Discussion in 'ShapeJS' started by AlanHudson, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. AlanHudson
    AlanHudson Shapeways Employee Dev Team
    We are using it to power Spring and Wonder. If that proves successful we plan on offering the system to others to power customized creation.

    I've had a hard time figuring out how to grow a developer community around ShapeJS. For now were concentrating on improving the shopping experience. Ie was my attempt to start first with developers. While we had some interest it wasn't enough to really kickstart the concept.
  2. Oliver_Krangle
    Oliver_Krangle Well-Known Member
    The old system still seems to work except for people actually being able to purchase the custom generated doo-dads. But exactly how do we get them to be purchase-able?

    As far as I can tell when someone generates a doo-dad the parts go into my actual Shapeways account (not the ShapeJS account). But in order for them to purchase the item they would need to let me know they generated the doo-dad and then I would need to turn them into an active products with mark-up, descriptions, etc. I'd like to put better instructions for customers on my sales page even if what's there is just temporary.

    If it's meant to be completely dead then it's probably better to just turn off the products on and keep working on the scripts until a better mechanism comes along. I can't say there was ever much motivation to work on improving algorithms in the previous incarnation.
  3. drloris
    drloris Well-Known Member
    Huh, I missed this exchange until today.
    It's good to hear you're still active, Alan.
    I've not heard much about Spring and Wonder... but Jewelry? Bah. Okay, so maybe one or two of my ideas might be classified as jewelry, but why restrict it to just one category?

    The shopping experience might be important, but the most important part of it is actually being able to actually buy the stuff!
    Is there a good reason why you can't make the designs purchasable?
    Because I think you're in a catch22 situation where developers arn't investing time when they can't sell the product - and you're interpreting that as no interest in the system.
    Several people had some sort of proof of principle design on there, including myself and Oliver. I at least have several rather more involved creators I'd love to have working, but I can't really justify the considerable time to program them when there's absolutely no sign of ever being able to sell the output.

    I suppose you'll have some inside information on what is actually being used.
    I think there are at least two functional creator systems on Shapeways in active use, or at least there were until recently:

    The 3D image popper went through a few iterations. This was great, and was instrumental in making the first thing I got printed. I can't find it now - did it get pulled? I thought it would be in creator apps, but no.
    This had a lot of utility with a very low entry bar.

    Custommaker is/was basically a very limited subset of shapejs, with a web front-end. I don't know how successful it's actually been, but my impression is that there's a metric fuck-ton of models using it. These designs don't seem to be working at the moment, though.

    There was also the original shapejs, which saw some use but got shut down fairly quickly. It was a bit slow and clunky - my models took maybe 30 secs to a minute to generate. I can see that being a bit too slow for many shoppers, so the massive speed improvement of shapejs2 seemed like a good reason to switch.
    But my custom pip die, for example, had several orders within a few days of going live. That demand for stuff you just can't do with a custommaker is going essentially unserviced, ever since this was switched off.
    If your new CEO Greg Kress means what he says on Shapeways' blog, then "customizer technology" is a big thing for him, too.

    If I were shapeways, I'd be a bit concerned that waiting around too long would mean some other company would get something working, gain marketplace traction and eat your lunch.
  4. Oliver_Krangle
    Oliver_Krangle Well-Known Member
    There's definitely the Catch 22 problem but there's also a general entropy problem. When you rely on other people's web sites you are not the master of your domain. Web sites and features come and go. Sometimes with warning and sometimes unexpectedly. Other times they simply fade away into disfunction.
    stannum likes this.
  5. drloris
    drloris Well-Known Member
    Well, yes - there is that. And Shapeways isn't exactly going out of its way to minimise concern.

    But some issues come with the territory. If you're reliant on Shapeways to print your products, it's not much of an additional commitment to rely on them for other stages in the process.
    Or from the opposite perspective - if you're a company and you're trying to find extra ways to get people to give you money for sending stuff, trusting you (to some extent at least) is a necessary prerequisite for becoming your customer, not a thing you can avoid.