- End-to-end Process – Consolidated, end-to-end processes for design & fabrication, is a valuable process that few attempt in our business. We do this by managing a zero-to-prototype process and execute these steps with the following philosophies in mind: a) keeping documentation and project history consistent b) clearly communicating through action and project engagement c) having You3Dit staff overseeing your project all along the way.
- Right tool for Right job – Clients, designers and fabricators place their jobs into the You3Dit ecosystem and in this way, we believe the best person to do the job (based on timing, skillsets, capacity and capability) apply / quote the work. This minimizes gouge-pricing / surge-pricing caused by a client lack of supplier options at any given time.
- Cost per part and service fee, that’s it – Shipping, packaging, taxes, etc. are all wrapped up into that one quote & process fee. So while we definitely understand the idea that most clients do not want to see the process details; rather, they just want to see parts in hand. When they’re exposed to process details, clients often have negative feelings towards them, and for this fact, we simply state up front that we charge a marketplace processing fee. A fee with which is reduced overtime through development of trust and loyalty within our community. By positively reinforcing good behavior within our system, we incentivize both the supply and demand sides of our marketplace to keep projects coming to You3Dit.
- Money in escrow, arbitration – there have been many cases where we’ve seen clients and suppliers have such wildly missed expectations, and ultimately, the relationship is destroyed. However, if those two entities had a neutral party in between that relationship, and helped each side understand the other, a much more positive experience could transpire. Especially in design work; where often the deliverable is subjective and if the client says, “hey, I don’t like this” and decides to walk away, the designer is in a terrible & unfair spot. There needs to be an opportunity for corrective action–assuming the request is even valid.
- Improved Quality Control – Quality comes with trust and successful engagements over time. In addition, we have a Quality Management System (QMS) and other internal efforts to ensure that our output part quality meets or exceeds client expectations. This especially thanks to points #1,2, and 4.
- Accelerated Development Speed – When communication comes in the form of action and engagement, fabricators are chosen by their technology and proximity to the client, a process has oversight from experts yet the legwork is done by the key stakeholders: client, designer, fabricator, product development accelerates rapidly. Bullets 1,2 and 4 again add to this.
- Dramatically Reduced long-term cost – With design and manufacturing inextricably linked, design engineers can create properly engineered CAD models ready for prototyping, low-volume prototyping, or low-volume production. Design and manufacturing are analogous to strategy and execution. Designers who understand the key nuances to the digital manufacturing processes being used, effectively create better strategies that are more executable. As well as, manufacturers who understand the design process and which of their digital manufacturing tools are best fit for the design at hand, this can dramatically reduce costs, in terms of cash, time and risk to the product development process. The combined design & manufacturing elements of the You3Dit network is the hardest value to quantify because no one can know the future…however, those who have massive experience in a domain, definitely have a clearer vision on that future and can help new entrants to the mechanical hardware development process minimize risk and avoid massive pitfalls.
Can you think of something else we should be doing? Something we missed? Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks as well from Steve G. at ARC Engines for the thoughtful conversations which helped crystalize these values into written form.