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Kinder Surprise [message #6568] Tue, 15 September 2009 18:06 UTC Go to next message
avatar Magic  is currently offline Magic
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Registered: August 2008
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Hi all,

I know that the prices at Shapeways are lower than those of other competitors, but from the discussions that came over after the new pricing scheme for WSF, I also understand that prices are never too low, in particular for small objects.
From what I heard, the basic material pricing is not necessary the main problem to have lower costs, the handling of item and post processing instead are more relevant.

So, why don't you at Shapeways give us the option to take care of this?

Here is my suggestion:
what about having the option to build a shell around our object? *
It could be a very thin shell (like 0.5mm) easy to break (with the ordering number in one side to know for whom the item is).

The advantages are:

  • there is no more minimum size requirement
  • No more lost pieces even if one STL file is composed of several objects
  • the cleaning is quite easy for Shapeways if the shell has a simple shape, say, a rectangular parallelepiped (what? a box? OK, a box, if you want).
  • No more item broken during transportation (assuming that the support material prevents the object from moving into its shell)
  • Hopefully the price will be lower


The drawbacks:

  • you have to open the shell (remember the Kinder surprise?)
  • you have to remove the support material and clean the object by yourself
  • the object cannot be colored by Shapeways
  • the support material is lost (and optimising the volume of several printed objects for the printing machine will be more difficult)
  • for the delivery, the item is heavier
  • it is probably not acceptable for the shop customers (but for the owners, why not?)


Is it technically possible? or is there any problem in letting the support material being in contact for too long with the object? or is there any danger manipulating the support material?

Is is economically convenient? can we/you really save money by this way?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

*PS: currently we could add such a shell by ourselves to give it a try, but the pricng scheme (per cm3) prevent us from trying.

[Updated on: Tue, 15 September 2009 21:12 UTC]

Re: Kinder Surprise [message #6570 is a reply to message #6568 ] Tue, 15 September 2009 19:45 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar gibell  is currently offline gibell
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I've heard that it is possible to "add a net" around your objects so that they do not become lost or separated. It is not clear to me if Shapeways adds this net or if you can add it yourself. A net would seem to be a better way to go than a solid shell, because it does not contain the support material and has less volume.

[Updated on: Tue, 15 September 2009 20:28 UTC]

Re: Kinder Surprise [message #6573 is a reply to message #6570 ] Tue, 15 September 2009 20:34 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Magic  is currently offline Magic
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Sure, but the goal here is precisely to keep the support material so that there is less work on Shapeways' side, and the price could hence become lower.
It supposes that the price calculation would not be just depending on the total volume of material (I mean: including the support material) but on the material actually use by the object (as for now) or something more complex.

[Updated on: Tue, 15 September 2009 20:49 UTC]

Re: Kinder Surprise [message #6605 is a reply to message #6573 ] Wed, 16 September 2009 21:11 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Magic  is currently offline Magic
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For clarification, here is a little drawing:
index.php?t=getfile&id=1392&private=0
Instead if receiving the object of left, we could optionnally received the object of right (containing the object of left plus some support material).
It would be a Clean It Yourself (CIY) option.

But instead of paying more for this option, we would pay less.
Does it make sense?

  • Attachment: shell.jpg
    (Size: 40.24KB, Downloaded 433 time(s))

[Updated on: Wed, 16 September 2009 21:15 UTC]

Re: Kinder Surprise [message #6607 is a reply to message #6605 ] Wed, 16 September 2009 21:28 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar gibell  is currently offline gibell
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It doesn't make sense to me. Your method wastes large amounts of support material, and while I understand it is inexpensive, even if it is 10 cents per cc you don't want to be shipping it to customers that throw it away. As I understand it they recycle it in the printing process now.

Even if your shell is 0.5mm thick, it is still going to have a volume that is not negligible. The parts that I print out, if I enclose them in a 0.5mm thick box, I would guess the price (i.e. volume of printed material) would double.

But I am hardly an expert in this. Who knows, you may have something here.

[Updated on: Wed, 16 September 2009 21:40 UTC]

Re: Kinder Surprise [message #6608 is a reply to message #6607 ] Wed, 16 September 2009 21:40 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar randomblink  is currently offline randomblink
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I see what you're shooting at.

But... If they are recycling the material? Then it is not a good idea.

But this way, THEY don't have to spend the time (= wages) to clean the materials post-print. YOU do. If it WOULD cut down the cost? I would be all for it...

I would prefer not having a minimum ordering amount personally.


Welcome to Costco, I love you.
Re: Kinder Surprise [message #6636 is a reply to message #6608 ] Thu, 17 September 2009 19:08 UTC Go to previous message
avatar Magic  is currently offline Magic
Messages: 1187
Registered: August 2008
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Thank you very much for your feedback.
Let me try to develop some points.

As you understood, the "Clean It Yourself" option for an object would make you receive 3 things:

  • a thin shell (the Kinder yellow egg), with inside
  • some support material
  • your object (the Kinder surprise)

Recycling the support material
One argument is: Shapeways is recyling the support material, so sending it with the object would be a non-sense for them.
I do not think so. If the support material is, say 10 cent per cubic centimeter, and if Shapeways make you pay 10 cent per cc, there is no loss for Shapeways, whether they recycle or not. That is not the fact of sintering the support material that makes its price raise from 10 cent to $1.5 but the time spent by the machines and the time spent by the operators. Put in another way, even if Shapeways would have to buy some extra support material that would be delivered to you, it would not make the average price of the object raise, as long as you pay for this extra material of course.
By the way, I do not know if its true, but in another post it is said that 80% of the support material is lost: if its true, each time you buy 1 cc of material, you also pay for the 4 cc that are thown away (once again, not a big issue: it should be relatively inexpensive), so you can ask for some Laughing

Throwing the support material away
The consumer is already thowing away a lot of things: the corrugated box, the polystyren flakes, the buble wrap... For me, the main issue is "Is the constumer ready to open the shell and clean up the object?" and, as I said in my first post I do not think so.
I was more thinking about us: when we buy for ourselves a prototype $10 to test our object, if our markup is say $2, we will have to sell 5 of them to break even (10 if we made a mistake in your 1st prototype, and need another one). Having a less expensive option for our prototypes would be more than interesting.

Price of the shell
It has been said the volume of the shell is not negligible. That's right. But it does not necessarly imply that the price of the shell would not be negligible either. That's because the current pricing scheme would have to change.
For example it could be

  • proportional to the volume of the actual object (as for now) excluding the shell and the support material but slighty less expensive per cc (say -25%),
  • or only depending on the bounding volume (volume of the shell+support material+object) but at, say, half the current price per cc,
  • or a combination of these two.

Now, why could it be less expensive? Because less human handling would be necessary.

  • it would be easier to find the object in the powder
  • there will be no more need to put together the sub-parts of a puzzle
  • no more time spend to figure out which object is this (some pieces are so similar that it can be confusing): it's writen on the shell
  • no more need to remove the powder from inside a hollowed object


So yes it would be more work for us, but if it allow a significant price cut, it can be worthful.

 
   
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