There are online networks for 3D printing services and for 3D design and for selling 3D printed products. However one network that was certainly missing – and direly needed – until today was a functional network to ensure capillary 3D printing support to all 3D printer owners, whether they are consumers, prosumers or even small enterprises. That is why sustainable 3D printing filament leader 3D Printlife is launching its new Lifesupport network at CES 2017.
The concept behind Lifesupport is simple and that makes it even more useful. It is intended to work in way that is similar to the well established GeeSquad service by Best Buy for computer support services. It is a way to directly link those who are able to offer support with those who need it. Doing this it is looking to remove a burden that many smaller 3D printer manufacturers are not able a this point in time to sustain, while offering some a way to monetize on 3D printing experience and – perhaps most importantly – enabling end users to continue to use their 3D printers even after they are out of warranty.
The business model will eventually see 3D Printlife charge only a small subscription fee to Techs who want to have their profile featured. There will be not other royalties and the company will be external to all transactions between the network’s users. In this early phase subscription fees are waived until June 1st 2017 in order to stimulate the network’s growth. “We receive tons of calls asking us for support everyday – even for systems that we do not sell,” explains 3D Pritnlife’s Buzz Baldwin from the showfloor at CES. “Sometimes they just need a real person to answer their questions and other times they have trouble in getting timely support from the manufacturer. By signing up to Lifesupport, the Techs will be able to benefit from this huge potential customer base. We are certainly happy to work directly with other 3D printer manufacturers to ensure that our service can benefit them as well.”
Techs who sign up will chose their own rates and the mean for providing the support, either in person or through Skype, telephone and other media. they will have a profile page to describe their expertise and their availability. As in many networks which are at the heart of the P2P revolution, users will be able to rate their experience, stimulating the quality of the interaction between those providing service and those receiving it.
We will bring you more on this story as it develops.