You Can Make a Project For Anything
Projects are where most of the magic happens. Having one centralized place where all of your work gets done simplifies your workflow and allows for concise communication among your team and clients.
Projects can be created by you, a member of your team through, or your clients from their individual dashboard or through one of the various project submission methods.
Who and What Can a Project be Created For?
- Clients can submit a request for quote (RFQ) by submitting their project requirements and files.
- A one-time transaction project if the client only needs you to complete one task/order.
- A multi-transaction project if the client needs you to complete multiple tasks/steps/orders.
- A project can contain multiple stages or statuses to contain all the work that needs to get done in one place.
- Admins can add multiple customers to a single project in the case where you would want other members of the client's team to collaborate in one space instead of emails.
For internal use for your team:
- You or your team can create personal projects that manage your day-to-day work for anything you may be or plan to work on.
- You can still create a project for a client and not add them to the project if you and your team prefer to separate the client from the platform.
- Collaborate with your team on developing a new product and add all the relevant project files in one place.
- Create one or a few projects that contain reference files is a good way to keep files that you or your team may need access at some point safe and secure. For example: machine profiles for your CNC machine, 3D printer, or templates for designs.
Your First Time Inside the Project Dashboard
If this is the first time to your Dashboard, you'll be given the opportunity to watch the introduction video or create your first test project using the button or the form right below the video. Once you have projects in the future, you can also filter out archived projects by clicking the button.
Creating A Project
This page will be the same whether you or your customers access it, so if you want to link a customer here directly you can send them to:
A title and description are required here, but attaching a file is not. You'll want to be as descriptive as possible here so that you have a good record of what this project is regarding.
If you do want to submit a file, you will be happy to find that any type of file can be attached to this project. Learn more about files below in this article.
Before clicking submit, the box saying that one has read and accepted the services agreement must be checked. This will generate the Client-Provider Service Agreement (which is under "Exhibit A" on the Terms page) between yourself and whoever submits the project. Keep in mind that if you submit the project yourself, the agreement will generate between your own company and you, so you may want to send the client a separate agreement if you create the project for them. Learn how you can modify the services agreement within General Settings here.
When you're ready, click "Submit".
Project Activity Tab
The Activity Tab is the first thing you'll see when you go into a new project. You are able to view your Default Project Statuses and their corresponding percentage of completion.
Next to the status bar is the total value of the project based on the value of paid and unpaid invoices in the billing tab.
To the right of the total value column, is where you can view who created the project and the project description. You are able to edit the description by clicking on the pencil icon.
In the left column, you are able to see recent files attached to the project. You are able to download these files, or "Instant Quote" 3D files if you have configured your Autoquoter. Underneath recent files are the recent invoices. There is the option to create a new invoice from here. Finally, there is a list of users assigned to the project. This gives you the ability to add or remove users from a project. To add other users to this project, go to the Users section.
Below the project tabs is the message entry field. Messages have permissions that can limit message visibility to either everyone, only members of your team and vendors, or only members of your team, with the latter two options having a blue background to display the difference.
Once sent, messages will display the personal image you chose if you've already set up your account, as well as your business's favicon in the bottom-right corner of the image. You can also edit a message's content or permissions by clicking on the pencil icon. This option is available for up to 30 minutes after a message is sent.
You can also attach files to a message, which will appear not only in the message, but also in the Files tab.
Whether you are working on a project internally or for a client, you want to make sure all the relevant files are in one place with the proper permissions.
What files can you or clients upload?
- Any 3D file, even native files (the Autoquoter currently only generates quotes for OBJ and STL files)
- Adobe design files
- Any document file: PDF, Excel spreadsheet, Word doc, etc
- .zip files
From the Files tab you can access all of the files uploaded to this project. As mentioned earlier, any type of file can be uploaded, but for 3D model files such as the STL uploaded here, you'll notice a "View" button. If your Autoquoter is already set up, the "View" button will go to the project's Autoquoter interface.
You can view and rotate the 3D file directly. This can be done on desktop or mobile. The above is the 3D viewer if you are subscribed to the Basic Plan or are on the Pro/Business Plan and do not have your Autoquoter configured.
The below interface will be activated once you have configured your Autoquoter which is only available for Pro/Business Plan accounts.
Keep in mind that we configured example prices when we set up the AutoQuoter, and you may want to create a test project and play with your prices until you find what works for you.
Once you click "Save", a quote will be sent to the Billing tab. Quotes can be generated by anyone who has access to this project and file.
Access to files can be changed by clicking on the cog icon underneath the file's thumbnail. Here you can decide to make the thumbnail the default project thumbnail, add some tags, and change the permissions (visibility). If you add a file within a message, the permissions for the file will match the message's permissions.
Within the Project's Options tab, you can decide whether Vendors can communicate directly with customers on this project. By default this is off, meaning that users with Vendor account types (a contractor working with your company, for instance) can see all of the messages besides the ones specifically for your team, but they can only send messages visible to themselves and your team.
You can also customize the project statuses here. Keep in mind that this will not affect the Default Project Statuses. This will only reflect on the current project's Status.
Project Billing, Quotes, and Invoices
The Billing tab is where you'll find all of your quotes and invoices.
To turn that quote into an invoice (something you or your customers can do), just select the quote, and then select "Create Invoice". What will be created is an invoice titled "Auto-Generated Quote".
If the Autoquote review is enabled within the Autoquoter Configuration then regardless of who generates the invoice, it will then need to be approved by you or an employee. You'll also notice that you can download your invoice as a PDF by clicking the link in the upper-right corner.
Going back to the top level of the billing tab, if you want to generate a custom invoice you just click "New Invoice" from the upper-right corner.
Here you can do it all from scratch - enter a custom description (which will serve as the title of the invoice), set custom terms, input line items, and add addresses manually.
Line items can be added from your Inventory by clicking "Add from Inventory", from the AutoQuoter by clicking "Add from Files", or manually entered by clicking "Manual Line Entry". With the last option, you can apply discounts by entering a negative value into the price (you can also create a negative dollar amount coupon within the inventory manager).
NOTE: If you add a line item using the AutoQuoter by clicking "Add from Files", the Startup Price and Shipping & Handling cost you set when you went through the AutoQuoter Configuration will not be applied automatically. In this case, you should use a Manual Line Entry to add those separately.
When everything's filled out, click "Post Invoice" to make the invoice live.
Once the invoice is live, the "Pay Now" section will come up, allowing your customers to pay the balance or for you to take payment for them.
Going back to the top level of the billing tab, you'll see the invoices you've generated for your customer. You can, of course, take payments outside of the system through check or wire and manually mark the status of the invoice as paid.
If you need to issue a refund please create a support ticket with any relevant information, including the reason for the refund, and the amount to be refunded. Depending on whether the money has cleared from the customer, or has been transferred from MakerOS to you, there will be different things we can do to help and refunds may take different lengths of time. In most cases, all credit card processing fees through Stripe will be refunded, though the service fee MakerOS takes is non-refundable.