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article imageHow 3D printing is surviving the pandemic Special

By Paul Wallis     Oct 21, 2020 in Technology
Glendale - The pandemic hasn’t been doing the business world too many favours. In 3D printing, which is typically a collaborative multi-party business, you need to know how to get business done.
Cad Crowd is leading the way in this messy situation with practical solutions. Cad Crowd is a long-running, from-the-start 3D printing group. They have a fantastic range of people involved. There are experts, mainstream 3D printing guys, and new people finding their feet in technologies that are growing so fast they even have an entire page of hyperlinks to design types which is looking more like an encyclopedia every time I see it. There’s even an open-source CAD library, very handy for aspiring designers and the 3D printing community.
It’s a healthy mix of ideas and people with good support. They deliver the practical help people need with technologies and ideas throughout the development and production phases. Their product services range includes everything from prosthetics to aerospace, product design and more. Their 3D model showcase is a good indicator of how far-ranging their work is.
To put it another way – They were the natural choice for me to find out how 3D printing was surviving during this damn pandemic. Sure enough, they’d already found a way round it, very neatly.
I asked Mackenzie Brown, Cad Crowd’s director and go-to guy, about how they were managing the pandemic. I had visions of the possible effects of the shutdown hitting the 3D printer people and everyone associated with it pretty hard.
Cad Crowd 3D model search
Cad Crowd 3D model search
Mackenzie Brown
For remote work:
“We have a network of top-tier CAD design and 3D modeling professionals on our platform, and they come from all over the world. With the launch of our Cad Crowd Time Tracker, companies will be able to hire remote workers from our pool of freelancers for hourly projects. It differs from Upwork and other freelancer sites in that we specialize in a certain niche and that we focus on local work.
One barrier to company’s hiring 3D designers online is a lack of options for prequalification of talent as well as few options for local offsite professionals. Sometimes you need someone local who can meet in person as needed, especially for projects concerning architecture and physical products. In addition, the process of qualifying talent with the necessary skills and software packages can be a time-consuming proposition.
Companies will be able to save on hiring costs while still getting the same work efficiency as they would if they hired an in-house designer. However, they would benefit from the increased flexibility, only paying for the work they need to be done, plus saving on office real estate and reducing COVID risk by having fewer people around.”
For the remote work business issues:
Cad Crowd work diary
Cad Crowd work diary
Mackenzie Brown
“We're launching a beta for the Cad Crowd Time Tracker that allows companies to hire remote-based design professionals for hourly projects. The initial goal is to help companies gain confidence when working with remote talent, with a focus around "local" professionals (unlike established sites Upwork/Freelancer.com). The local emphasis allows freelancers to visit clients on-site for in-person coordination (as needed), while primarily working remotely. The benefit for companies is increased flexibility, accountability for billable hours, savings on office space, and reducing expensive software licensing costs.”
Survival tips
Note here that the working options include collaboration, tracking, and project-level coordination on multiple levels. This is a good, thoughtful, mix of reassuring “business as usual” and competent, highly flexible adaption to the new normal. Contact is functional, but comfortable. The added levels of remote accessibility and proper integration of people and resources are the keys to survival.
Please also note: What’s so very important about the 3D printing sector is that it’s directly plugged in to so many functional needs of businesses. 3D prints are working things in terms of intellectual property, design and production. They can be components, prototypes, and just about anything in business terms. This can be truly huge money, literally the life blood of businesses.
After the pandemic
"One of our main differentiators is designer vetting based on community reputation. This includes an emphasis on the US, Canada, UK, and Australia professionals with exceptions for high-level international talent. I’m bullish on local professionals over the next 1-2 years as a strong differentiator (particularly post-pandemic). The localized strategy is a bit of a strategy pivot for us, which will help build confidence with larger B2B clients through local standards and higher certainty of IP protection (99% remote-based at the moment)."
This may well be the best approach for business survival – Grow and evolve, rather than wallow in the pandemic’s stagnant grip. I’d like to thank Mackenzie and Cad Crowd for their excellent insights.
More about CAD Cr, 3D printing business during the pandemic, business strategies for 3D printing, Mackenzie Brown, 3D printing business services
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