It’s not always obvious to our makers what they need to know in order to get started on a new project. Our You3Dit Beta “Create Project” is pretty intuitive and will guide you on what to submit.
Here’s the MUST HAVE, SHOULD HAVE and NICE-TO-HAVE items that improve the likelihood of your idea coming to life with You3Dit. We’ll explain why as we walk you through the process.
If you’re in a hurry, get the must-haves included in your project and you can fill in the details later once you’ve chosen a 3D Designer / Fabricator…but it’s typically better for everyone involved to get these details included in the process as early as possible…especially for you and your wallet.
- Time – at least 5 to 10 minutes – an efficient and experienced Maker with You3Dit can whiz through this process in about 5-10 minutes. If this is your first time, you’ll have to get familiar with the layout of the site, make some project decisions which may require some thought on your end and possibly even research. If you’ve done any product development before and communicated to design engineers and manufacturers about what you want, you’re likely 80% ready to go.
- A drawing, sketch or photo which captures the essence of your project that is then captures as a jpg, png or some other digital image type.
- Commitment to your project – we’re pretty proud of what our 3D Designers and Fabricators can do with what little information some of our clients provide, but at the end of the day, if you’re not willing to commit time, money and energy into your project…why would our 3D Designers and fabricators?
- A communicated project goal – If you tell our 3D Designers and Fabricators your project goal, this can often times dramatically change the design and fabrication approach that you–the Maker–have proposed. While the customer is always “right”, it’s quite possible and even should be expected that our designers will offer brand new ways of looking at the problem and proposing several design iterations of how to solve the project challenges within the client’s constraints: budget, timeline and quality expectations.
- Multiple and relevant images / Supporting Documentation – many of our clients have been communicating their product or prototyping project to their prospective customers in the form of drawings, sketches, photos and other documentation. If a picture is worth a thousand words, it couldn’t be more true in the You3Dit Beta marketplace. Please spend some time finding the right images which explain your concept from multiple perspectives, must-have functional requirements, etc.
Digging into one of these projects, you can see other images and documentation are attached:
- Realistic quantity of parts desired for your project – we know you at least want 1, but you should understand the costs associated with a “unique” Design and Fabrication request. The cost to design one part can often times be the same cost to produce 100 parts. Or 1000 parts. Or more. Many designers don’t even want to bother with project designs that are one-off because they won’t often lead to long-term financial value for them. Thus we encourage our clients to think about quantity and communicate that to our 3D Design and Fabrication community. If you say you’re going to produce 10K parts, then the designers will approach the problem much differently and will charge accordingly (as they should be designing a solution for that scale).
- Realistic expectations on time, quality and cost – 3D Design and Fabrication can often include real hard work in engineering and fabrication. Just because you post your project at 4pm on a Thursday night, doesn’t mean that the project is going to be finished by Friday at 8am. That being said, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF MONEY. We’ve seen clients pay for speed and quick turn around to their delight.
There are physical limitations to 3D Design and Fabrication but we’ve seen projects in some rare cases go from 3D Design to Fabricated part in < 30 minutes. If you’re willing to push the limits of the 3D Designers and Fabricators, don’t be surprised when they push the limits of your budget. In the end if they deliver what you asked and help you land a deal, a big client, etc….weren’t they were worth every penny?
- A great sketch and supporting images – It’s great when our clients upload sketches that are very clear, legible and detail the critical feature. You can tell they put in the time and really thought about their project from the designer and fabricator perspective. “What would the designer need to see in order to execute on my vision?” Terrible at drawing? Sometimes an image from Google edited in PowerPoint gets you where you need to go with your “sketch”. PowerPoint engineering as it’s sometimes called.
- Quick response times – Even though we expect that our 3D Designers and Fabricators to be independent and require very little input from the Maker to drive their projects to completion, it definitely improves their efficiency and effectiveness when they get critical and well-thought-out questions answered by the Maker in a speedy manner.
- Flexibility – we understand that many of you have a very clear roadmap of where you want to take your project idea. That being said, you have a “design envelope of one” or that of the number of people you’ve worked with to develop your idea (maybe a spouse or friend). Each person comes into the design problem with their past experiences and expertise to frame the set of solutions that will work for any given problem. At You3Dit, you go from a 3D Design and Fabrication team of 1-2 people to that of our entire Design & Fabrication community. Any number of our design experts can weigh in on your project’s challenges in the Public Commentary and provide solutions you never would have thought of on your own. As a community, they help you frame out which designer is best suited for the job as well as provide guidance on best ways to manufacture. Thus, with flexibility, your initial concept may get tossed out for an even better, more reliable solution. Put some trust in our network and be open to new solutions and our bet is that you’ll be much more satisfied with the output performance of your part(s), product(s) or prototype(s).
Okay, you now know what files you need to obtain and get ready. If you already have all your files ready to go and you know what you want…time to kickoff your project on You3Dit!