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Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67650] Wed, 08 May 2013 17:44 UTC Go to next message
avatar AmLachDesigns  is currently offline AmLachDesigns
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This has been posted on the Blog by Duann:
Should We Keep Premium Silver 3D Printing on Shapeways

Does everyone read the Blog?

Am I the only one surprised that this has not been posted on the Forums?
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67654 is a reply to message #67650 ] Wed, 08 May 2013 18:24 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Youknowwho4eva  is currently offline Youknowwho4eva
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Thanks for bringing it up! Yes it should be posted in the forums as well.

Also note that 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.

[Updated on: Wed, 08 May 2013 18:39 UTC]


I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me. -Maya Angelou
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Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67683 is a reply to message #67654 ] Thu, 09 May 2013 07:48 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar AmLachDesigns  is currently offline AmLachDesigns
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Okay, so now there are 21 comments on the blog (including spam).

This discussion is one that I presume is aimed at users of SW and therefore I would have thought should be happening here. I always saw the blog as SW's public face, it's non-SW communications, but obviously I was wrong. Only designers and purchasers of objects could have any relevant opinion on this, so why even start this discussion there? Everyone subscribed to that blog will get that post and wonder why they care, if they are not users.


As for my opinion on Polished Silver?

I do not understand why you would even think of removing a material option. What are the costs to you of having it available? Are there problems for you in having it available? Problems of of production, rejections etc. I get why you would trial a material (the stretchy one, for example) to see if it works and when it doesn't withdraw it, but this seems to be in a different category.

The material is pricey but the problem for selling silver to 3rd parties for me revolves more around:
- Long lead times;
- No supporting items, e.g. chains, earring hooks;
- Very un-impressive packaging.

Why would someone buy a premium product for a less than premium experience? Or perhaps I should ask why would they do it twice?
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67692 is a reply to message #67683 ] Thu, 09 May 2013 12:35 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Youknowwho4eva  is currently offline Youknowwho4eva
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It's just like every other material we have introduced. It first goes through a trial run. I'll make sure the team is aware that this needs to be communicated better in the future. No one is saying it won't come back. From the feedback we're getting it would not go over well to not bring it back.

Take a breath, I'll discuss with the community team about how we should do trials in the future.


I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me. -Maya Angelou
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Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67694 is a reply to message #67683 ] Thu, 09 May 2013 12:46 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar BillBedford  is currently offline BillBedford
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AmLachDesigns wrote on Thu, 09 May 2013 07:48


The material is pricey but the problem for selling silver to 3rd parties for me revolves more around:
- Long lead times;
- No supporting items, e.g. chains, earring hooks;
- Very un-impressive packaging.



To which you can add

- No hallmarking for counties where this is mandatory.


Bill Bedford
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67700 is a reply to message #67694 ] Thu, 09 May 2013 13:54 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar AmLachDesigns  is currently offline AmLachDesigns
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BillBedford

You are right about the hallmarking. I have mentioned it before in one of my mini-rants, but no-one seemed very interested.

For me it all comes under the same question: does SW want to sell to people who are not 3d afficionados (i.e. people for whom the fact of the product being 3d printed is important) or not? The current shop setup and product delivery leads me to say not. Almost all products require some form of post processing or packaging to allow them to compete on real terms with goods manufactured in other ways.


Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67709 is a reply to message #67694 ] Thu, 09 May 2013 17:16 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Bathsheba  is currently offline Bathsheba
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The long lead times probably aren't going away. Custom work takes time. The packaging and accessory items aren't Shapeways' ambit: they sell parts, they're not a boutique jeweler. If you are, you want to do your own branded packaging.

Hallmarks I don't know about...I don't care personally and don't think my customers do. Then again I'm not trying to sell inside the jewelry establishment. But the gripping hand is it's not practical: the whole point of doing 3DP is that you can make designs that can't sustain being struck with a hammer. I wouldn't know where to begin trying to hallmark my stuff -- half the time there isn't enough solid surface to fit such a mark.

There certainly are costs in maintaining a supplier relationship if a material is not popular. The most obvious one is that they may not be able to hold viable pricing. Shapeways gets good prices -- I've sourced precious-metal casting and finishing from 3DP models elsewhere, not to mention done it myself, and these are good prices -- because they aggregate customers and buy wholesale. If there's not enough volume that can't work.

I hope to see premium silver come back; I think it's a good deal on a great material and I said so on the blog. But if you're expecting the kind of services a dedicated jewelry manufacturer would offer, I would have to say you're shopping in the wrong place. There are right places for that, Google will help you out here, but this isn't them.


-Bathsheba
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Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67720 is a reply to message #67709 ] Thu, 09 May 2013 17:47 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar mkroeker  is currently offline mkroeker
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Main practicality issue with hallmarking is probably that it can only legally be done by authorized assay offices.
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67724 is a reply to message #67709 ] Thu, 09 May 2013 18:08 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar BillBedford  is currently offline BillBedford
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Bathsheba wrote on Thu, 09 May 2013 17:16

Hallmarks I don't know about...I don't care personally and don't think my customers do. Then again I'm not trying to sell inside the jewelry establishment. But the gripping hand is it's not practical: the whole point of doing 3DP is that you can make designs that can't sustain being struck with a hammer. I wouldn't know where to begin trying to hallmark my stuff -- half the time there isn't enough solid surface to fit such a mark.


In the UK it is illegal to sell a piece as silver unless it has been assayed and hallmarked. There is an exemption for pieces that weigh under 7.78 grams, and for things like chainwork which is too delicate to be struck. The Assay Offices are now able to produce the marks with a laser.

The real problem is that they take a sample of each piece for assay, which means the pieces have to be re-polished. So for anyone trying to run a business there is no advantage in not using as plain silver. Premium Silver if fine for personal items and gifts, but has real problems if anyone wants to build a business using it.


Bill Bedford
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67772 is a reply to message #67724 ] Fri, 10 May 2013 11:33 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stop4stuff  is currently offline stop4stuff
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It is also illegal to offer silver for sale via a 3rd party if you are UK based and the item does not carry a UK (or internationally recognised) hallmark. I do not think this applies to Shapeways sold silver, as Shapeways are advertising and supplying the product, however this also means I cannot safely advertise any Shapeways item I have designed for Silver. This particularly applies to UK based dropshippers who sell via the internet.

As for whether or not to keep premium silver is a question I don't really want to think about as my only experience with the stuff is all the to-ing & fro-ing I had about one particular model that was rejected many times for many different reasons and then finally printed even though the model had been printed many times before in regular silver without any reported issues.

Paul



Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67781 is a reply to message #67709 ] Fri, 10 May 2013 15:45 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar AmLachDesigns  is currently offline AmLachDesigns
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Hi Bathsheba,

Thanks for your comment. Your experience and knowledge in this field is amazing and I always learn from your posts.

You wrote:
Quote:

The packaging and accessory items aren't Shapeways' ambit: they sell parts, they're not a boutique jeweller. If you are, you want to do your own branded packaging.


I think you are quite correct. Initially I hoped I could just design (and promote) stuff and use Shapeways as a one-stop-shop to let me take advantage of 'long tail' opportunities, but I have come to realise that this is not the case. And perhaps I was foolish/naive to think it could be, it's just another way of getting stuff made. I'll figure something else out.


But, below is an exchange from the blog (my bolds) where SW are saying the contrary. So...


Quote:

... 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. ... 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.
#16 Racer X (Homepage) on 2013-05-08 22:27 (Reply)



Quote:

We totally agree,

You should design, photograph and promote your products,

Shapeways will do the rest...


#16.1 Duann on 2013-05-09 13:20 (Reply)
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67818 is a reply to message #67772 ] Sat, 11 May 2013 10:29 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar mkroeker  is currently offline mkroeker
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stop4stuff wrote on Fri, 10 May 2013 11:33

It is also illegal to offer silver for sale via a 3rd party if you are UK based and the item does not carry a UK (or internationally recognised) hallmark.

Would this apply only if you advertised it as silver, or even if you called it a shiny metal from the nether lands (with an explanation about the lack of a
hallmark) ?
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67821 is a reply to message #67818 ] Sat, 11 May 2013 11:38 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stop4stuff  is currently offline stop4stuff
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This only applies if the material is called Silver - any other description without defining the material as silver is fine, e,g. Silvery metal is ok

Paul
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67822 is a reply to message #67821 ] Sat, 11 May 2013 12:07 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar AmLachDesigns  is currently offline AmLachDesigns
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Auction houses in the UK refer to any such item where the material is not marked as silver as 'white metal'
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #67862 is a reply to message #67781 ] Sun, 12 May 2013 23:05 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Bathsheba  is currently offline Bathsheba
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AmLachDesigns wrote on Fri, 10 May 2013 15:45

Hi Bathsheba,
Quote:

... 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. ... 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.
#16 Racer X (Homepage) on 2013-05-08 22:27 (Reply)

Quote:

We totally agree,

You should design, photograph and promote your products,

Shapeways will do the rest...


#16.1 Duann on 2013-05-09 13:20 (Reply)



Nonetheless, I don't see Shapeways' near future stocking customized jewelry-store-style packaging, still less hiring a staff of jewelers to solder jump rings, set stones and add chains to parts.

You can certainly make a profit without touching the product, but jewelry accessorizing and packaging aren't the direction that's going right now. The whole point of this thread is that we're still trying to see the production of premium silver parts happen and be a money-maker for everybody. Once that's in place maybe SW will choose to branch out from it, but right now even that basic level of being able to make those parts at all is what's in question.

I vote for going to market with the product we have, not the product we wish we had. Once money's coming in from that, then the case for add-ons will be much stronger.



-Bathsheba
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Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #68254 is a reply to message #67862 ] Fri, 17 May 2013 15:59 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar carmelari  is currently offline carmelari
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la punzonatura sarebbe necessaria è vero ma spero che il materiale non venga rimosso o torni al più presto perchè ha una resa fantastica

punching would be needed but I hope it is true that the material is not removed or come back as soon as possible because it has a fantastic yield

Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #68260 is a reply to message #67650 ] Fri, 17 May 2013 16:59 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Guess you haven't seen? http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/2064-Premium-Sterling -Silver-3D-Printing-Stays-on-Shapeways.html


I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me. -Maya Angelou
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Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #68318 is a reply to message #67650 ] Sun, 19 May 2013 10:09 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Tigermoth  is currently offline Tigermoth
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Be good to know just how you are polishing.
I ordered a glossy ring and it seems only the outside was polished....would this suggest that it was hand polished?
Does this also apply to premium?
If so...its a bit of a half-job is all, and if I had to end up polishing the inside with my own machine, I may as well do both sides myself.

As for hallmarking... there's no such stringent laws here is Aus. where possible, i add in the 925 stamp on the model itself if I know its for silver production Smile
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #68398 is a reply to message #67654 ] Tue, 21 May 2013 02:22 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
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WOW... I just looked into this and I think shapeways should give this some serious thought. In comparing the price of sterling silver and Argentium Silver. The Argentium Silver is only a $2 or $3 more per troy ounce depending on where you purchase it. I compared several sites that sell silver casting grain for jewelry (Rio Grande for example) but Argentium Silver looks identical to premium silver with a more affordable price..

Also, argentium silver seems to be tarnish resistant too.

ATTN Shapeways - If you want to test it out on some silver pieces. Ill place an order... Its worth a shot, nothing to loose and a lot to gain.


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Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #68423 is a reply to message #68398 ] Tue, 21 May 2013 10:56 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Rather a high-res, burnout-able wax like material anyday, then you could cast it in whatever you wanted.
but I know I'm not the first to ask for that either... Confused
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #68427 is a reply to message #68423 ] Tue, 21 May 2013 11:28 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar BillBedford  is currently offline BillBedford
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If you want wax, what you will get after it has been posted to you will be a box of broken bits.

OTOH some foundries can burn out FD/FUD


Bill Bedford
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #68428 is a reply to message #68423 ] Tue, 21 May 2013 11:43 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar SGDesigns  is currently offline SGDesigns
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Tigermoth - Yeah I heard of those. I think its the solidscape printers that do non shrink wax prints and the detail is so good theres practically no need to polish. Price is too high to even consider tho.


BillBedford - In regards to burning out FD or FUD. Is the end result look the same as if it were burned out from wax? I ask because FUD offers a higher level of detail.



[Updated on: Tue, 21 May 2013 11:47 UTC]


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Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #68431 is a reply to message #68428 ] Tue, 21 May 2013 12:34 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
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My caster couldn't do FUD burnout without a special platinum investment...kinda exy
Tried making cold silicone molds but then you have certain design limitations for the wax injection...

I'm aware broken parts is the official explanation for not having such a service, but is there nothing in existence strong enough yet easier to burn out? PLA has been reported to work well with burnout, could this be an option? not sure about the 3d print wax but if its anything like the jewelers wax... its pretty resilient stuff, and they've been mailing wax models around for years! I'm sure with the right design guidelines, the issues could be kept to a minimum.

Also while were making materials wishlists...Titanium? Very Happy

[Updated on: Tue, 21 May 2013 12:40 UTC]

Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #68433 is a reply to message #68431 ] Tue, 21 May 2013 12:52 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
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For the wish list, you should add High Detail Non-Rust Stainless Steel at an affordable price..


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Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #68436 is a reply to message #68431 ] Tue, 21 May 2013 13:24 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar BillBedford  is currently offline BillBedford
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Tigermoth wrote on Tue, 21 May 2013 12:34

My caster couldn't do FUD burnout without a special platinum investment...kinda exy
Tried making cold silicone molds but then you have certain design limitations for the wax injection...


Here's some I made earlier.........

Quote:

I'm aware broken parts is the official explanation for not having such a service, but is there nothing in existence strong enough yet easier to burn out? PLA has been reported to work well with burnout, could this be an option? not sure about the 3d print wax but if its anything like the jewelers wax... its pretty resilient stuff, and they've been mailing wax models around for years! I'm sure with the right design guidelines, the issues could be kept to a minimum.



I think there might be more than a slight difference in the expectations between professional jewellers and some of the people that use Shapeways.

But if you are really intent on producing patterns for casting, why not use silver? You can use it in vulcanising moulds, and you can group small objects together if you put them all on a sprue. Your pattern does not need to be polished, but you have to making it slightly bigger that the finished size, usually 4%, because of shrinkage in the lost was process.


Bill Bedford
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #68461 is a reply to message #68436 ] Tue, 21 May 2013 18:47 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stop4stuff  is currently offline stop4stuff
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Carry on Bill, make a mould for this http://shpws.me/lmCq Rolling Eyes

Paul
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #68470 is a reply to message #68461 ] Tue, 21 May 2013 21:52 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
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stop4stuff wrote on Tue, 21 May 2013 18:47

Carry on Bill, make a mould for this http://shpws.me/lmCq Rolling Eyes

Paul

Stop4stuff highlights my point Bill, Like I said, you have severely limited design possibilities with using wax injection molds. I've had several designs knocked back by the caster (nowhere near as busy as stop4stuffs), simply for the fact that the design is impossible to extract from a silicone mold, the only way to to this is using lost wax directly from multiple 3d wax (or other burnout-able) prints.

Vulcanised and silicone rubber molds are great for simple designs, but as soon as you get edges in your model that undercut or layer, even if you do make the mold, it will be impossible to extract the wax without destroying the mold.

Sure my expectations are different from the majority of SW users (isn't everyone's?), I'm no pro myself, but have put a bit of effort into heading in that direction, and without wanting to sacrifice my design features, to meet customer demand quickly and efficiently, I really think wax is the only way forward for the jeweler. It would also give the option to cast in whatever metal you desire...argentium, gold, platinum, etc

apologies for the threadjack...im sure there's many wax request threads I could have put this in Smile
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #68473 is a reply to message #68470 ] Wed, 22 May 2013 00:40 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tigermoth wrote on Tue, 21 May 2013 21:52

Vulcanised and silicone rubber molds are great for simple designs, but as soon as you get edges in your model that undercut or layer, even if you do make the mold, it will be impossible to extract the wax without destroying the mold.

Some degree of undercuts is not just acceptable, but pretty common in things like miniature figures for example. Of course, depending on the material used (different kinds of white metal or resins), the size of the undercuts, the mold material and the ability of the molder, the molds will break more or less (or the final parts will deform or break at extraction).
Re: Should we keep Premium Silver? [message #68479 is a reply to message #68473 ] Wed, 22 May 2013 07:43 UTC Go to previous message
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hello to all
I asked the support service of SW but they did not give me an answer ... Rolling Eyes
can you tell me what type of SW's material is best to use for the casting?

 
   
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