With the 3D printing industry projected to be worth anywhere between $8 billion and $18 billion (depending on who you ask) in the next 4-6 years, it’s no surprise that 3D printing-related startups and 3D printer manufacturers seem to be popping up left right and center. Some have been extremely successful in their early endeavors, like Baltimore company M3D and German startup Stilnest, while others have failed to capture the market.
A new Canberra, Australia-based startup is hoping to do just that. Made for Me wants to connect designers, manufacturers and consumers interested in 3D printing. The company aims to be Australia’s largest network of 3D printing professionals and services, as well as an online marketplace for 3D printed customizable goods. Consumers will be able to find what they need based on price, location and speed of delivery. From this basic description it seems like it will be similar to an integration of 3D Hubs and Shapeways for Australian residents.
Co-founder James Antifaev told Australian website StartupSmart that no other company in Australia has the network of 3D printed products and 3D printing-related solutions the company is building.
Made for Me was founded in 2013 and is now taking part in Canberra’s Griffin Accelerator program. The website has launched but is still only in an early beta stage. The company hopes to be similar to sites such as Webjet and Expedia in the sense that customers will be able to use it as a ‘one stop shop’ without having to go to multiple websites to find what they’re looking for.
According to Antifaev, the team at Made for Me believes mass customization will be the future of retail. “It’s really being driven by the fact there is not an open platform that connects every step of the value chain from the shopping experience to the design and manufacturing,” he said.
“3D printing is going to be used in a lot of different ways by a lot of different people,” added Antifaev. “And certainly there are a lot of applications that are going to disrupt or improve the customer experience in some way. We’re really aiming to fill that space for independent designers where our marketplace is the fulfilment mechanism as well as the sales channel.”
Will Made for Me succeed and cement its place in the rapidly growing 3D printing market? Although it does run on a similar business model to other existing companies, it’s niche target market could grant it a top spot as one of the largest 3D printing services companies in Australia. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.