Tag Archives: 3d printing

Print on Demand, in 3D

Print On Demand, in 3D: the E-Commerce Hack for More Conversions

July 26th, 2018 by

Print on Demand, in 3D

 

We’re in the era of growth hacking and life hacking. Every day, moonlight entrepreneurs are leaving their 9 to 5 to pursue their print on demand side hustle full time. And why is that?

The combination of user friendly e-commerce and print on demand platforms has made it ridiculously easy to launch and scale an online store, and that comes with many positives: democratizing product development by removing the need to hold inventory, and giving smaller merchants and microbrands some market share, to name a few.

However, there are two sides to that coin. Making e-commerce ridiculously easy has attracted masses of fledgling entrepreneurs, saturating even the most niche markets with print on demand and dropshipping businesses.

These shops are easy to set up, yes — but they can be difficult to sustain. Ubiquitous products like t-shirts, mugs, and beach towels eventually lose their charm. Translation: lead to way fewer conversions.

What if you could print any product on demand?

Have you ever wondered what your business would be like if you could manufacture top performing e-commerce products on demand? Have you dared to dream of the conversion spike you’d see with customizable or functional products from entirely new categories? Have you ever wondered what products (already in existence, or not) might be more compelling to your audience than simple slogan merch?

With the help of a new kind of print on demand service, you can recapture your customers’ attention with a wider range of products — and original products that they can’t find anywhere else.

Print on Demand… in 3D

With so many 3D printing and design resources available these days (CadCrowd, TurboSquid, and of course our in house design service), 3D print on demand (3D POD) services are the logical evolution (dare we say upgrade) for your business.

That’s right — product possibilities are truly endless if you’re willing to deviate from your POD platform’s range of sample products.

Here are some reasons you might want to consider breaking ground in new product categories for your POD or dropshipping business with a service like Fulfilled By Voodoo.

1. Traditional e-commerce products really aren’t that novel anymore.

Customers today have seen it all when it comes to e-commerce products, and it’s taking a toll on conversions.

Let’s put ourselves in your audience’s shoes. Imagine that your target customer is in the market for a the perfect gift for her Harry Potter-obsessed best friend. She’s already scrolled through pages of t-shirts and mugs with quotes and characters from the books, yet somehow wasn’t able to make a decision.

With 3D printing on demand, you can reinvent slogan products altogether by featuring your cleverest sayings in entirely new categories.

With all those options at her fingertips, she’s unlikely to make a purchase until she comes across something that breaks the mold.

In contrast to all of those Muggles t-shirts, a unique gift like this drink holder might cause her not only to convert, but to return to your site time after time to check out your differentiated product offering.

With 3D printing on demand, you can reinvent slogan products altogether by featuring your cleverest sayings in entirely new categories.

2. Variety = Differentiation, Differentiation = Retention

To kick it back to Marketing 101, consider the fact that product differentiation is a major driver of customer retention. If your conversions have been on the decline lately, you’re not alone. It may be due to offering the kind of undifferentiated products that your customers only buy once.

Keep in mind that the cost of acquiring a new customer through ads and other digital marketing techniques far exceeds the cost of keeping a loyal one, so it’s a great idea for any entrepreneur to focus on retention. Offering your customers the unique products they want — and truly can’t find elsewhere — creates a long term customer that will return time and time again.

With a 3D POD service, these kinds of simple, effective, and functional products are just as easy to launch as t-shirts, mugs, and totes.

What does this look like in action?

If you run a super general dropshipping store, but notice that your wine and beer products have been converting like crazy, you might consider launching some 3D print on demand products to better serve that segment of your customer base.

This could take the form of products like wine stoppers, coasters, or customizable wine tag sets — to name just a few.

With a 3D POD service, these kinds of simple, effective, and functional products are just as easy to launch as t-shirts, mugs, and totes.

3. You already have exactly what you need to get started

Think back to when you were researching how to launch your first store. Chances are you were a little overwhelmed by all the design assets you needed to go live: a logo, graphics for your printed products, product shots of the items themselves, and maybe even some visual assets for social media and Facebook ads.

Developing a new product for 3D printing on demand isn’t too different from what you’ve already mastered…

Perhaps you did some tutorials and created your own graphics. Perhaps you decided to outsource the task to a helper from Fiverr or Upwork. Perhaps, regardless of the pathway you chose, this once unfamiliar process is now pretty second nature to you.

Developing a new product for 3D printing on demand isn’t too different from what you’ve already mastered within your chosen print on demand platform. Said differently, there’s no need to be an expert to get started.

You can easily source and customize 3D printable-files from sites like Turbosquid, CadCrowd, MyMiniFactory, and Thingiverse, or you can use original 2D design assets as the basis for your 3D models. You can also find experienced 3D designers to help you out on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.

Usually, you can also look to your 3D POD platform for a printable file, which does tend to be the best way to guarantee that your file is production-ready. Our in house design team is always standing by to help bring your killer product idea to life.

Have an idea you’re thinking about producing? Fulfilled by Voodoo (or FBV) is full-stack manufacturing and fulfillment service that makes it easier than ever to start and scale a business selling original custom products online.

And if you’re still looking for inspiration on what kinds of products can be #MadeWithVoodoo, contact sales@voodoomfg.com for a copy of our Fulfilled By Voodoo Idea Catalog.

Fulfilled By Voodoo Products

5 Easy Steps to Selling Never-Before-Seen Print On Demand Products

July 11th, 2018 by

Fulfilled By Voodoo Products

In our introductory post about Fulfilled by Voodoo, we talked about why we started it — to empower people to launch physical products without the tall barriers that manufacturing typically creates — and the huge implications this has for anyone running an online store, or powering a print on demand business with platforms like Printful.

Why is Fulfilled By Voodoo particularly relevant to this cohort of ecommerce entrepreneurs? Like the standard print on demand services you’re already familiar with, Fulfilled By Voodoo offers the benefits of:

  • Dropshipping directly to customers
  • E-commerce integrations (Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, Squarespace and many more)
  • Just-in-Time — or on-demand — manufacturing
  • Flexible shipping options
  • Branded packaging

The major difference between the two is that with standard print on demand platforms, entrepreneurs are limited to selling whatever assortment of base products is available on their platform of choice.

By comparison, Fulfilled By Voodoo gives online sellers the ability to sell any object that can be 3D printed, whether it’s countless SKUs of novelty cookie cutters, a collection of niche-specific showerheads, or playful twists on branded e-commerce classics like bottle openers, drink holders, wine stoppers, and so forth.  

FBV Comparison Matrix

In this post, we’ll take a look at five easy steps to selling never-before-seen print on demand products with Fulfilled By Voodoo, starting with…

1. Submitting the Get Started Form

Great! You’re interested in learning more about outsourcing the manufacturing, packaging, and shipping of your products by connecting your online store directly to our factory. It’s time to fill out the Get Started Form.

If you have a 3D printable file already, this is the perfect place to tell us about it, or even upload it for our reference. No 3D file? Not to worry. Read on to learn all about our 3D design service.

Once you submit the form, a member of our Fulfillment team will follow up to schedule a phone call during your listed availability. What comes next is the…

2. Product Conversation

Once we get you on the phone, it’s time to talk about the fun stuff. We’ll discuss your current suite of products, and how we can use marketing insights to expand your offering with custom, personalized, or just plain novel on-demand products.

Whether or not you already have a 3D-printable file of your product, this convo is paramount in determining what comes next on your path to launch.

If you need a hand bringing your killer product idea to life, you can use freelance service marketplaces like CadCrowd or Fiverr to source affordable digital assets.

You can also browse sites like Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, and TurboSquid, to find accessible 3D models that can easily be customized and tweaked by you or your 3D designer.

But if you’d like a little more assistance throughout the product development process, you might want to move on to…

3. 3D Design

3D Design Team

In the interest of getting things right the first time, it’s a great idea to sit back and let our world-class team of 3D designers turn your idea into a production-ready 3D file

Our team can start with as little as a napkin sketch or as much as an engineering drawing, but it turns out that existing 2D brand assets (think logos, business cards, or even found images you like) are an excellent starting point for a 3D design.

Whether you’re looking for a hard-edged functional object or an organic character model, our team of designers can present you with a whole gamut of options that align to your target cost.

And yes, you can expect production samples all the way up until…

4. Storefront Integration for Product Launch

Ecommerce Integrations

Integrating your storefront with our factory sounds like a headache, but make no mistake: this part requires just one step (and no technical experience).

All you have to do is create a ShipStation account or share your existing account details with us. We take care of the rest!

Why do you need to create a ShipStation account?

ShipStation is an advanced e-commerce service provider with one of the longest lists of available storefront integrations. That’s exactly why we chose it as the foundation for our API.

ShipStation Partners

 

This means that you can sell your products on any number of ShipStation’s Platform Partners and have them automatically manufactured, packaged, and shipped with Fulfilled By Voodoo.

With the integration all taken care of, it’s time to publish your listings and make your brand new never-before-seen print on demand products available to your customers.

The majority of our clients sell on Shopify, Amazon, and Etsy, but our service is also compatible with platforms like Magento, eBay, Wix, CrateJoy, among many others.

5. Rinse and Repeat

Launching a product from start to finish is bound to yield invaluable insights for your brand. Whether your goal is to boost customer retention, brand differentiation, or niche segmentation, you can propel your brand to a whole new level when you branch into different product categories.

Ready to get inspired? Contact sales@voodoomfg.com for a copy of our FBV Product Catalog, and check out our success story on FBV customer Ten Talents Trading here.

Voodoo Full Stack Supply Chain

A Lean Supply Chain: How Online Sellers Reduce Risk and Save Time

June 27th, 2018 by

For most entrepreneurs selling products online, supply chains are tall and complex. They’re an unwieldy stack of manufacturing, quality control, storage, picking and packing, packaging, and shipping. As consumers, it’s easy to take for granted the amount of logistics it takes to move a product from concept all the way to our hands, but the reality is that the physical supply of a product is just one part of building a sustainable e-commerce business.

traditional supply chain

The New Supply Chain

At Voodoo, we set out to make this part of the process simpler by reimagining the way products get manufactured. By integrating software and machine intelligence at every step, we’re able to offer a service that compresses supply chain logistics into a single “Buy Now” button.  

That game-changing service is called Fulfilled By Voodoo, or FBV. With FBV, companies can consider supply chain taken care of. With this new e-commerce model, the pages of spreadsheets for managing suppliers and pre-processing timelines, and the headaches of juggling out-of-stock materials for your product mix, are a thing of the past.

Voodoo Full Stack Supply Chain

Focus on Demand

Rather than sourcing and inventorying thousands of products, and scrambling to market and sell them, companies using FBV can focus on creating demand for their products. In the background, our factory is always standing by to fulfill orders as soon as the customer converts. This monumental shift repositions businesses at any stage of growth from a supply driven operation to one that is demand driven.

“Our customers don’t hold inventory of their products.”

FBV comic strip

Consolidate Sales Channels and Gain Clarity on the Bigger Picture

Thriving e-commerce businesses tend to have an abundance of sales channels, and gaining insight into product performance through all of those channels can be incredibly challenging to not only manage in the day to day, but analyze for larger insights. This can lead to issues in two critical areas: product development and planning.  

Cookie Cutter Kingdom

Cookie Cutter Kingdom is built on variety. With more than 3,000 custom and personalized cookie cutters for every holiday, theme, and category, they integrated with Fulfilled By Voodoo to outsource the production, fulfillment, and shipping of their massive suite of products.

On the product development side, understanding what items perform well is critical information for identifying new products to sell, and filling any gaps in the product landscape with a killer idea of your own.

From a planning perspective, imperfect demand predictions can leave companies with piles of overstocked waste, or shortages during peak demand. Ultimately, these issues lead to expensive operational inefficiencies and revenue losses.

Fulfilled By Voodoo solves these two issues by funneling orders from multiple sales channels into a single place. That funnel means we’re able to pull back the curtain on valuable insights about which products are selling at the highest volume. And because we manufacture everything on-demand for each order, we’re also able to eliminate the risk of overstocked goods.

Get In Touch

Whether you’re ready to connect your booming business to our fulfillment services, or you’re simply curious about where to begin with 3D-printable files, go ahead and email sales@voodoomfg.com. We can help you conceptualize, design, manufacture, and sell  just about anything.

For the full low down on Fulfilled By Voodoo, check out our website and introductory blog post.

 

Summer Sale: 50% Off All Direct Print Orders with 3-Day Production

August 1st, 2017 by

Voodoo Manufacturing Summer Sale 2017

Today we’re kicking off the Voodoo Summer Sale, a massive savings event for anyone using our Direct Print service during the entire month of August. Exactly how massive are we talking? Well, we’re slashing the price on all Direct Print orders in half – that’s right, 50% off your entire order – for customers who choose our newly introduced 3-Day Production option. This means that if you can wait two extra days to receive your parts, you’ll be getting them for half price during the month of August.

Voodoo Manufacturing Summer Sale

Eager to start taking advantage of this new Summer Sale pricing now? We don’t blame you – go ahead and upload a file to get started. Make sure to select ‘3-Day Production’ to apply the discount to your order.

For those of you still scratching your heads and wondering how this epic sale is even possible, read on to learn more about what led to the first-ever Voodoo Summer Sale. Continue reading

How We’re Building a Robotic 3D Printing Factory

March 17th, 2017 by

Manufacturing is one of the most fundamental, yet inaccessible building blocks of modern society. It is how we produce the overwhelming majority of parts and products we use both intentionally, and inadvertently. “Manufacturing”, unlike “making”, can be described as the process of repeatedly producing a physical object at scale. Over the past couple centuries we’ve transformed our methods of manufacturing from the human-first approach used to make textiles during the Industrial Revolution, to the assembly line structure introduced by Henry Ford, to modern just-in-time production invented by Toyota, to today’s imminent robot revolution. Continue reading

New Features: Direct Print Status Tracker and Order History

February 15th, 2017 by

voodoo manufacturing order status

We’re excited to announce the launch of two new features on our website – the Direct Print Status Tracker and Order History.

The Direct Print Status Tracker gives you real-time visibility into the status of your order. Anywhere on the site, you can see whether your order is being prepared, has started printing, or is en route to be delivered. This is a feature we’re especially excited about because it stands testament to the value of digital manufacturing when it comes to quantifying the manufacturing process.

voodoo manufacturing 3d printing order status tracker

We’ve also now launched Order History, which allows you to view all your active and past orders with us. Both these new features should make it easer to stay updated with your order info so you’re never left wondering when it’s going to arrive. To access these features you must create and checkout with an account (not as a guest).

These features have been in the works for a while now, and we’re thrilled that they’re finally ready for you to try out. Let us know if you have any feedback or ideas for new features, we’d love to hear them.

High-Volume 3D Printing vs. Injection Molding

February 2nd, 2017 by

High Volume and Bulk 3D Printing

So you’re launching a physical product. Maybe it’s just a simple object, maybe it’s a hardware product with integrated electronics, or maybe it has mechanical functionality. You’ve built one (or probably many) prototypes, you’ve launched a successful crowdfunding campaign in order to manufacture your first batch, and now you need to do just that.

This is the point at which many entrepreneurs run into trouble – how do you scale from 1 to 1,000 units? Or 10,000? Maybe even 100,000 if you’re lucky. There are many factors to consider when scaling your manufacturing, but one of obvious concern is the method with which you’ll create the physical components for your product.

So how does someone go about choosing the right method that will scale along with his or her business? Here we’ll explore the pros and cons of two popular types of plastic part manufacturing: injection molding and 3D printing. Continue reading

Promotional Products in Vegas: The 2017 PPAI Expo

January 27th, 2017 by

PPAI 2017 Recap

Pulling Up to PPAI

When we heard that the annual Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Expo was “the Super Bowl of the promotional products world,” we knew we had to go and see for ourselves. (Yours truly was also curious if this, like the Super Bowl, would also involve some sort of Halftime Show.)

Held at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, the 2017 PPAI Expo spanned January 8th through the 12th, with the last three days reserved for vendors to exhibit their products and services. Given that a considerable amount of the work we do here at Voodoo spans the realms of marketing, advertising, and promotions, we had a good feeling that there would be demand for completely custom 3D printed promotional items — and we were right.

Here’s a glimpse at our first time attending the 2017 PPAI Expo. Continue reading

Will Food 3D Printing Really Become a “Thing”?

May 16th, 2016 by

This article originally appeared on VentureBeat on April 17, 2016. 

“Food 3D printing” is something of a mythical creature. It’s been talked about a lot, and there have been a few sightings of it, but no one’s quite sure if it’s real or not. Well, I think it’s about time someone takes a shot at cracking open the case.

In essence, food 3D printing is this: you take a standard 3D printer, replace the non-edible material (like plastic filament) with something edible, and voilà, you have a food 3D printer! In reality though, the results have been less than amazing. What you typically get with a food 3D printer is a purée of perfectly good food extruded into an odd-looking shape. Today there are a few companies trying to pave the food 3D printing path.

The PancakeBot machine. Image Credit: Kickstarter

Continue reading