3D Printing Project - University of Leicester


I am a final year Physics student at the University of Leicester and currently undertaking a project based on the 3D printing industry. The project involves making a startup company and this survey has been made to get an insight into what people involved in the industry think are the most valued parts of the company and to get feedback on any improvements that could be made. Any responses would be beneficial for my understanding of the subject.

Thank you for your time and help!

Premise of the startup:

The startup is a service called 3Develop which provides a platform to connect the best designers in the 3D printing industry with companies/clients that need designs of 3D printed parts. The service will run on an Internet web page where companies post on the page looking for a designer that fits their needs. Companies will include in the post all the skills and requirements they expect the designer they are looking for to have and anything about the design specifications of the part they are looking to make. They can include as much or as little as they like about the design specifications, protecting confidentiality if they wish.

Designers can then apply to make the design and then the company will pick who they wish to work with from all the applicants and start to discuss the design through face to face meetings or other ways. If the company thinks no one is suitable then they can reject all applicants.

Companies can set a price they are willing to pay for the design or can negotiate with the designer once one has been picked. Payment is only made once the product has been approved by the company.

Website will include company locations, closing dates on posts, designer profiles, categorising posts by sector and manufacturing types, and a rating system for designers. (Details to be decided) 

Designers sign up for free and it is free to post for companies as well. When payment between the company and designer is being made, companies would also pay 3Develop an additional 7.5% of the payment offered by companies to the designer and designers would pay 2.5% of their earnings. 

For example:
A company is paying a designer £100.
Companies would pay £7.50 to 3Develop and the company would pay in total £107.50.
The designer would pay £2.50 to 3Develop and take home £97.50 of the £100. 

* 1. What features do you find most valuable about the service described above?

* 2. If you work for a company in the industry, do you think your company would like to use this service? If yes, why? If no, why not?

* 3. If you are a designer, would you sign up to this service? If yes, why? If no, why not?

* 4. Do you have any colleagues who would be interested in the service? If so, how many?

* 5. What additional features would benefit you in using the service?

* 6. Which features are not important to you?

* 7. How do you feel about the costing structure to use the service?

* 8. Do you currently use any services like this that connect companies with designers? If yes, please give some examples.

* 9. If you answered no to question 8, why don't you use services that connect designers and companies? What would need to change to make you use one?

* 10. If you answered yes to question 8, would you leave your current service to join the service described above? If yes, why? If no, why not?