The sites are maintained by myself (Salaryman), with the help of a handful of volunteer moderators who keep the community in check. This essentially makes maintaining the site infrastructure a one-man operation. And that's quite costly, since the site serves many terabytes worth of traffic every month!
Furthermore, it's not even my regular job; this is what I do on the side, in his free time. Hundreds of model makers and thousands of artists are counting on these site staying online every day. If these sites were to suddenly go down, you'd see the number of new smutty 3D artworks slow to a crawl, as people scramble to recover backups of the lost assets. That's quite some responsibility weighing on me and the sites!
Unfortunately, I can only keep this up as long as it doesn't hurt my personal finances. My regular job pays for my living expenses and allows me to build some savings. But should my contract get terminated, I would no longer be able to afford to keep the site running.
In order to pay for server expenses, support and development time, I've turned to crowdfunding websites in order to make the sites sustainable. And if the sites really hit the funding goals, I can dedicate more time to Open3DLab and start working fewer days in my regular job. In the short term, this will lead to the site becoming more reliable, and long term, this will lead to new features
The sites are funded by the users, primarily through SubscribeStar and Patreon. If you find the site useful, please consider supporting it through our SubscribeStar page on subscribestar.adult/sfmlab, or our Patreon page on patreon.com/sfmlab. This will net you several site benefits in exchange, such as ad-free browsing and faster downloads.
Due to past issues with Patreon regarding adult content, we would really appreciate it if you would support the site through SubscribeStar instead.
2022-06-06: The SubscribeStar integration is a work in progress at this time, and there may be a several day delay in the assignment of your benefits. If you wish to have immediate access, please consider using the Patreon.
While I'm personally quite interested in cryptocurrency as a payment platform, it's definitely not without its problems. Major currencies cope with efficiency and environmental concerns, which have yet to be addressed. Meanwhile, it's definitely not as easy to use and accessible to normal people as contemporary banking and payment systems. Combined with strongly fluctuating prices, rampant scams and lack of consumer protections, it's not currently feasible as an alternative of the other funding methods above.
These are important challenges to be overcome, before cryptocurrency can actually be used as a general purpose currency. And I feel like the space will get there just fine without having my sites being the first to integrate these into the platform. I'm definitely on-board for the idea of decentralized, private currency, but I feel like there are too many challenges for it to be considered for mainstream adoption. If you do insist on supporting the site with crypto, I've added a button for crypto donations below. Crypto donations can unfortunatelly not be exchanged for site benefits at this time.