MakerWorld's open beta has been live for 20 days now. In these 20 days, we've garnered tremendous support from creators and users, acquired a multitude of models, and of course, encountered various bugs, received feedback, and addressed complaints. Nothing paints a clearer picture of a new platform's growth than data. Below, I've used a set of charts to showcase the achievements MakerWorld has made in the past 20 days.
Along with these advancements, we've also faced a myriad of challenges, both technical and operational. Taking this opportunity, we will clarify some of the issues that have been the subject of intense discussions over the past few days. Additionally, we will outline the changes we plan to make in the near future.
The Mysterious Bean Overlord and Profile Farming
Many have reported that a robot named Bean Overlord has been farming points due to an excessive number of profile uploads. This particular case is actually a misunderstanding. Bean represents Bambu Lab's test farm, called mini-line. We have a farm with hundreds of printers, tirelessly testing new hardware, firmware, slicer settings, and filaments around the clock. In the past, the mini-line mainly printed various benchmarks and standard test models.
After the launch of MakerWorld, we realized that printing a diverse range of models seemed to be a better method to prepare our products for the real world, so our testing team began to print models from MakerWorld in bulk. One byproduct of this is profiles that have undergone actual print verification, sometimes after a few iterations of tuning. Bean regularly bulk uploads these precious profiles to MakerWorld.
This inspires a new feature: in future versions, we'll provide an option for profile uploaders to donate their profile incentives to the model creators. This is because many users upload profiles to enhance the performance of models, not to compete with model designer for incentive points.
Another observation stemming from this is that we've noticed content creators particularly care about the quality of profiles for their models. We hope that those who upload profiles test and print them first before uploading, to ensure quality. Therefore, we will require the inclusion of a photo of the actual printed result when uploading a profile. If a profile lacks a photo or proof that it was tested, the model creator will have the right to review and remove it. Future version updates will also highlight profiles from the model creator more prominently.
We also want to clarify that merely uploading a profile won't earn you much incentive. Only when many users print with your profile will the profile creator receive substantial incentives.
Complaints Arising from Model Sharing
The Creative Commons License is one of the cornerstones of the 3D printing community. Therefore, we have reserved an option for sharing models on our upload page and strictly require sharers to provide the model's source and author information to meet the attribution requirement.
When displaying a shared model, we directly display the original author's name rather than the user sharing it. After running for 20 days, we have found that this design and policy is still not comprehensive enough. While shared models only account for 2.7% of the total models on MakerWorld, the complaints they generate make up a staggering 78%.
Some users, when sharing models, have directly copied images and descriptions that aren't under the CC umbrella, clearly violating basic social protocols. Furthermore, some model creators are uncomfortable with their CC models being shared freely. We empathize with this sentiment, as some past model-sharing platforms only offered a CC license option which left creator without any choice, or the author's original intention for sharing was limited to users and didn't encompass platform-wide sharing.
Given the complexities and time-consuming nature of determining whether a shared CC-licensed model is appropriate, and the lack of consensus in the community on how to properly moderate it – coupled with our current policy not addressing various nuanced issues – we've decided to temporarily disable the Share function. We will extensively seek opinions from all sectors of the community. Once we're confident in our ability to effectively moderate shared models, we will reintroduce the sharing feature.
Manual Review at Incentive Redemption
MakerWorld is still in the early stages, so many rules are not yet perfected, inevitably leaving room for loopholes to be exploited. On one hand, we will continuously refine our rule set in detail. On the other hand, we are currently learning from established platforms, adding a manual review process during the incentive redemption phase. We will also impose penalties on accounts that repeatedly violate our rules, ranging from deducting incentives to deleting accounts. We aim to diligently build MW into a thriving sharing platform that values and respects creators.
We Appreciate Your Feedback
MakerWorld is in its Beta phase and there are so many things that need to be improved. We value everyone's feedback and opinions. Many of the adjustments mentioned above are the results of the constructive feedback we received from comments on social media, reports on the platform, and even friendly emails. If you have any additional suggestions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via the support system of MakerWorld.