In 2014 Hugo Fromont und Pierre Ayroles founded Cults, a digital marketplace for 3D printing and 3D design.
Their goal is it to connect designers with people who want to 3D print premium designs. By the way Cults is an anacycle. If you read backwards it becomes St. Luc, the patron saint of artists and sculptors. Also .stl, the often used 3D printing file format, is in it.
Cults is one of the few independent marketplaces for 3D printing designs and is avaliable in English, French and Spanish.
How did you first make contact with additive technologies or 3D printing?
Hugo: When we discovered 3D printing, we quickly passionate for this technology. We bought a humble personal 3D printer in order to test how the technology works. But we instantly stumbled over the first difficulties. We have tried to design our on objects with 3D software. We realised that it was really tough and required real skills in terms of CAD, spatial vision and especially creativity. For the most designers this expertise is gained over a long period of time. Cults was build on a strong conviction: it is thanks to the talent of the designers that 3D printing can be democratized; through their ideas, they will convince everyone to equip 3D printer and achieve stunning objects. So we created Cults to honor and promote the work of all these great artists that make 3D printing so fascinating.
In which industries do you see the most potential for your 3D printing? Did the designs already entered industries or applications you wouldn’t have expected?
On Cults, our favorite sector is rather everything to do with deco and interior design. We also see many beautiful creations related to the toy and games industry. These industries are promising because creativity is everywhere. Indeed, everyday artists see some objects around them and try to create new things or reinvent stuff in order to give them a new purpose thanks to 3D printing. We have not really had a surprise for a particular industry, just the great demand for 3D printed sex-toys really surprised us.
How would you describe the connections in the 3D Printing ecosystem? What part plays the distribution of 3D models and designs?
Cults is an interconnected platform. This means that we connect several complementary services to provide the most complete offer for our members. Indeed, if you do not have 3D printer, you can always order the service from a friend or a professional 3D printing service through our various available API´s. At the end of the 3D file downloading process Cults offers you a few options to where to get your design. We are placed at the beginning of the channel since our service is a true inspiration for all makers. Our start-up answers the question, “What can I do with a 3D printer?” Tomorrow the crux of the matter is not necessarily located on manufacturing development but on product idea.
The business with spare parts in nearly every industry could be disrupted with 3D printing. Your partnership with Boulanger is a step in this direction. What do you expect from 3D printing of spare parts?
In partnership with Boulanger, we created the platform happy3D, the world first global platform that let you download and 3D print certified 3D models of spare parts from electronics & home appliance products for free. You broke your oven knob? No problem, get the design and 3D print it. This project is a true revolution because it questions the product life cycle. Behind this project also addresses concerns of planned obsolescence. Actually, it’s encouraging people to change their consumption behaviour, to have a smarter and more responsible relation with their consumption. 3D printing has an important role in enabling the access to spare parts or objects. We are very happy and proud to participate in this process.
What are the next steps for Cults. Can you tell us something about future plans?
In the coming months, we will open a 3D modeling service for 3D printing on demand. We will also launch a brand new feature allowing makers to post and share pictures of their 3D printed objects. The idea is to continue to animate the community so that great ideas can emerge.
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