Even with customers who have utilized 3D printing in the past, the same questions persist, but possibly with a history of not so smooth orders. Historical orders were late, printability issues were not communicated, it was difficult to get in touch with people, questions went unanswered. Maybe only <25% of the orders went south, but those are the ones that are remembered for future prints.We get it. Our founders were industrial design consultants in a past life, used 3D printing for quick prototyping, and ran into all of these questions and issues. They even bought their own 3D printer to bring it in house, but only used it a few times until the first few failed prints.So that’s why they built Makelab with a focus on the customer experience. Here’s what they did:
Printability checks, via a human.
We have a team member check every single part that is printed on our systems. We know what can or cannot be done, how far we can push our machines, the limitations of our materials. So that’s why a human will always check for printability of parts. Never just a machine.
Sometimes, picking up an order and walking out with it is the best way to ensure that you have your part, when you need it, and how you need it. Plus, who doesn’t love to meet the faces behind the calls & emails, a sneak question or two for the next project, or a little lab walkthrough to show you how it’s done 🙂. That face time is invaluable for building business/vendor partnerships, and we get it.
But we also know that there are occasions where you need it fast, don’t have time to swing by, and shipping is too slow. That’s why we’ve partnered with Roadie to get your parts to you same-day, via courier.But we also know that there are occasions where you need it fast, don’t have time to swing by, and shipping is too slow. That’s why we’ve partnered with Roadie to get your parts to you same-day, via courier.
Quality checking & documentation, every time
Before any order goes out, we log it in our system. We have a team member (someone who was not working on your order) review it to make sure it’s up to quality standards. The worst feeling is to receive your part and it turns out you can’t use it. THE WORST! So that’s why we created this system of checks. And we photograph your part before it leaves our doors, so we can always reference back to it. (Don’t worry, that photo stays in our internal servers, for our eyes only).
Buffer for file changes
When you’re in that iterative stage of product design, it’s easy to miss something. It’s human nature. So we built in a buffer that allows you to swap our your file 6 hours after you place an order, and 2 hours after we confirm it!
Email updates during the process
Have you ever experienced Domino’s pizza order process? How they notify you every step of the way? That’s what we’re aiming for at Makelab. We want to function like your internal team. So. We let you know what’s happening. When your part is about to get printed, when there’s an issue that delays the deadline, and when it leaves our facilities. But don’t worry, we’re building to add more features to make our process even more transparent.
File modification services
Files designed in CAD aren’t always printable. And you don’t always have the time to modify your file. So that’s why we provide file modification services. For the busy designer or engineer on the run, too busy to go back into Solidworks or OnShape.
Scenario: A part is too large to print in one piece. We split it up, make it work, and re-assemble. You receive an oversized part, in the material you needed, and it works. Yes, it has a seam line, but that’s okay. It works. End scene.
A dedicated service specialist to help you out
We realized early on the importance of good service and someone to call if/when things don’t go as planned. That’s why we hired a dedicated Service Specialist available M-F during business hours to assist with any/all orders. They’re also trained to help with materials & negotiations on bulk orders 🙂
A direct line to our team
Yep, we still use phones. And when you call, if one team member does not pick up, your call is directed to another. Unless we’re at an all team meeting or at lunch, phones are picked up. That’s a fact.