**UPDATE: NOW LIVE!! **First To Try & Beta Products**

Discussion in 'Shapeways Shops' started by kzasada, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. kzasada
    kzasada New Member
    Here at Shapeways, we're changing how products are made and by whom. We have makers and designers from all over the world, some of whom are making their first product, and others who have been professional product designers for their whole lives. They're creating everything from jewelry to rocket ships, GoPro accessories to chess sets - anything is possible. No matter what they're making, though, we know how tough the creative process can be. Taking a great idea and making it real takes a lot of hard work and iteration before amazing products just "come to life".

    With 3D printing, designers are not alone in the creative process. They don't have to spend thousands of dollars to get the form and function just right, and they don't have to wait to go to market until they've undergone extensive testing. With the support of their friends and fans, they can share their products with the world and get the feedback they need -- wherever they are in the product development process. We're committed to helping you create great products, by embracing iteration and encouraging your customers to actively participate in earlier stages of product development. Step one is setting the right expectations, and step two is opening up the conversation around products.

    Today, we are excited to give you, our community, a sneak peek into two new ways to get support and feedback on early stage products that we'll release later this summer: Beta Products and First To Try. You can see all of the new tools on your model edit page today and preview what your products will look like when this is released to shoppers later in the summer.

    First To Try

    3D printing a model in every material finish you'd like to offer for sale can be quite expensive. We're working hard to reduce the barriers to entry and we don't ever want to make you 3D print a model in every finish yourself (unless you prefer to, and we know some of you do). However, because 3D printing is still new, some customers don't understand the risks subtleties involved with 3D printing and can be disappointed if their product doesn't turn out the way they were expecting. In the past you guys asked for things such as a "printed before" badge on products, but we've found that customers don't always understand the concept of printed before and what it means.

    As a part of our efforts to increase transparency about the manufacturing process with designers and shoppers, we are going to show a "First To Try" label on any product that hasn't been printed before in that material, based on the Print Success Rate. This helps shoppers understand our level of confidence that we can successfully create the product that they want to buy.

    Once you or your customers have successfully printed your product in each material you're offering for sale, the First To Try label won't apply any longer. There are a few ways to progress through First To Try:
    You can enlist your friends, fans and community to buy your product and share a photo, which will be important for your long term product success
    You can print the product in your preferred materials and ensure you meet the Print Success Rate before you launch your product
    You can disable the materials that haven't been successfully printed before

    Material Renders

    We've heard you complain that the default grey render on the product page isn't very exciting and we agree. We're really excited to begin rolling out beautiful new renders that match the color and finish of all of our materials, so you can show a customer exactly what the product will look like. This will also help customers visualize what a product will look like even if it has never been printed before. We'll be labelling all new Material Renders so that shoppers don't get confused, but we think it's a lot better than the grey. Learn more here: Material Renders.

    Beta Products

    From our conversations with experienced designers, we understand that design is inherently a collaborative process. Big design houses and small enterprises all know that to get a great product involves iteration, testing, gathering feedback and collaboration.

    We've actually already seen examples on Shapeways where designers and customers work together to tweak products and make them more personal. We want to make it easier for Shapeways Shop Owners to tap into this trend and develop deeper, ongoing connections with their customers.

    Beta Products help to fuel this kind of collaboration. These are early stage products that are in active development and are being improved upon through product iteration. As a Shop Owner, you will be able to invite your friends, fans, and communities to support you in the product development process.

    Another thing we've heard you ask for a lot is a way to communicate with your customers. By putting your product in Beta you will have a private comment stream do just that. We see a lot of this happening in comment streams today on Shapeways, but we wanted to provide a private place to encourage honest feedback. Elaborate on your goals, get feedback on how it fits, whether they like the design and keep your customers up to date on the progress of your product. We'll also be encouraging customers who buy a product in Beta to post their comments and share photos with you after they receive their product.

    Your product page will prominently announce that your product is in Beta, and has space for you to tailor a specific message to your customers. Putting your product in Beta is totally optional - you can choose to make your product a Beta Product or to move it out of Beta at any time. While we think it will be helpful for newer designers, we understand that more experienced designers amongst you may already be doing this process yourself.

    The Future of Product Development at Shapeways

    With a process as new and rapidly-changing as 3D printing, expectation setting is critical. But we know there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We'll continue to build more tools to help you solicit support from the community and help them understand how the process works.

    Learn more about Product Development at Shapeways, or jump into the tutorials on how to use First To Try, Material Renders & Beta Products in your shop today.

    We're really excited about these new additions to our marketplace, and I would love for you to join the discussion here to let us know what you think!


    Edited to fix links :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2015
  2. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    This link is missing/broken - also cannot see where it is on my Models.
  3. kzasada
    kzasada New Member
    Ah, my links are broken. Fixing now, but material render posing tutorial link is here: https://www.shapeways.com/tutorials/how-to-pose-your-render

    Also, you can see renders by going to the Details tab on edit model, then scrolling down & posing then saving your render. It takes some time (up to 10 minutes), but then you'll be able to see them along with the photos on that page.
  4. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
  5. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    You might just be too quick with trying - could be that the new features will only go live later tonight with the usual weekly site updates. (Guessing she might just have wanted to get the message out before leaving for the day, must be something like 5pm in NY now)
  6. kzasada
    kzasada New Member
    Indeed we wanted to get the message out before end of day here in NY, but for renders I could have been more clear about the timing: we're allowing you to pose & generate your renders today, but they won't be shown to the public for a few more weeks.

    This means that your renders are not visible in your shop today.

    We saw that most renders were better when we had a chance to adjust them, so that they weren't upside down or backwards. Before we spend 10 days in computer time (!) creating renders for every single model on the site, we're letting you pose your render first if you would like.

    We'll add a preview link to that section, but you can preview by going to the "Selling" Tab and clicking on the Preview link under First To Try or Beta Products. This will show you the renders in the product page as everyone will see it soon.

    edited for grammar.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  7. numarul7
    numarul7 Well-Known Member
    The "set default photo" get locked on the 3D render so people can`t change to the photo of the product.

    It is a bug?
  8. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    Can I suggest a stripped down version of your original post? One specifying simply the actual features and the expected date of implementation.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  9. natalia
    natalia New Member
    Hey guys,

    With regards to render posing, please give us your feedback in THIS FORM

    We have a column for employee responses so you can see what we're doing with all your suggestions in REAL TIME!!

  10. railNscale
    railNscale Well-Known Member

    Regarding First To Try, I have some remarks.
    In our shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/rail-n-scale, you will see that ALL our models where printed before. ALL our models are displayed with photos. Since we have many composed models (containing multiple identical, or a combination of products), we do not print all the composed models. This would be too cosltly to do. However we made sure that all shown models are in fact printable.

    Example: we have a model of a car and a caravan, but also a model with both. The car and caravan where printed separately with success. The composed model with both car and caravan was not ordered by us. But we know it is printable.

    With the feature 'First To Print', our customers will be confused or may wonder whether the actual model can be printed. Now, probably most of our customers are not at all accustomed to 3D printing or its capabilities at all. They just want our models, because you cannot buy these anywhere else. So adding this information to clients without any kind of 3D printing knowledge will probably be not of any help.

    Adding the fact that the vast majority of our clients is not native English speaking and often aged 50 years + will also not contribute to the communication.

    So, what is SW up to? Scaring potential customers? Confusing potential customers? In the best case they may think they are the Guineapigs. Would you buy products that are labelled 'maybe not printable' ? Because, that is what you are trying to tell with 'First To Try'. I think this not wise.

    It is surely a pity that SW still not seems to understand that there is a HUGE difference between designers as client, and the customers who never design a thing. In stead of making your shop more easy to understand. Similar to the 'normal' webshops, in multiple languages, you just add technical blah blah.

    Another rather stupid example is the way you inform customers about seemingly failed prints. Also here, you start a communication to parties that really do not understand where you talk about, and more importantly do not want to be bothered with this. They just want the ordered models. Not the underhood discussions.


  11. numarul7
    numarul7 Well-Known Member
    The idea it is to be ease to manage 2.000.000 items on Shapeways and make them on a category.

    And make some clients support designers when they make something.

    Beta Product it is passing like Print it Anyway to the client ? And if will print ok will go out of beta when designer wants with 100% printed if passes that ?

    There must be a better communication because we are not full English speakers and confusion can be very HIGH.

    Better to have "First To Try" by material , If I have printed in Silver and client bought in Silver it goes off the "First To Try" for that MATERIAL. Then Shapeway can use a filter for finished product to put to the public in an organised way.

    Why go on "First To Try" on all material default ? It is wrong and nobody can buy as designer a 3.000 platinum thing , but they can design it , and can be "First to Try" only on that material. And have the "Silver" "Brass" without "Frist to Try" because they are NOT FIRST TO TRY!

    I know programmers have fixations , and are lazy sometime , but this can kill customers will before they buy!

  12. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    I second railNscale's sentiments. "First to try" is a dare, not an offer - you might as well just adopt the model of some of your competitors, requiring a designer to demonstrate printability by buying a model himself before it can be offered for sale. Having (at a wild guess) half the items in the shops openly flagged with "this will probably not work anyway" will not exactly increase sales. Even considering such a move suggests that third-party customer satisfaction with shapeways must be less than stellar ??
  13. numarul7
    numarul7 Well-Known Member
    Adding "buy in the material before offer to sell" will make that 2.000.000+ of products/models on Shapeways to become 10.000 like the other competitor has and that literally cuts all the clients and designer of it.

    Already there it IS a Competitor with same option like Shapeaways and starts with the S in name and it is in USA and France ... only that does not have so much materials.

    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  14. FabMeJewelry
    FabMeJewelry New Member
    We always let you know that we're happy with the changes you make so we'll do the same now for the announcement that we're not happy with.

    We agree with railNscale (your shop looks super professional btw :), we totally do not want a "First to try" feature !
    How are you going to explain what this means to people who don't know anything about CAD, 3Dprinting or technology and why would you want to ? We've spend way too much $$$ on ordering every product in the material we think works best for that design, now we will end up with 90% of the material options marked as "this could fail", we can imagine customers asking us for a discount to be the first to try...

    For most people it will be the first try on 3D printing, that alone is exciting enough !
    We're not going to order every product in every material so the only other option is disabling the materials that will get the tag :(

    The renders are a big + but they should be clearly marked so that people will understand that the actual product will never look the same as the displayed render for that material.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  15. numarul7
    numarul7 Well-Known Member
    "First to fail"

    That was epic!

    +1 :)))
  16. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    See also this thread for concerns about the "New renders" part of the announcement.
  17. kzasada
    kzasada New Member
    Thank you everyone for the feedback. I know it is a lot of change, but we've been looking at this a lot for the past 6 months and feel that "First To Try" is necessary to bring in more customers who don't always understand 3D printing in order to make our Shop Owners more successful.

    @mkroeker We have seen a lot of new customers who don't understand 3d printing who come to Shapeways to buy a product they are excited about who don't know or don't care that it has been 3d printed. are then disappointed for one reason or another, and it always boils down to expectations not being met. They didn't realize it had to be painted themselves, that the finish of strong & flexible plastic isn't perfectly smooth, or they saw a render and the product looked different. So it's not a dare, it's setting the right expectation.

    On the other hand, when customers do understand the final product, they are excited about being able to get a product that is made with such a unique process and is made just for them. Our production processes here are different than almost everything else out there on the market, and most of the population has heard of 3d printing but never held something in their hand or thought about what it takes to make something. @FabMeJewelry

    We explored at a lot of ways to explain this to customers, and the feedback we got on other approaches of explaining this is that it was too complicated or scary to try. We've had other community members and even shoppers asking for "Printed before" badges for some time now. We never want customers to feel misled by Shapeways, and now we've worked to increase transparency in our production process for makers, we're also trying to do the same in our marketplace for customers.

    It is important to note that most of our customers look at a lot of different information to evaluate if they will buy a model, and overwhelmingly the most important thing to them pictures. If you've printed it before and have a picture of the model, it infinitely more powerful to customers than if it has been printed before. So even if you've made some changes, the picture proves that you know what you are doing, and the risk is small. This is also why we added the renders-- it can help you sell a model that hasn't been printed before, since a customer can actually get a guide idea of what it will look like when it does get printed for the first time.

    In order to grow our marketplace and bring shop owners a wider audience of people, we need to be transparent with customers about if we've never made something before, otherwise we get angry emails that they don't trust us and never want to come back. It is a minority, but critical for us to make sure this never happens if we want to grow and expand to include people who have no idea what 3d printing is. I hope you all believe me when I say it isn't in our best interests to scare off customers from buying models, but we also can't move forward with our current approach if we expect to keep growing.

    @railNscale I understand there are limitations to how it works currently-- we are working on a way to combine multiple models that will maintain the print history, as well as transferring them from one account to another that also maintains a history.

    @numarul7 to answer your commentBetter to have "First To Try" by material , If I have printed in Silver and client bought in Silver it goes off the "First To Try" for that MATERIAL. Then Shapeways can use a filter for finished product to put to the public in an organized way. - this IS how this works. So if you print once in premium silver, the print success rate will be the same for other materials that share the same production processed. For premium silver, this includes all other cast & polished materials, such as platinum and gold. My colleague Brad is actually going to hop in here and provide some more detail on the print success rate as it is shared across materials soon as well.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2014
  18. sedstiskyfaller
    sedstiskyfaller Active Member
    I agree that the First to Try feature is not beneficial. I could see it being a great thing to implement for the Beta Products option, but not for everything else.

    I am still a new shop owner and have been able to order some products, but cannot afford to order everything in my shop, let alone in every material. I apply things I learn from these models to others in my shop so I know they can be printed successfully. My customer base is not large enough at the moment to support what I offer in my shop under this feature. I appeal to a specialized market.

    The Material Render feature, however, is brilliant! I am very much looking forward to this addition as I believe it will help build shops like mine and give the customer a better understanding of the materials.

    I see the Material Render feature as beneficial to business on Shapeways, but the First to Try feature as a hinderance.

    Sedsti Skyfaller
  19. I truly hop the first try label will not be implemented!!!!! I don't think it is carefully thought through.

    As it is now most shopowners will not be able to afford all of their products printed in all the materials the wish to offer for sales just for a photo shoot. From what I can tell by browsing through the various shops most shop owners stop at Premium Silver to be the most exclusive material they will test print. Printing 14K Gold, 14K Rose Gold, 18K Gold and Platinium price ranging from €250 - €700 simply is too expensive for test print and photo shoot unless you really have a successful professional shop going.

    Now Shapeways will launch a 'first try' label on those materials that have not been successfully printed before. This will as I see it stop any potential customer from buying the very expensive precious materials as you might as well label those materials 'print on own risk as this is a prototype'.

    I can understand that Shapeways wants to ensure the best quality for their customers and since they are handling the sales for all of the shops the customers are actually Shapeways' customers in the end. However there should be other ways to do this.

    Depending on the design many prints will obviously print in the precious materials if the have successfully printed in premium silver without any problems. But with a 'first try' label no-one will now bother to buy. The shop owners will loose potential sales and Shapeways will loose sales.

    I think it could be an idea for Shapeways to offer an analysis of a product to guarantee it will print... this could be offered to the shop owners for low cost and eliminate necessity many 'first try' labels.

    What do you think about the 'first try' label?


  20. FabMeJewelry
    FabMeJewelry New Member
    We know what you mean @kzasada and we understand why you need to take action but we don't think this is the way to go.
    We do understand however that it's our opinion and that there will be shop owners that will like the "first try" feature, we as a brand just don't want to present our products as beta-jewelry. Once things get launched we'll start disabling the affected materials and continue to shine with the current set of printed materials, no prob maybe it will even look cleaner.

    Quote @sedstiskyfaller "I see the Material Render feature as beneficial to business on Shapeways"

    Totally agree !
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014