MTB 3D Delft, Arjan van Unen: “The key factor is quality, we really believe that”
Being aware of the concept of sharing knowledge in the 3D printing world, not only do they sell filaments and other products for 3D printing, but they also provide an online customer service that helps people get more information about how to use a 3D printer and about all the possibilities it has to offer.
We spoke with Arjan van Unen about the commercial and social aspect of his business, and about box3d, the new product his company has developed to help businesses and individuals work with the machines in a more efficient way.
Could you tell us about how you came up with the idea of starting a business related to 3D printing?
“We started MTB3D about a year ago when we were both doing a minor course at university: I was doing it in industrial production, and Ewoud van Munster, my business partner, was doing it in 3D printing, and he was enlarging the current Ultimaker to make it better and wider.
Then, we came up together with the idea, ‘Why don’t we go into the 3D printing market and sell 3D printing plastics?’.
We saw that more people were buying 3D printers and were getting interested in them, so we thought ‘Everyone who has a 3D printer needs plastics for that’. That was basically the idea.
After that, we started to check for different plastics and to test them in order to find out what’s the major difference among them. Then, we found a reliable supplier, we bought about 200kg of plastic, and we just started to sell it by putting advertisements online, and by talking on internet forums.
In the beginning, sales were not really going well because didn’t trust our products. They thought, ‘The quality cannot be that good for such a low price’.
Now, a lot of people write reviews on our website, more people are finding us online, and it definitely works really well.”
Besides filaments, do you sell other products that you want to make more accessible in the market?
“Besides selling the filaments, we’re also making products for customers. A lot of people come to us and ask, ‘How can you make this kind of object? Can you make this for us?’.
We are always willing to help them because we have already tested our filaments, and we already have know-how about 3D printing, so we can easily make products.”
What is the strategy behind customers’ satisfaction?
“The key factor is quality, we really believe that. If the product is not of good quality, the business will not keep going. So, quality is the focal point for everything we do.
Besides that, people obviously want a good price, but also a good service, so if they have any questions, we want to answer them. As we don’t have an actual store but an online one, we are answering the questions by email within a few hours.”
You are also developing a product to insulate desktop 3D printers…
“We’re developing a lot of products to help makers, especially makers who work on their computer and have a desktop 3D printer next to them.
We could quickly imagine that the noise and smells of the printer could annoy them, that’s why we are introducing box3d. It’s basically a box around the 3D printer that isolates the temperature.
That can improve the quality of the print and reduce the sound level of the machine. It also takes away all the fumes, spilling them outside your office.
So, if you have a laptop, and you have a 3D printer in the box, you can easily start your own company and your own development of new products.”