West3D celebrated its second birthday just a few months ago, and the reception from the 3D printing community has been tremendous. From launching a new stand-alone filament company, participating in our first RepRap shows, being the second most popular channel on the Voron Design discord server (spoiler V2 Questions is first), and passing order #25000 this year has been filled with growth fueled by community support.
It's hard to believe only two years ago West3D started as a side job born out of my passion for 3D printing. Never would I have imagined it would be where it is today, as one of the top destinations to get 3D printing parts for thousands of people. When I look back, I feel overwhelmed with gratitude to live and work among the greatest community I've ever been a part of.
The past year has continued to see some of our friends in the 3D printing business close its doors, and this saddens us. In response we will continue to actively engage in Community Weeks to help bring new customers and revenue opportunities to underserved resellers in our community.
Despite the economic climate, West3D continues to grow. West3D doubled its order volume and total sales growth increased by 43%, driven by a 129% increase in visits to our store. This growth helped us hire two additional staff (Aaron aka Machinza and Hudson) and has caused us to again look for opportunities to adjust our warehouse situation to allow for more products as well as a storefront for local customers. I want to thank you all for the trust and support you've given and your word-of-mouth recommendations to try our services. We couldn't have experienced this growth without you.
Our large growth in order volume has not come without challenges. In the upcoming year West3D will proactively focus on improving our order defect rate and lead time, especially during the holidays. Our community has been incredibly understanding and forgiving of our shortcomings and we are committed to improve our customer experience.
At any time should you have any suggestions that may improve our service and commitment please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Take care, no matter how you celebrate the beginning of the New Year, I wish you the best from the bottom of my heart.
Owner – West3D LLC.
Ambrosia Filament Launch
In mid-2023 we made a decision to expand into the filament market. At that time we were struggling with quality control issues with our major supplier of filament and no amount of reporting and support seemed to fix the issue. We decided enough was enough.
Over the following 5 months the team at West3D tested filament from multiple suppliers, and negotiated fiercely to provide a new line of filament that is both lower cost and higher quality than other offerings available. The launch of Ambrosia Filament (thanks Allen for the name suggestion!) is part of our commitment to our community, allowing us to alleviate the quality issues we have had with other suppliers and also bring in new flavors, colors, and process control techniques to you.
We still haven't made a big 'launch' from this (there's even a website we haven't told anyone about.. ambrosiafilament.com), mostly because we haven't had to. In the two months we have offered this line of filament we have sold more in just Ambrosia than the preceding year of all of our filament offerings combined (by a considerable margin). I equate this success entirely to our community of supporters, who tested and shared their results with others. We are already out of stock of some of our more popular colors, with more coming to restock soon!
Thank you for the best launch we've had to date.
BERSERKER Product Update
The BERSERKER brand at West3D distinguishes itself as representing a no compromise view on quality. We don't offer BERSERKER build plates (yet) or shafts or (insert other offering here) just to bump up prices without delivering a truly unique value.
Like our linear rails (now also available in high temperature!), to be branded BERSERKER means that we believe it is the best offering available.
We set out in 2023 to bring high performance fans to the market. We successfully did this, however unsuccessfully didn't realize the PWM function came non-working. This was a failure on our part.
I am pleased to announce that Vindr fans with PWM are entering the scene within the next few weeks!
We are also committed to bringing a better build plate experience to the lineup. We are currently evaluating candidates (and have ordered a first potential batch) of BERSERKER plates - that are stronger and last longer than any other offering on the market we have found.
We are still looking for other offerings, if you have any ideas of items we should research or problems we can solve through our sourcing please let us know!
West3D in Social Media
For those who don't know, we are on YouTube! Last Month we surpassed 2,000 subscribers! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPkjdcCIdonzSksVBr4qMYQ
The year 2024 will see a renewed push into our social media presence. We have made good strides into social media marketing - however we believe one the best ways to stay close to the community we support is to provide helpful content about the products and things we love.
We started our YouTube Channel just a little over a year ago. In that time we have seen content like Meet the Maker and our product help videos really engage and connect with you.
We have been really running at full steam with our operations recently, but we are committed to refocusing on the content you enjoy in 2024!
Last year our message to you all included a "We are moving" message. That growth continues. and while we didn't dedicate a full section to identify other major changes, we thought we'd share some below with you.
* We went beyond 3D Printing to bring you a new partnered product with PexPeppers! West3Delicious, it's good stuff!
* We donated over $10,000 to community and STEM organizations in 2024
* Micron+ Kits are now offered in our signature configurator! Build your very own Micron+!
* We fell in love with 3D printed Dart Blasters at RMRRF - and last month we started a partnership with Out of Darts to provide us with our own blasters to sell!
* We participated in the three RepRap Festivals, as well as local regional events. It was so fun meeting and hanging out with people who share our love and passion for 3D Printing!
* Our voron discord channel is the second most popular on the server behind Voron 2 Questions. This is entirely the community's doing being around to help and hang out with other 3D printing enthusiasts. The support is incredible, and I appreciate every one of you who have contributed to our enclave.