Stan Partalev, co-founder of Threeding.com talks to Thre3d on 3D printing, history and more...
Could you introduce your team and company?
Threeding.com is an innovative web based platform for free and paid exchange of 3D printable files. Company was founded by me, my sister Cveta-Maria and my brother-in-law Tony. We started the development of the platform with our friend Philip Philipov – the CEO of Whiz.bg and his team of IT and business professionals back in April, 2013 and thanks to Whiz team we managed to launch a beta version in August and to have a running full-speed platform since December, 2013. Cveta-Maria and I are in charge for the content, while Tony takes care of the business side of the venture.
What is your background, and why did you become interested in building a site around 3D printing?
I have recently graduated from the National Academy of Art and Cveta-Maria is still a student there, while Tony has got a financial background. Cveta-Maria and I were inspired by the 3D printing industry after a visit in the United States where we got the chance to experience 3D printing technology in person. We were right away besotted by it and consistently our next step was developing a business idea in this field. When we returned back to Bulgaria we drew up Tony on board. Initially we were thinking to become a reseller of one of the big 3D printer manufacturers or to offer 3D printing on demand in Bulgaria but then we decided that we should think globally and use our art skills. Thus, the idea for Threeding.com was born.
“The feeling that we 3D scanned things used centuries ago was marvelous.”
How do you see your platform different from other model repositories, and why do you think it will stand out?
We try to be different from the other 3D printing marketplaces by offering both paid and free blueprints and keep our platform as user-friendly as possible. Heavy investment in Research and Software Development is another advantage of ours. Right now we are working on a couple of new features and I expect them to be introduced in the next 2-3 months. As soon as we are done, we will be able to provide 3D visualization of the models directly on web; we will provide a print-ability check; mobile apps, Facebook apps, etc. We are also working on an entirely new design and user friendly navigation that will be live by the end of April. I firmly believe that our new design will provide users with amazing experience. Together with the new design we are bringing a new commission mechanism that will be one of the best on the market.
How did the partnership with the museum come about?
We wanted to diversify the models offered via Threeding.com with something unusual and appealing. So, the idea of presenting historical artifacts came up. We contacted numerous museums in the entire Balkan region and the Regional Historical Museum of Pernik was the first one that agreed to sign a cooperation agreement with us. The legal framework was a bit challenging due to the specific status of the cultural heritage but we found a proper way to comply with it.
“We bring historical artifacts outside the museum and give everyone a chance to ‘touch’ history via 3D printing.“
What do you think is most significant about this partnership and for public institutions like the Regional History Museum?
The most significant part of our cooperation is the fact that we bring historical artifacts outside the museum and give everyone chance to “touch” history via 3D printing. This is an entirely new way of getting a history and archaeology experience, and we hope our audience will enjoy it.
The project will also promote the museum and the region itself to the global public as a potential destination for cultural tourism. Last but not least, the museum will receive a royalty fee for every single product sold via Threeding.com and this is really important given the tight budgets of all public institutions across Europe imposed in the last couple of years.
What’s the most interesting thing you have discovered while working with the museum?
The entire time with the fellows from the museum was fantastic. Initially, we didn’t have high expectations because Pernik isn’t a big town and the most valuable artifacts are usually taken by national museums in big cities. But when we got there we discovered a portfolio of more than 50,000 artifacts from the entire human history. It was astonishing. The feeling that we 3D scanned things used centuries ago was marvelous.
In what ways was the partnership a reflection of your interest in your own regional history,or did the project ignite interest in your regional culture and history that you never had before?
Well, we have always been interested in history but this project has given us a unique insight to history and archaeology. We are now committed to allocate more resource in that direction and we are doing our best to offer even more artifacts available for 3D printing. We are looking forward to starting similar partnerships with other museums and galleries and to show more pieces of human past in the form of 3D printable files soon.
If you could scan and print any object, what would that object be?
That’s a very hard question to answer. There are so many things to 3D scan and print that a man’s lifetime won’t be enough for. If we think revolutionary (as our industry is a revolutionary one), I would like to 3D print a real human heart that can save a life. That would be awesome.
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