Following the announcement of consumer 3D printer manufacturer Solidoodle who ceased operations, 3D model marketplace Pinshape communicated that they are shutting down their service and website as of March 31, 2016.
March 30, 2016 – Since its launch about two years ago, Pinshape has grown to over 75,000 active users generating more than 1,500 downloads each day. As 99.5% of their transactions were free, Pinshape focused on free content to build a large community and expand as the consumer segment would pick up. However, as the hype has come to an end the opposite happened, with 3D Systems ending production of their Cubify consumer printer and MakerBot’s revenue declining among other cases.
Pinshape will continue to explore options in order to transfer the platform to a new home. Designers are asked to update their Paypal accounts, as the remaining amounts owed will be paid out. Users are also asked to make sure their files are backed up as all content will be removed upon closure tomorrow.
To our Pinshape Community,
Sadly, today we are announcing the termination of Pinshape’s service effective March 31, 2016.
Over the past two years, we’ve had the privilege of innovating in an exciting industry. Pinshape’s had an incredible journey and support from so many passionate designers and makers, for which we’re truly grateful. Together, we’ve grown to over 75k+ active users and serve over 1500+ downloads to our community every day.
We founded Pinshape because we believe that access to high quality 3D content is imperative for this ecosystem to grow. Design talent is the blue ocean of this industry and in the coming decades, we believe the democratization of product design will be powerful. Pinshape’s platform was built as a foundation to deliver on this vision.
Ultimately, investor confidence in the consumer segment of the 3DP industry has weakened significantly over the past 12 months. We’ve seen most major 3DP players abandon the consumer segment entirely and shift their focus to industrial applications and opportunities. It’s still unclear to many how end consumers will adopt the technology, and what use cases will prevail to justify further investment.
This past year, we’ve seen former consumer leaders experience significant financial pressure, and pivot away from the space. MakerBot’s revenue was down 55% in 2015, with Stratasys taking massive goodwill impairment charges for the MakerBot acquisition. 3D Systems ended production of it’s $999 Cubify consumer printer and exited entirely from the retail consumer marketplace. Amazon closed it’s 3D printing store, and most recently, Solidoodle annouced its termination of operations.
The value of a 3DP marketplace is obvious in the long term, but for many, the path to monetization isn’t so clear. Part of our challenge was demonstrating a financial path forward. Today, 99.5% of our transactions are free. Given the size of the market, in January 2015, we choose to focus on free, and build the largest community possible to validate our platform and provide confidence we could continue expanding as the consumer segment picked up. Unfortunately, the opposite happened, and the market slowed considerably with signs of weakness.
In terms of our product – the platform, we’ve had nothing short of success. Together, we’ve built one of the most active and trusted marketplaces online. One thing I can tell you without hesitation is that our team worked incredibly hard for you every single day. We have an amazing team who worked for startup wages to be a part of this journey, and we’re super proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time.
Over the past 4 months we ran a process to find Pinshape a new home. We failed to attract investment capital to run Pinshape as a stand alone company, and pursued acquirers we felt could continue building on the vision. Ultimately, this process was unsuccessful. In the coming weeks, we will continue to explore options to transition the platform to a new home.
We’ll be taking steps to wrap things up in the next few days, and the website will no longer be accessible as of March 31st. We will be paying out all amounts owing to designers. Please ensure your paypal information is correct. Additionally, please backup any files you own as they will be removed when the site is closed.
From our entire team, THANK YOU for being a part of Pinshape. We will miss you, and wish you all the best!
— Lucas, Nick, Andre, Victoria, Wojtek, Kate, Karen, Lauren, Jibran
April 4, 2016: Update – Pinshape still online
Despite their message about the shut down of the website at the end of March, Pinshape is still online and seems to have found a company that intends to take over, as they explain in an announcement:
We’ve had an overwhelming amount of interest and support from the 3DP community and we’re hopeful that we’ve found a company that shares our vision of Pinshape to take over. As a result, there will be no interruption in service! Yay!
Thanks to everyone for your outpouring of support the last few days. There have been so many kind words!
We look forward to keeping you updated with a more formal announcement in the days to come!
April 29, 2016: Update – Founders want to leave Pinshape
After Pinshape was saved by an investment of a company nearly a month ago, the two founders, Lucas Matheson and Nick Schwinghamerm, seek new business opportunities.
Both have changed their LinkedIn status to “Founder with an Exit Looking for Next Opportunity”: