Vancouver 3D printing design marketplace Pinshape is looking to streamline its experience for users with the launch of their new Pinshape Feed feature, which will personalize each user’s experience after they’ve signed in on the website’s community tab, based on previous activity combined with who each user follows or who follows them.
Pinshape is a marketplace, featuring over 12,000 approved designs, that allows designers to sell directly to people interested in 3D printing those designs, although Pinshape also encourages sharing and free downloads.
Founded in 2013, Pinshape now has offices in Vancouver and San Francisco after going through the 500 Startups Accelerator in Mountain View, California.
The company launched publicly in January 2015.
They’ve previously raised a $700,000 seed round through 500 Startups (Batch 9), China Rock Ventures, BDC Capital, DeNA, and a few angel investors, but are apparently still interested in accepting financing through their Fundable.com page.
“The last 6 months have been incredible,” Matheson told 3D Printing Industry in July. “We’ve exceeded all of our growth targets this year, and seeing 147%+ monthly growth. We need to expand our team, and have a lot of exciting plans on the road map.”
In May, Pinshape integrated with 3DPrinterOS, the first operating system for 3D printers.
Pinshape has also built up a sizable community of 3D printing enthusiasts and designers who exchange tips and advice on the Pinshape forum, taking tutorials, providing each other with tech support and keeping up with industry news.
The Pinshape feed was designed through user feedback and aims to consolidate the user experience.
Users previously were keeping an eye on a combination of Pinshape’s website, blog and community forum, as well as filtering search results using keywords and tags.
The four points that Pinshape took from user feedback in building Feed are: 1) community visibility, or the ability to more easily see interactions in the Pinshape community to better facilitate engagement and conversation 2) finding interesting things to print, highlighting which designs are getting the most traction in a user’s network 3) finding designs relevant to the user, or highlighting designs based on the pattern of each user’s preferences, and 4) visibility of blog and forum activity, billed as a “coming soon” feature which will integrate the entire Pinshape experience for the user.
“The feedback from our community is they want to connect with other makers and designers,” Pinshape CEO & Co-Founder Lucas Matheson told 3DPrint.com. “The Feed gives users a central place to see the activity they care about in the community and allows them to be more engaged. Each feed is unique to every user based on their who they follow and their preferences, so everyone gets the best experience possible.”
After a user logs in to the Pinshape website, their Feed will appear at the top of the page. Clicking the Following tab will present a customized list of activity and trending topics. Clicking the Discover tab will expand a user’s scope outside of communities that they’ve already been exposed to.
“It was important to our community to have a place where they could get a snapshot of everything that’s going on,” said Matheson. “The Feed makes it easier for them to see what other makers are doing and get more involved in the community, not to mention find the coolest designs to print. The Feed can be customized for each person, so they really get to see what they care most about.”
Aside from allowing 3D printers to download files to print, Pinshape also offers designers the option to stream their designs directly to customers on a pay-per-print basis.
Innovative options like this, and the vitality of their user community, let designers feel more like they have control over their IP and flexibility over how they offer their designs.