Cincinnati start-up 3DLT is a new 3D printing template marketplace, founded by Pablo Arellano Jr.. Arellano is a former Procter & Gamble Co. executive who intended to set up a online warehouse for 3D printing templates that designers can upload them to the site. In return designers could get a 30 percent to 70 percent share of the revenue they generate. This idea is inspired by iStockphoto, a site where artists could share their photos and illustrations.
In July, 2012, 3DLT was named the Second Place Finisher at Startup Weekend Cincinnati. Pablo Arellano Jr. said, "3DLT is using its resources to surround itself with really smart people. It's a formula that's been successful for a lot of other great companies." On Feb.1, 2013 3DLT.com is selected as one of six winners in the Xavier X-Lab competition.
"3DLT.com is a 3D printing template marketplace. We've created a destination where industrial designers, engineers, inventors and companies can sell 3D printable items. We offer consumers a wide selection of objects that they can print at home or or online through our portal." Notes 3DLT.
But recently, Jessica Rosenkrantz, the co-founder of design studio Nervous System, found that some of her designs were listed at 3DLT for sale.
"They never contacted us," she told Wired. "I had never heard of them until someone sent me the link last night to ask me if it was legitimate."
"They changed the names and descriptions but are using our images," says Rosenkrantz. She registered on the site and ordered a "Nervous Ring" (as they are named), which uses image of Nervous System's Hyphae Ring. "I paid $40 on my credit card and received a .zip file containing no STLs," she says, "The folder inside the .zip file is called mCube and has a bunch of random non 3-D printable stuff in it."
3DLP didn't respond to Wired's follow-up questions about Rosenkrantz designs.
As of this writing, not only the offending designs have been taken down, the whole marketplace is offline. On the frong page, 3DLT posts an open message:
Here is a reprint of the message:
3DLT.com is currently in private beta. The site is not yet live and we are still testing the platform. We recently had an issue where the eCommerce portion of our site was activated and exposed to the public. Some of the products and images on the site were being used as placeholders and were not approved for use. These products and images have been removed from our site. Two orders were placed. The users have been contacted, informed of the issue and will be refunded any monies due.
We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. We take this situation seriously and will ensure that upon launch, all of our designer onboarding processes are clearly documented and available for public viewing, including our process for vetting design files.
We apologize again for any inconvenience and have put the site on hold until our development team fixes the matter.
This is definitely not a good start for a new company. What the best practices and measures to eradicate illegal activity are, and how to protect the site from those who unlawfully obtains design and abuse the online marketplace to sell the illegal items are the questions any start-up marketplace should think about before it goes live.
Posted in 3D Printing Company
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