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Old 03-18-2015, 09:49 AM
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Question IDEA: Bend-Tech user design store?

I have been thinking of an idea that might be a little fun. This has come up ever since the creation of PRO with the assembly and maybe it is time to act on it. We are constantly having customers ask us for designs of cages, chassis, bumpers, sliders and so on. This is our number one question during time of sale. We are a software company and not a design house, however, our customers have built everything that is being asked for.

IDEA: We have a design store where our customers can provide their designs and receive a royalty off of each copy of the design sold. Not only can a customer make a little cash from their design, but also purchase other customers designs.

Questions:
1) Would any of you have interest in this? Selling, Purchasing or Both?
2) Would this be of benefit to our customers who are shops and not hobbyist? If you are a shop, please put in your 2 cents. I can see great arguments both ways. A hobbyist is going to build it any way and not purchase it on one hand. And on the other this would be a way for a hobbyist to grow it into a business.
3) Realistically what could you see a chassis or cage plan going for?

Looking for your input.
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:13 PM
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My .02... As a small shop owner operator I could benefit from this. It was discussed in another thread on here (how long does it take you) about how much R&D time is put into a project, and how that time is usually NOT profitable. To be able to pick a design and incorporate the cost of the design into the total build cost would be great! The only thing I'm not sure of is will people abuse this and buy the design once but "mass produce" it? Or is this something that will just be accepted? What kind of numbers are we looking at for prices? Maybe this will give me the final push to upgrade my original version of BT and kick out some designs?

After reading original post I see the part about prices
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:16 PM
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My .02... As a small shop owner operator I could benefit from this. It was discussed in another thread on here (how long does it take you) about how much R&D time is put into a project, and how that time is usually NOT profitable. To be able to pick a design and incorporate the cost of the design into the total build cost would be great! The only thing I'm not sure of is will people abuse this and buy the design once but "mass produce" it? Or is this something that will just be accepted? What kind of numbers are we looking at for prices? Maybe this will give me the final push to upgrade my original version of BT and kick out some designs?

After reading original post I see the part about prices
Once someone has the design they can not redistribute the design, however, they will be able to build as many as they wish. We have the same issue for software; some customers use it on occasion and others use it everyday. One way to help a seller feel better is to charge a price for the design that makes sense no matter how it is used.

My thoughts are somewhere around $50.00 for a simple design to $200.00 for well sought after designs. These are a price starting point for discussion.

You are correct in that this discussion has come up before. The primary difference on my end to make this happen is that we can build the technology to protect the designs and also I have the man-power to available to maintain a store as well as market this. In addition, we are putting on about 2000 new customers a year to sustain a nice revenue stream through this.
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:32 PM
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There are similar exchanges out there for solid models. I can't seem to think of one at the moment, but there are a few different business models that could work for this. One business model is that the price is set by the complexity (in this case number of tubes, bends, planes, etc) and the number of downloads. Critical features would include a preview, technical description (user-provided), and user rating/review/comment area. There would be an initial price set based on the complexity of the model then as people download and provide their review, the price adjusts automatically (i.e. starts at $2/node for the first X downloads, then goes up $0.25/node for downloads between X-Y, etc). Something to consider is that you need a mechanism for correcting/fixing/revising models, but you also don't want it to be a means for abusing the system/pricing structure.

A fixed price model is another way to go or you could have users set the price themselves and let the market decide pricing, the problem is users are not going to be very good at establishing pricing and especially while you're establishing a user base, you do not want to scare away traffic.

A nice connectivity feature would be if BTPro came up with a dialogue upon saving assemblies that asked if the user wants to upload their file to this exchange. Give it a check box so they can make it go away if they want.

Another option to consider is the exchange model where you have to contribute to download. In this model there is no money exchanged. The user starts with X number of "free" downloads. After that they have to earn downloads by uploading their own designs. You can modify this model by also allowing non-contributors to pay for downloads, in this way allowing both options and ensuring a steady supply of material for the exchange.

Another thought is you could tier or categorize this based on the value of the model. For example, simpler DIY type models like bumpers or roll cages for OEM vehicles may be more typical to the "free" exchange model while ready-designed buggies would be priced and sold just like plans are priced and sold.

I dunno, lots of ideas and crowd-sourcing options for this. I could see this being successful if you have an active user base. Hope to see it fly!
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:34 PM
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I don't think a free exchange concept would work. There is enough value to the designers to provide models that will be useful by others.

I would like to see nothing buy top notch stuff. You guys know me well enough to know I don't like to do things half ass.

.
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Old 03-18-2015, 10:56 PM
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I like the idea as I get alot of requests for my lo-budget pimpin chassis design(as seen on xtreme4x4..)but have been too worried that the second I sell one BT Pro file for that chassis that it would be for sale on ebay for $15

I even started a thread on pirate asking what people were willing to pay for plans..

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/gener...sis-plans.html

I hadnt really thought of a shop buying the file and producing several. But Im thinking a shop may want to become the sole owner of that file and could buy it outright from the owner/2020 software/Bend-Tech?

My only real question is will I still be the owner of the file or will bend-tech own it?
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:00 PM
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Seems like an awesome idea.
Sometimes the design part stumps me especially when not all the parts are on hand. Tried and true designs would open up the ability to easily change it to your liking.

I'm in.
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:52 PM
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Going to take a real layer to write that disclaimer.

Yes, I am dead serious and I wish I wasn't because the is in the details.


Other then that I think it is a great concept!
E
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:23 AM
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5 people so far. That's good enough for me. Looks like it's a go! Better get busy now cuz we are waiting.
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Old 03-19-2015, 01:09 AM
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I think if you want user created content you're going to have to leave some freedom for people to contribute and let it grow organically. You won't always get the best quality content but you are a lot more likely to end up with enough content to give people a reason to be there. Youtube would have never gotten off the ground if it didn't let people contribute freely. I think you are going to limit yourself too much if you restrict the content to only high quality stuff. Save that for the modules you sell.

My opinion.
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post
I think if you want user created content you're going to have to leave some freedom for people to contribute and let it grow organically. You won't always get the best quality content but you are a lot more likely to end up with enough content to give people a reason to be there. Youtube would have never gotten off the ground if it didn't let people contribute freely. I think you are going to limit yourself too much if you restrict the content to only high quality stuff. Save that for the modules you sell.

My opinion.
I actually agree... Some very cheap or free content will likely keep interest high with guys who are new to bending/fab. It will allow them to build their skills before they dive into that full chassis build.

Maybe even have a request forum section where someone can ask for something specific or just help with their design. Building a cage is easy... Now building one that looks good and flows is difficult for a first time user.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:18 AM
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Keep the conversation going guys. This is great.
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Bend-Tech Dragon web site:
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:45 AM
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Here is one of the sites I was thinking of: http://www.3dcadbrowser.com/ With this one they use a combination of free exchange (i.e. you get to download one for every one you upload/contribute) and paid access (you pay to have additional downloads if you don't contribute). All models are moderated before they become available to users. http://www.3dcadbrowser.com/register.aspx I think for starting a site like this you would need to seed the content.
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Old 03-19-2015, 01:01 PM
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99.9% of what I have ever done and ever will is one off.
I have attempted to leverage CAD files into my work but with the only exception being some hardware; I usually find it faster to just create the geometry.
The problem is I end up doing enough manipulation to outside files, to negate the advantage.

There is going to be an issue of tooling variation there will need to be some way to fairly simply download/import and then change the P.Pts, CLR, etc to fit the actual users environment.
There is also the variation of the vehicle. I've seen variations of 1/2-inch in bead openings! That will have to be a part of the package, so for the simple single tube bed mounted roll-bar the dimensions used to generate the geometry should be included.

For something like a U4 Chassis there would need to be some kind of link to the U4 rules revision level... it could be incorporated into the EULA of BT or of the download site, because the second there is a pay per use there is a presumption of fitness.

Finally there needs to be a feedback loop so that files that are junk can be purged quickly.

E
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:07 PM
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I agree with E. If we're talking about something like a cage, the person designing the cage is probably fitting it to a particular vehicle as tight as they can, but for the same dimensions to work on multiple vehicles, there needs to be allowance or a process for refitting it. When you buy a mail-order cage kit, it usually doesn't fit as nicely as a cage built for the specific car because it is designed with big gaps and/or adjustments.
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:16 PM
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Keep in mind that the buyers looking for designs are trying to find the easy way out. This is why there could be a market for this.

.
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Bend-Tech Dragon web site:
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:22 PM
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Being a home schooled "fabricator", I would be inclined to buy if I know the design helps me avoid common newby mistakes. Triangulation of cages comes to mind.
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:32 PM
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Disclaimer; These designs will not have any stress analysis work on them. That is a responsibility of the user if he finds it necessary.
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The Designers of Bend-Tech Products
www.Bend-Tech.com
Bend-Tech Dragon web site:
http://www.BendTechDragon.com

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Phone: 651-257-8715
Cris@bend-tech.com

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Old 03-19-2015, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabcam View Post
Keep in mind that the buyers looking for designs are trying to find the easy way out. This is why there could be a market for this.

.
Don't get me wrong here.
I think the idea is a good one!!!!!
You tossed out an open call and I have some thoughts and they may or may not be worth anything

There are some opportunity's along this line: I would for example be interested in for some reasonable cost (free), a comprehensive materials library that I could just import...
Imperial and the lesser Metric units for Steel, Alum, Various alloys DOM & ERW with dimensions and weight/unit.

THAT is something I could dig

E
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by entropy View Post
Don't get me wrong here.
I think the idea is a good one!!!!!
You tossed out an open call and I have some thoughts and they may or may not be worth anything

There are some opportunity's along this line: I would for example be interested in for some reasonable cost (free), a comprehensive materials library that I could just import...
Imperial and the lesser Metric units for Steel, Alum, Various alloys DOM & ERW with dimensions and weight/unit.

THAT is something I could dig

E
All conversation is well worth it. Never be afraid to comment or disagree on this board. Understanding all angles and thoughts is huge in this type of an endeavor.
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Cris@bend-tech.com

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