We introduced beautiful jewelry grade premium silver 3D printing to Shapeways in early March and we have seen so many amazing designs in the Shapeways marketplace that we would like to continue premium silver as a permanent material on Shapeways but we need your input.
The current trial is set to end this Tuesday the 14th of May so you only have a few days left to get your orders in and give us some feedback before we make any changes to the design rules and pricing structure.
If you already have your design 3D printed in premium silver please share the URL for your product page in the comments on the blog so the entire Shapeways team (and community) can take a look. Also let us know what you think of the premium silver 3D printing, how it compares to our other silver and what you would like to see next.
BIG YES. Have this in mind guys, you are pioneering this, maybe there are few people so far making models for this but if you want to compete with handcrafted jewelry, this is the only material that does it justice so far. It's more expensive, but if I'm going to pay $50 for a piece of really personalized jewelry, I'm willing to pay a bit more and make it look perfect.
Soon enough a lot more people will be designing for this material. It's gorgeous, absolutely unique, and makes for an impressive customized gift.
As nice as it is, until/unless the price comes drastically down I will NOT be using it. But, then, I'm able to put a nice polish on my own silver so take that into account. As Jens said, don't remove it for the sake of removing it.... But I'm sure you can tell from financial response if it is worthwhile continuing.
Yes, you should definately keep this! Unpolished silver just looks kind of cheap in many cases. So people will have to let their products be polished anyways. As far as I am concerned, i'd rather let my products be polished by a local gold smith, but not everyone has this opportunity and I would also like to sell my products including a premium finish.
We always launched this as a trial so that we have an option of discontinuing the Premium Silver if it is not popular.
It seems as though people love it as much as we do, but we always like to have more feedback.
When we launch a new material we always have a trial period to make sure we understand the limitations, pricing and popularity before we commit to it as a permanent option.
In this way we mitigate disappointment if a material fails to meet expectations. It is looking as though for the most part, Premium Silver 3D printing is quite popular so it should remain on Shapeways as a material option, to be joined by more VERY soon.
Hey guys, this is a standard practice with all new materials. It is not our intent to get rid of a material that our community loves. We want to make sure that the pricing, and design rules work for you and our production facility. Just wanted to note, we're not trying to take away a loved material, we're just looking for your opinions as we diagnose the future of the material.
Shapeways needs to do some marketing research for sterling silver jewelry. Doing that you will find that the prices for Shapeways' premium silver is well beyond the average for retail prices for sterling silver jewelery. But wait, aren't the designers designing for Shapeways supposed to be able to make a profit? How can they make a profit if the price for premium silver is already set beyond what the averages are?
The other thing that needs to change is lead time. Why in the world would the majority of consumers buy something that they have to wait for over 30 days for it to be delivered? They don't! They buy their sterling silver jewelery elsewhere. It's only the people who know what 3D printing is and are buying for the nostalgia of 3D printing and are willing to wait because 3D printing is something special to them. These people and the rare instances of people who are willing to wait for their orders are the only people buying. That and the even rarer customers who are buying because of a one off custom design.
When Shapeways offers a completed product for sterling silver, including a patina option, at a price low enough that I the designer can make a profit too and with lead times comparable to regular delivery times for sterling silver jewelery, that's when I'll get involved in the way that the founders of Shapeways envisioned for the Shapeways shops.
I currently use Shapeways in the following way. Well, for jewelery designs that Shapeways will print that is, otherwise the designs get sent to the competitor since the competitor doesn't reject my designs. I make an order in glossy or silver and then wait up to 37 days for the order to be delivered. I then do my own finishing and then sell it outside of Shapeways. For simple designs I send those to a casting house that has my orders back to me within a few days where I then do finishing and sell outside of Shapeways.
I will never use premium silver unless I'm doing a one off design for myself since the prices are too high to make a profit.
Thanks for your feedback. We want to reduce the price for 3D printing sterling silver but we can only do so once we have greater volume. Currently the price may not be the same as for a mass produced silver item, but it is comparable, if not cheaper than a bespoke sterling silver item from a jeweler. So you are right, the value is there for the one-off item, which every product on Shapeways is, 3D printed on demand for you.
The wait times will be reduced as we streamline the process and bring more wax printers in more locations into the equation.
Thanks again for your feedback.
Yes you should keep it. It takes me a lot longer than a month or two to start designing to a new material option -- my queue is like six months deep -- but I'll get to this. I agree that other silver options don't compare. Silver that isn't polished by hand doesn't look right to me, and I think customers will know the difference too.
Hang in there! Your materials and color options are like the artist's palette - please keep EXPANDING these categories and don't remove what you already have! We JUST started getting designs back from our graphic artist for our Shapeways account and it would certainly be heartbreaking if we were to lose any of the customizable options for our products. We'd really love to see more color options for the plastics, on that note 3D printing is not very far away from becoming a mainstream idea and once that happens - the demand for it will certainly justify keeping the present options as well as developing more materials!
Definitely keep it! Not necessarily because I want to order it, but because it probably motivates price conscious customers to ordering "glossy" which is now the "medium" option between normal and premium. Otherwise they'd order non-glossy which is always a huge disappointment with all those scratches and dents
If you want to keep the material lineup lean and have to get rid of something, how about kicking out the "normal" silver? Maybe make the old "glossy" the new normal, and the new "premium" the old "glossy".
Yes, please keep it. But reduce wait time and cost. I will not order or sell regular silver based on previous samples I tried. Only polished. I ordered a few polished items to sample and I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality. I do not want to do my own polishing, selling, or processing and aspire to create a system in which customers order items from SW's, and I receive a profit without touching the item. But the cost of PS is very high, and the waiting period is too long. If I get anxious waiting so long for my sample to come in, then potential customers certainly will not wait. I could go to a casting house, but that is opposite to the business model I want to establish. And it takes profit away from SW's and time away from me. I suppose I could make multiple items with sprues, but then I still have to market, resell them, communicate extensively, and work on them to get them up to a quality level. Thats a lot of time. Sooo...I really like PS, but the price and especially waiting period will hopefully come down so I can make it work.
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You really should keep that awesome finish, I've just wanted to upload and purchase some of my generative jewelry designs I already printed in PLA. The only thing I am afraid of, that it would be too expensive and too much material for a bracelet, but I fell in love with that shiny glossy finish. Any suggestions, if these jewelries (some of them are mine, some of the by nervous system) are worth to print them with premium silver? parametric-art dot com
I have just started with my first project: getting a model that will eventually be rendered in Shapeways in 3D, in silver. This is the first I've heard of "Premium Silver" and don't know what it is, but since my project is a silver award pin, I'd like it to look as nice as possible! I was going to use silver (at $10 per CC), but if the premium silver is not much more, I'll probably use that!
These are the prices:
Handling Fee Per Model: Regular: $30, Glossy: $35
Premium: $45 (up to 1.7cc), $78 (1.7-3.4cc), No Fee (above 3.4cc)
Price Per cm3: Regular & Glossy: $20,
Premium: $28 (up to 3.4cc), $75 (above 3.4cc)
I say keep it, but the price needs to be brought down. It's just too expensive to be practical by any means. For anyone who wants to resell from Shapeways (on Etsy, or eBay, or their own website) it's just too much money for any customers to consider buying it.
I adore the quality - my heart ring was gorgeous - but it's just too expensive me to practically use it on a regular basis.
Though it is quite expensive, I believe it should be kept as an option for people if they want something printed in the premium silver. There are so many beautiful jewelry designs on Shapeways that you could never find anywhere else, who's to say the cost isn't worth it to certain buyers who really want a unique piece printed in the expensive silver?