places an order for your product. Through our API, the file is transmitted to a 3D printer in Japan — maybe even in your customer’s own neighborhood — where it is printed and delivered to the customer. No factories, warehouses, international shipping, etc.
Me: Are there printers in every state?
Nathan: We have really good coverage in most metro areas… I believe there are a few states that we are missing, but they are few… and we’ll get them soon…
Me: Can you give me any indication where the most activity is?
Nathan: The top 3 most frequently searched zip codes in the past month are:
95110, San Jose, CA
78701, Austin, TX
10002, NY, NY
Me: What’s the range of printers on your list?
Nathan: We have the full range, from self-built RepRaps, to MakerBot 2s, to Objets and ZPrinters…
I expected New York to be up there, but I was a bit surprised by Austin. Good for them. If you own a 3D printer and you’re not on the makexyz list, you could be missing out on some serious mullah. It’s free to list your printer, and their fee per job is a very respectable 5%. And there could be more in it for you than some extra cash; when I mentioned how the 3D Refiner could be an added service, Nathan said “I love the idea of the 3D Refiner.. maybe we could provide our most active printers with Refiners…”