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  1. #1

    Need help figuring out a solution to get parts kits for interesting 3d print projects

    I've found this community really helpful when troubleshooting issues and learning about 3d printing so I thought it would be a good group to bounce an idea off of.

    Cliff Notes: I want to help make it easier to build the best maker projects that require 3d printed parts and other hardware/electronics. I created a concept website (www.assemble.network) to help with this and I am curious if you guys think it is dumb or have any thoughts on how to improve the model. Below I outline my rationale for the site. Ultimately I just really like 3d printing and building things and want to help make it more accessible to others. I am not trying to promote anything I am genuinely asking for help to figure out how to make this work.

    Also the site is built on a crowdfunding engine so I can use it to bulk purchase parts. I thought maybe I could help the maker community (which does a lot of crowdfunding) out so I have set it up so any maker can use it for free(I don't charge the 5% platform fee kickstarter and others charge). I am thinking groups of makers could use it for small project funding (not to fund something huge). I am curious what everyone thinks about this, I just want parts kits with good instructions so could easily lock the site so others couldn't start campaigns.


    --end cliff notes


    After I got my printer up and running and printed A LOT of solid objects/figurines I got kind of bored. I found a bunch of cool projects to build on thingiverse like:

    - RC Speed Tank: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2024364
    - Gyroman: https://www.thingiverse.com/quest177...verse_settings


    But it was hard to figure out what parts to get and the assembly instructions were not great...

    I dove in and took on the Gyroman project. As I was going through the process of getting parts and doing the assembly I got really frustrated (it took forever and was expensive) and I thought others might be going through the same thing. I created a simple website where people can get together and say they want parts to build a project and then I will order, sort and ship them out to everyone. The site is www.assemble.network.

    Also, there were several things on the Gyroman instructable page (https://www.instructables.com/id/Gyr...ing-Gyroscope/) that took me awhile to figure out that I wanted to document somewhere but there is no way of adding to or editing an instructable. To get around this I created my own wiki anyone can edit or improve for any project, including gyroman: http://wiki.assemble.network/Gyroman.

    I've gotten the permission of the gyroman creator to sell a kit for his project and have posted it for sale at store.assemble.network. When I got the parts on my own is cost me over $40 and a lot of time and hassle. I did a bulk parts purchase and can sell a premade kit for $17 with free shipping. My hope is this will help people out. I also of course plan to give back a percentage of any revenue to the project creators.

    I would definitely like to know what you all think about this idea. What could I do to improve the model? When you go to the site what do you think? I am open to any feedback and want to make something people actually get excited about.

    If you think this is not a good approach what is a better method to accomplish the goal of easy access to inexpensive parts kits? It didn't seem wise to make a lot of kits before I know if people wanted to make the project (I haven't sold a Gyroman parts kit yet so something is not working). I also do not have the budget or space to hold lots of inventory so my thinking was doing the crowd campaign will mean only the project that get enough support will trigger a payment.


    I'd like to build other projects but most project originators don't take the time to build a good parts list and instructions so I need help from others to figure it all out.

    Finally as I mentioned there is the crowdfunding functionality that seems kind of wasted if I only use it for parts orders. Let me know your thoughts on opening up a free crowdfunding platform for makers.


    In any case thank you for contributions to this community! It kicked off my 3d printing experience so I am grateful!

  2. #2
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
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    Great idea but you can also create your own Instructable profile. It's a great community, you will have lots of visitors and your projects can be eligible for contests too.

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