Mastering You3Dit Beta as a Maker (Part 2 of 2)

Why read this article?

Because if you are who we think you are, investing 10 minutes of your precious time now to read this article will save you a lot of time in the future as you bring your idea to life.

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This is a two-part article which will walk you through five essential parts of the You3Dit Process:

  1. Who is a Maker in the You3Dit Network? (Part 1)
  2. How much does it cost (Part 1)
  3. Creating a Project (Part 1)
  4. Getting your idea designed in 3D (Part 2)
  5. Getting your new 3D Design fabricated (Part 2)

Part 2: The Design and Fabrication Processes

In this article we’ll cover the important topics of:

  • Reviewing Design Quotes
  • Choosing Designers
  • Iterating
  • Reviewing Fabrication Quotes
  • Choosing Fabricators
  • The “First Fab” and
  • Getting your Parts Delivered
  • Designer & Fabricator Ratings

But first…

Recap of Part 1

In Part 1 of this two-part series of Mastering You3Dit Beta as a “Maker”, we covered the key aspects of:

  • Who is a “Maker” in the You3Dit network which essentially answered the question, “Am I in the right place?”
  • How much does it cost?  We answered this tough question as best we could in order to give you a better understanding of how far your money can take you.
  • We talked about how to best prepare yourself to submit a new project on the You3Dit Beta platform…what are the MUST HAVEs, what files are OK to submit and so forth.
  • We walked you through the nine-step “Creating a Project” process and provided sample images of what to expect.

If you like to know where you’re headed before you embark on a journey, Part 1 is a better place to start than Part 2.

You’ve created a Project on You3Dit Beta…now what

This is where you hand off your project idea over to our team at You3Dit & the You3Dit community.   The You3Dit Beta platform was designed to have all the key features for you to successfully navigate the 3D Design and Fabrication process in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner.  Once you’ve submitted your Design & Fabrication project to the platform, here’s what happens:

  1. Project on “Needs Design” Browse Page – Your project is posted on our 3D Designer & Fabricator “Browse” Pages.  3D Designers and Fabricators “browse” the variety of projects and dig deeper into projects they’re interested in and believe they can help design or fabricate.
  2. Designers Submit Quotes – Once a Designer or Fabricator is interested in your project and they believe they can deliver on your functional requirements, they’ll submit a quote.  This quoting process requires effort, just like your project submission process required effort.  It’s one of our responsibilities at You3Dit to deliver qualified work to our 3D Designers and Fabricators (clients who are serious about investing in their projects).
  3. Maker Reviews Quotes and Chooses a Designer (PAYMENT STEP) – once your project has a number of design quotes, it’s up to you to choose the one that makes most sense for you and your project constraints.  At this point you are charged 20% of the total design cost presented in the design quote.
  4. Maker and Designer Iterate on the Project Design – Once you’ve chosen a designer and paid the 20%, the real work begins for the designer.  They will review your project materials and begin to construct the 3D CAD file to satisfy your project requirements.  When they believe they’ve reached a milestone where they need your feedback, they submit an “Iteration”.  This iteration *should* include a 3D Design File(s) and a “Preview Image” so that if you LOVE your iteration, you can choose that design and pay.  If not, no big deal.  Part of the product development process is finding out what you do NOT like or want as it’s typically difficult to know in advance.  Thus a designer may submit a hand sketch of what they’re thinking to avoid spending a lot of time and energy on a CAD model that in the end, you will not want.  Be cognizant of this fact and do your best to respect the designer’s time in this way.
  5. Maker chooses favorite Design Iteration (PAYMENT STEP) – Once you’ve arrived at an iteration you love, all the files are attached to that iteration along with a preview image, you’ll pay the remaining 80% to obtain all of the CAD files that were designed for you.  At this point, your project is ready for Fabrication.
  6. You3Dit Designer Rating Process – Now that you’re at the end of your 3D Design process, we ask that you rate the process overall and also your designer.  These ratings are fed back to future Makers so they can make informed decisions on choosing a Designer for their project.  Please take them seriously.  We use their results to continuously improve our services.
  7. Project on “Needs Fabrication” Browse Page – Now your newly designed idea is ready for fabrication.  Depending on all the various details of your project and its design, a variety of fabricators can submit quotes to your project.
  8. Fabricators Submit Quotes – Fabricators will review the design files and provide a calculated quote to produce the parts in your desired quantities and specifications.  They’ll ask questions about the design files if they have them in the Public Commentary.  Once you have a a couple of quotes, it’s time for you to choose the quote which aligns with your constraints.
  9. Maker Reviews Quotes and Chooses a Fabricator (PAYMENT STEP) – just like the design process, the Maker chooses a Fabricator and pays the 20% up front fee to start Fabrication work.
  10. Maker and Fabricator Iterate on the “First Fabrication” (aka First Fab) – similar to the Design iteration process, the Maker and the Fabricator need to agree on the first fabricated parts before the remaining are produced (with the exception of a one-off unique fabrication).  In professional industry terms, this is known as “First Article Inspection”.
  11. Maker Chooses a “First Fab” and Begins Full Production (PAYMENT STEP) – Once the Maker and Fabricator are happy with the results of the “First Fab”, the client pays the remaining amount and the Fabrication Quote.  This unleashes the Fabricator to get into full production of your parts as you have both come to agreement to what “good” looks like.
  12. Maker Receives Final Inspection Photo and Starts the Delivery Process – Typically the Fabricator will include a photo of all fabricated parts assembled as instructed.  That way the Maker is reassured that everything looks great and they can be excited to receive their parts.
  13. You3Dit Delivery Process – at it’s core, You3Dit believes in local fabrication so we do everything in our power to support the local delivery of parts whenever possible.  As we grow and have more machines local to our clients, we’ll push the local deliver option exclusively but today, we rely on the speed of Fabricators & their preferred shipping services to deliver parts to our customers from any location on the planet.
  14. You3Dit Fabrication Rating Process – Once you’re all done and you’ve received your parts, you can come back into your project and rate the You3Dit Fabricator and the Process as a whole.  Also important to know, is that you as a Maker are also rated so that way Designers and Fabricators can assess if it’s worth their time to submit a quote.
  15. Your next project – now that you’re fired up that your idea has been brought to life…we hope you ride the high and submit your next big idea!

That’s the high-level Design and Fabrication process on You3Dit Beta.  We’ll go into the details below.

1) Project on “Needs Design” Browse Page

Your brand new project will live here until you choose a 3D Designer who you believe can transform your idea into a 3D CAD model within your constraints.

This is a snapshot of our design browse page. You can see it’s an assortment of 3D models, hand sketches and photos of things people want to get made. Projects with the placeholder image “Project” simply mean the client didn’t upload an image to their project. Don’t let this be you as 3D Designers & Fabricators glance over these when compared to their image-rich neighbor projects.  Projects with a profile icon are the projects you’ve created.

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2) Designers Submit Quotes

This is what a designer sees just after they’ve submitted a quote on a project.  Note they can’t see the details on the other quotes that have been submitted.  This prevents undercutting.

If you’re the maker, you see all the details and you’re able to evaluate and choose the designer you believe is best fit for the job:

Here a Maker gets to review a design quote. They get to see the Designer’s prior work, relevant images, cost and lead time.  Take the time to review their ratings here on this screen.  You can open the box to see the other images and files that were submitted by the Designer to convince you they’re right for the job.

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3) Maker Reviews Quotes and Chooses a Designer (PAYMENT STEP)

Here you pay a 20% down payment for the Design services. You3Dit holds your money in escrow until you receive the files to your satisfaction.

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4) Maker and Designer Iterate on the Project Design

Now that you’ve paid your 20% up front and you’ve got a rockstar 3D Designer, now the fun begins.  You get to iterate back and forth with your 3D Designer until they’ve translated your napkin sketch into a 3D Design.

The Maker submits a sketch / photo and after several iterations with their designer, they have a 3D CAD model.

Iterations can be few or many.  Ideally you can go from zero to 3D Design in fewer than 3 major iterations.

In this example, the Maker Chris is confirming Steve’s second iteration for the “Shelf Height Extender”.   Iterations can also be used to get quick feedback on a Design idea from the Designer.  It may be called an “Iteration” but as the Maker you should be sure that the Design Iteration that was submitted has all the 3D Design Files and that the Design will work.

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5) Maker chooses favorite Design Iteration (PAYMENT STEP)

Just like above when choosing the Design Quote, the Iteration can be reviewed and when the Maker is convinced they have the right design AND all the files are attached to the iteration, they can pay for the remaining 80% of the quote.

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6) You3Dit Designer Rating Process

Just like you’d find at the end of your Lyft ride, we have a quick 5 star rating for both the You3Dit Designer and the You3Dit Design process as a whole.  Our Designers and Fabricators land jobs based on that rating so please take it seriously.  The Designers and Fabricators also have the opportunity to rate the Maker.

And that’s how the Sketch > Design process works.  As you’ll see in the next steps, the Fabrication Process works very similar.

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7) Project on “Needs Fabrication” Browse Page

Once your 3D Design is completed (or if you just created a “Fabrication Only” project), your project now lives on the Needs Fabrication page

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8) Fabricators Submit Quotes

Here you can see the Maker has several different fabrication quotes to choose from. A variety of prices which can be confusing, but sometimes this is reflective of fabricator work load, capability and their expertise.

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9) Maker Reviews Quotes and Chooses a Fabricator (PAYMENT STEP)

Similar to the 20% Design payment process, the Maker pays 20% up front on the fabrication quote to start the fabrication process.  At this point, just like in the design process, you’ll be able to start chatting with your fabricator.

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10) Maker and Fabricator Iterate on the “First Fabrication”

In this photo, the Maker is waiting for the Fabricator to upload the “First Fab” for approval. You can see that the Maker is trying to coordinate a last minute design change which is not ideal, but because we haven’t seen the first fab, technically, we should be able to adjust the design. After a “first fab” is approved, the Fabricator is off in full-production mode and no more design changes are possible without added costs.

Here’s a photo where you can see a “First Fab” was chosen.  This is analogous to an “Iteration” however, as we enter into production, our goal is to minimize iterations down to zero as it’s much more expensive to be making fabrication mistakes at this stage.

In this image, you can see the Maker chose the “First Fab #1” signifying that they approve of the fabrication of remaining parts.

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11) Maker Chooses a “First Fab” and Begins Full Production (PAYMENT STEP)

Similar to the design process above, once the “First Fab” is eventually approved, the Maker pays the remaining 80% of the Fabrication Quote and the Fabricator is allowed to produce the remaining parts.  No more design changes are allowed at this point in the process w/out additional costs.

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12) Maker Receives Final Inspection Photo and Starts the Delivery Process

Once the Final Fabrication image is uploaded, this ends the Fabrication iteration process and you move into the Delivery / Shipping step.

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13) You3Dit Delivery Process

In the spirit of local production, we provide the option to our Fabricators to hand deliver their parts if they can deliver on deadlines faster in this way.  Additionally, we believe that local production helps You3Dit address the triple bottom line: economically reducing shipping costs, socially: providing the work to locals and environmentally: minimizing the distance between the Maker and the Fabricator.

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14) You3Dit Fabrication Rating Process

We’ll add a screenshot here soon but like mentioned above, you get to rate your Fabricator from 1-5 stars and then leave a comment.  Please take the time to submit a thoughtful rating.

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15) Your next project

We hope you thoroughly enjoyed the process of bringing your idea to life….so much so you’ll start another project with us soon!

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