I am the owner of a small 3D modeling company that has been providing print on demand scale automobile parts for model car builders. We have been doing this for about 6 years now by using companies like Shapeways to print our files.
Since home 3D printers are becoming more and more plentiful we are looking into providing some of our models to the home printing/modeling enthusiast for them to directly print.
My big question is, just how popular is the streaming option over the 3D file purchase option?
Also, what happens if the print should fail half way through the print?
We try and make our model parts as accurate as possible by doing extensive research and many many hours modeling. So the thought of letting our files out in a form that can be readily given away or even reposted elsewhere is very difficult to come to grips with. This is why the streaming aspect really appeals to us but at the same time we do not want to harm our reputation by using a new, non mature, technology.
The streaming option is definitely less popular compared to the 3D file purchase option, and you will definitely make a lot more transactions via the download option. But of course, I understand your concerns for the file being redistributed.
Streaming works and we encourage you to give it a try! You can always change a listing to stream/download when you edit it, so if you decide one option works a lot better, you can edit it later.
If the print fails halfway through a print, the maker can restart the print!
Yup, very understandable. If they have issues with the system, they can contact us for support too— worst comes to worst, we’ll give them a refund It has happened before (such as when someone didn’t realize they were paying for a “stream” print rather than a “download” and they’ve got a industrial printer that cannot do streaming).
They can restart this print as many times as they need. If their internet connection disconnects mid print, the print should still continue until it finishes and not lose connection with your printer as the instructions were sent to it. However, there has been instances where the whole print did have to be restarted.