Kraftwurx – The World’s Platform For 3D Printing In The Cloud

In my last blog-post I introduced some terms and some types of 3D printing platforms. I explained what kind of types of co-creation there are, and how they relate to some 3D printing platforms. In this blog-post I would like to look further into the 3D printing service activity called ‘Design crowdsourcing’’. To refresh your minds, design crowdsourcing service offers a platform where user can ask the crowd to help design a detailed described project. We already know this kind of platform, it is called Werkspot in the Netherlands.

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Today I will be talking about Kraftwurx,  a 3d printing platform (community). This is a platform, like Werkspot, where customers and producers are linked to each other. They offer features like, creating your own shop and hiring a professional designer to help you out with your design. They want to bring the world of 3D printing closer to ordinary people and they believe that 3D printing (additive manufacturing) is the new way of manufacturing.

Besides the production, selling and helping. They tried to establish a community where they created 12 topics where users can collaborate and discuss about materials, 3D printing, future of additive fabrication etc. However, when I take a look at this forum I can see that there are just a few posts, and the post that are there are rather old. This indicated that the 90-9-1 rule doesn’t apply on this community. In other words, this community isn’t really active and doesn’t have lots of (contributing) users.

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We can see and tell, on the picture above, that the start of the community created some awareness, but the contribution of users (answers on questions) wasn’t really high. After no information was gained from the community, users were becoming lurkers. Another reason for this phenomena is the fact that the layout and level of user-friendliness is low.  Lots of questions were being asked, but almost nobody replied on it. This indicates that the community contained lots of novice users, whom only ask. And almost no expert users whom could answer the questions.

Kraftwurx didn’t react to these lurkers and on the problems on their community. However, there are 3 different ways they could Delurk them.

  • Make use of external stimuli
    • Give tangible rewards to the experts who are answering the questions and contribute
    • Give an acknowledgement to the people who do contribute
  • Improve usability
    • Make a user-friendly interface
    • Make the layout more appealing
  • Encouragement
    • Introducing an reward and acknowledgement policy

We can conclude that Kraftwurx main focus is 3D printing and offering 3D printing services. But with some simple adjustment on their community part, they could create more awareness and an active community!


Rayna, T., Striukova, L. and Darlington, J. (2015). Co-creation and user innovation: The role of online 3D printing platforms. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 37, pp.90-102.

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