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An Update to the Shapeways Pricing Structure


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Hi Peter,

Will the SWF density discount disappear?

How about composite models, like puzzles with many pieces per model?

#1 M. Oskar van Deventer (Homepage) on 2011-09-21 18:14 (Reply)
Hey Oskar, new pricing will still take density discount into consideration for the WSF material. :-)
#1.1 nancyliang on 2011-09-21 19:12 (Reply)
Does that mean that the handling fee will replace the current "start up" fee, or will it be in addition to it?
#2 Lincoln Kamm (Homepage) on 2011-09-21 18:25 (Reply)
Yes, the handling fee and start up fee are basically the same thing. The reason we say handling is because we found that people understand what the price go towards (ie labor & handling costs).
#2.1 nancyliang on 2011-09-21 19:14 (Reply)
As a fairly regular customer of a number of user-shops, this will unfortunately cause me to cease doing business with Shapeways. The cost for the items I order will simply increase too greatly with the new "handling" fees.

I'm also afraid that a large number of people in a similar situation as mine will greatly reduce their purchases.
#3 Jon Sommer on 2011-09-21 19:17 (Reply)
If we're going to have to pay for shipping now, then can we have the option for different shipping methods than UPS? Because UPS is horrible in my experience.
#4 Joel Wagner on 2011-09-21 19:20 (Reply)
Good feedback. Yes we are looking into it. Hope to give an update on that in the next months.
#4.1 Pete (Homepage) on 2011-09-21 19:28 (Reply)
Can we please have USPS. You now have a US distribution and USPS even at $15 would be cheaper to Canada then UPS at $6.50. Though obviously keep price as cheap as you can.
#4.1.1 Mctrivia on 2011-09-21 21:11 (Reply)
I wholeheartedly second that request!!
#4.2 Glenn Slingsby on 2011-09-22 15:49 (Reply)
This is going to kill my already dismal sales. $6 handling fee per item for Stainless Steel plus $8/cm3? Plus shipping? For small items like rings and earrings, that's a really big price hike. :-(
#5 Joel Wagner on 2011-09-21 19:38 (Reply)
Does this do away with the $25 minimum order?
#6 Stony Smith on 2011-09-21 19:42 (Reply)
Yes, no more minimum order
#6.1 Pete on 2011-09-21 20:36 (Reply)
Seems this is going to encourage a lot of people, including myself, to start printing multiple models in one file to avoid excessive handling costs. Time to brush up on making sprues...
#7 Anonymous on 2011-09-21 19:54 (Reply)
Hmm, I'm thinking that I'm going to have to seriously consider P0n0k0 as a Shapeways alternative.
#8 roofoo on 2011-09-21 20:10 (Reply)
The density discount on WSF is really critical for me, so I'm happy to hear it is staying around. Most of my models are over 50cm^3, and this brings the current price down from $77 to $54.

I just ordered some laser cut stuff from Ponoko, and they add extra for shipping. The cheapest option is UPS ground, which is going to take 3 days I would guess.
#9 George Bell on 2011-09-21 20:39 (Reply)
These changes will reduce my costs, unless I wanted to explore glass items.

It might be a good idea to include in the price scheme table above those which do not represent changes from current pricing. Calculating the new costs for my models in different materials reveals that not all materials are having their costs changed.
#10 darren on 2011-09-21 21:48 (Reply)
is there a way that we can see side by side comparisons and straight up examples, please?
#11 chris on 2011-09-21 21:51 (Reply)
Sure thing, we will also try and make an online calculator so you can input your cm3 to get an idea.
#11.1 Duann on 2011-09-21 23:57 (Reply)
oh and can you please use this new revenue to make the website improvements that the community has been asking for.

if it isn't too much trouble.

#12 chris on 2011-09-21 21:54 (Reply)
Would be intersting how many (percentage) of shapeway's items are beyond 2ccm, 5ccm, 10ccm, ...
I thin for most of our items this is a serious increase on the average item price.
#13 Andreas Woody64 on 2011-09-21 22:26 (Reply)

12.3333 cm3 of WSF in the current system:

costs 10 x 1.5 (per volume cost) + 1.5 (base fee)
= $20.00

12.3333 cm3 of WSF in the new Oct. 1st system:

costs 10 x 1.4 (per volume cost) + 1.50 (base fee) + 6.50 (shipping)
= $25.27

cost increase of 20%


Still less expensive than ponoko or imaterialize.
#14 T. Shawn Johnson on 2011-09-21 22:56 (Reply)
Hi Shawn, agreed - Also look at what 2 of those 10 cm3 sized items would cost before and after!!
#14.1 Pete on 2011-09-22 01:06 (Reply)
Is it possible for Shapeways to release a tool that allows us to bundle files into one print order online? Going back and adding models to a single file, then doing any error checks that might crop up is pretty time consuming on our end. May be a way to create more orders by making it easier to collect certain models together (understand this would not likely work for Silver or some of the other metals due to additional processing steps).
#15 Hobby Fuzion on 2011-09-22 02:47 (Reply)
1. Can there be a tool for us to consolidate separate orders into one shipping package? If not then we'll have to accumulate multiple orders before placing them.

2. Order placed before Oct 1, will the new shipping cost apply if they are shipped after Oct 1?

3. Since we are paying for the shipping, can you specify UPS to delivery package in the morning, i.e. UPS Worldwide Express. I hate waiting all day for the package and do not have any time to process it after receiving.

4. Since we are paying handling charge and shipping, I would expect my future orders received will be better handled, such as WSF cleaned thoroughly without powder residue; better checked so that we won't receive models with print errors. That is only fair. And I don't think we should pay shipping for reprints.

Those are my questions and opinions, thanks!

#16 CGD on 2011-09-22 02:51 (Reply)
5. I also like the idea (at least for shop owners) having one chance of test printing their creation without the heavy shipping charges. May be a special not so heavy handling charge instead? This test print should reduce future troubles when customer orders the product, and reduce Shapeways' hassles in the long run.

I think one way to do that is apply a discount if the shop owner order one's own model with version = 0 and quantity is 1 X.

#16.1 CGD on 2011-09-22 04:50 (Reply)
Well, I wasn't that far away with my past predictions... You unfortunately are exactly adopting an U.S. centric point of view for the shipping cost...
#17 fx on 2011-09-22 05:07 (Reply)
I'm a lot less likely to order with these unnecessary price hikes. your service is already appallingly bad the vast majority of the time and now you want to raise prices? seriously?
#18 Anonymous on 2011-09-22 05:31 (Reply)
Does "EU Countries" include Switzerland when it comes to shipping?
#19 Anonymous on 2011-09-22 05:48 (Reply)
I am exactly in the middle of wanting to make an order. But if prices are changing I would like to know how much.

I want to print in Silver glossy. I have the model and everything.

before it was:

$20 + cm3/$20 +10 = Total

How would it be now?
Is it like this?

$35 + cm3/$20 + 10 + 6,50(NL) = Total

If I print more than 4 sets, is there one time charge of the shipping?

Please let me know!!
#20 Monique on 2011-09-22 07:50 (Reply)

currently it still is: $40 minimum including the 1st cm3 and $20 /cm3 + $10 for polishing.

It will become $35 handling (including polish)+ $20/cm3 and shipping depending on where you live.

#20.1 Pete on 2011-09-22 13:29 (Reply)
"The result is that small models and small orders are actually costing us money while large parts and large orders are generating a lot of money. This is, we feel, in both cases not right."

I concur. Any time a service used by more than 2 people has changes, someone is no going to be happy. But I think these changes are likely necessary. Including shipping, does this increase prices across the board? For most models, yes. *However*, I agree that subsidizing is not a good long-term policy, because it masks realities that lead to good behaviors ("good" here meaning fiscally sustainable for Shapeways and thus beneficial for both users and the company).

Thank you for being up front with your reasoning. It's not easy to expose such things to a mass of people, since not everyone will agree and some arguing is inevitable. You're running a business, and you're entitled to whatever changes are necessary to maintain positive cash flow. But openness is always the best policy for building trust with customers - don't lose that.
#21 TurtlesAreCool (Homepage) on 2011-09-22 13:00 (Reply)
Thanks, well stated.
#21.1 Duann on 2011-09-22 13:23 (Reply)
I can already see the next step: Shop owners will have to pay to get their items listed. The only question is, when ?
#22 fx on 2011-09-22 13:08 (Reply)
ETSY has become very successful with that format... but we do not foresee to do this in the near or mid-long future. What/If it would enable us to lower (shipping or other charges?) It is an excellent point to discuss, but since it is off-topic, let's have that discussion on the forum?
#22.1 Pete on 2011-09-22 13:15 (Reply)
I think the price changes are fair, yet frustrating. It's not a price increase, just a shift int he equation, so there is going to be a sweetspot where models are cheaper and bigger, yet not too expensive to our customers. This price change just shifts that spot. I'll probably just be charging more for the smaller things, and also start designing bigger things. This change will force people like me to be more creative with larger items.

You mentioned in the webcast that we are to honor the gentlemen's agreement of not including multiple items in one file to avoid the handling fee per item.

If we physically attach items together with sprues in one model, does that also cheat the agreement, or is it okay because the handling is actually easier since they're attached?
#23 Todd Blatt (Homepage) on 2011-09-22 15:05 (Reply)
Regarding spruces as initially stated we had to restructure to have our system better reflect cost. The same is true for spruces. There are 2 main aspects

1) Spruces reduce sorting time. From that perspective we like them
2) Spruces when used incorrectly will greatly increase the amount of volume used in the printer. This makes the use of the printer inefficient and therefor the costs go up.

Conclusion: keep the total volume small and we like them. I think this is a great topic for an advanced blog post.
#23.1 Pete on 2011-09-22 15:14 (Reply)
So maybe if we do our own spruces, and do our own nesting it'd be fair.

Here's an example of one I nested myself, but didn't add sprues

I wonder, are sprue rules different for different materials because of the process? Regarding steel?
#24 Todd Blatt (Homepage) on 2011-09-22 15:22 (Reply)
I would agree with TurtlesAreCool above: not everyone is going to be happy with the changes, me included, since I model a number of small items (jewellery) and prices will increase. However, I can live with that IF we are given another option over UPS as noted a few times before me. I live in Canada and I would MUCH rather wait a week longer for my items to arrive in the post than have to endure that criminal minimum $14 at-the-door charge that UPS insists upon each time: So NOW I have to pay SW $6.50 for shipping and another $14 minimum to UPS on delivery. For small orders this will be a killer!.
#25 Glenn Slingsby on 2011-09-22 16:08 (Reply)
We will do 2 things to this. First talk to UPS about these charges and i'll move up the USPS implementation.
#25.1 Pete on 2011-09-22 16:55 (Reply)
How does this affect two piece sterling silver designs? such as a design with 1cm cubed for total volume: (.5cm cubed for the first piece and .5cm cubed for the second). How much would I pay for the first prototype?
#26 Peter Clyde on 2011-09-22 17:34 (Reply)
Is it really more expensive to send stuff from NL to US than from NL to France or Belgium ?
#27 Francesco de Comité on 2011-09-22 21:58 (Reply)
Shipping price is with or without tax? What countries are considered "EU"? EU27? Euro zone only? Any special case included like Switzerland or Norway?

@Francesco: they probably ship from NY if applicable. Why NY to Vancouver (customs handling "surprise" aside) or Seattle is less than NL to Belgium or Germany... only UPS knows.
#27.1 stannum on 2011-09-23 02:55 (Reply)
Someone please explain why its CHEAPER to send across the atlantic than down the road (EU) from Netherlands ??

Most of my models are between 0.5 and 2/5 cm3, my bulk groups I have used in past not make me feel a bit guilty becuase of the gentlemens agreement I did not even know about.

My orginal thoughts about a bulk was to use as much as a 'single runs' space as possible to save having to setup each time, is this 'wrong' is it better for me to order each model seperately and causing multiple print runs ?

Could do with a defination of 'product', eg if I order 10 models but are all same material, is that 1 product or 10 ?

In my view filling a block to do one run is qiucker than having more runs, it should also be quicker, could be the difference between 1 run and 30 runs.

Now wondering just what to do
#28 Anonymous on 2011-09-23 11:18 (Reply)
Sorry its me, forget to ensure name was on.
#28.1 cbfasi on 2011-09-23 11:19 (Reply)
well this is pretty much the worst news possible... This VASTLY increases the costs of every single one of my models...

this effectively destroys anyone who makes small items..

i was in the process of making a big order .... but now i'm not sure if there is any point in doing so. because the dozens of prototypes i'm ordering won't be priced at a point the market will bear after these insane fees go into effect.

I have a ton of customer interest from people eager to buy my stuff... but when the price doubles (or worse) for almost every item... there is really no point.

looks like i'm out of business.
#29 sixthscale on 2011-09-23 17:11 (Reply)
I have been designing and printing jewelry and giving any profit to charity. Looks like the losers in my case will be the charities :-(

A cost calculator highlighting the current cost and future costs would be perfect.
#30 InterSimi on 2011-09-27 13:43 (Reply)

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