Friday, July 5, 2013

Where to find affordable 3D prints

we find that when it's easier to be creative, more awesome stuff gets made. 

and in the "ease" function, one of the more impactful independent variables is cost; when making stuff is cheaper, we make more stuff.

so it's important to be able to find where to get stuff 3D printed for cheap.

enter -- which swallows your model and spits back where to get the best priced 3D print.

and it's great having listed in the results.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Why your customers should write your copy

"When you think of our toothbrushes: think great performance and great user experience". That is a dental care company's commercial that is on the radio right now.

Which is funny to me; because I've never heard anyone say "oh you're looking for toothbrush recommendations, Nathan? Try this one -- the user experience is innnnncredible."

They say: "i really like brushing my teeth with this".

Which is why we should all have our customers write for us; as they are a thousand times better at honestly and accurately describing what our products really are.

For when the people building the thing (product managers, engineers, even internal marketing ppl) are in charge of writing copy, of naming things, you end up with inside-the-bubble words being used to describe real things.

The toothbrush product managers probably had a lot of internal conversations circled on "improving the user experience" of the toothbrush. Which is fine and is their job. 

At makexyz, we have those in-bubble conversations too. but we try hard to prevent the leak of internal signifiers: "Find a 3D printer on makexyz! Our UI is really clean."

But I'm sure we can do better: so while you're using makexyz, be on the lookout for bubble words. And when you find one, email I'll fix it and send you a t-shirt. ;)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The top ten 3D printing cities in the U.S.

Though it might seem like there's a '3D printing' mention e'erywhere you look these days, interest in 3D printing is not as evenly distributed as you might think. 

Based on makexyz search volume by city (e.g. someone searching for 3D printers in San Francisco, CA) we find that some cities are certainly more interested in 3D printing than others. 

But instead of handing out a list of the cities uninterested in 3D printing (aka the cities that I don't plan on vacationing to, hehe), here are the cities most interested in finding 3D printers. 


Top 3D printing cities in the U.S.
measured as searches on makexyz per capita

1.     San Francisco, CA
2.     San Diego, CA
3.     Cambridge, MA
4.     Austin, TX
5.     Fremont, CA
6.     Las Vegas, NV
7.     Grand Rapids, MI
8.     Los Angeles, CA
9.     Seattle, WA
10.   Brooklyn, NY


Not a bad group of 3D printing hubs.

It's also interesting to note that four out of these ten cities are also among the ten cities with the most airbnb listings per capita

Which suggests, kind of unsurprisingly, that there are multiple factors at play here: these cities are relatively more interested in 3DP than others and also appear to be more in tune with the sharing economy. 

aka "i want to 3D print something, and i want to find a 3D printer in my community that i can use".

And if you want to 3D print something too… Find 3D printers on makexyz

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

where to find a 3D printer nearby

we built because we didn't have a good answer to that question. 

we were working on a 3D printing project at the time -- designing a light switch cover with a hook on the bottom, so you could walk in the door turn on the lights and hanging your keys -- our printer was out of order, and so we found ourselves waiting around for our ordered prints to arrive. which was frustrating in that there musta been someone in the neighborhood with a 3D printer. 

we tried following scents of molten plastic around town… but kept ending up at the Waffle House.

so we launched to help people find 3D printers nearby; to help people make stuff.

let's see how we're done: go to and search your city, state, or postal/zip. we indubitably have 3D printers near you. but if we don't, either get your friend to list his/hers, or email and yell at me. 

helping people make stuff

we have one goal at makexyz, and that is to help people make stuff.

we started because we like making things - whether it be 3D designs, furniture, web-projects, etc. And makexyz is an opportunity to help other people make stuff at a significant scale.

that’s why we’re here. and that’s why we’ll be here until you kick us out.