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Forum: Official Announcements
 Topic: Repricing Strong & Flexible Plastic and Steel
Re: Repricing Strong & Flexible Plastic and Steel [message #100004 is a reply to message #100003 ] Thu, 02 October 2014 00:08 UTC
avatar henryseg is currently online henryseg
Messages: 209
Registered: July 2008
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Senior Member
I am very, very confused about how the machine space is calculated. I tried putting a wire through the holes in one of my sets of puzzle pieces, to reduce the number of parts from 9 to 1. This was successful, but somehow increased the machine space from 134 cubic cm to 204 cubic cm, negating any of the gains in labor.

(These are models 2726518 and 2726499 if someone at Shapeways wants to take a look.)

index.php?t=getfile&id=73007&private=0
index.php?t=getfile&id=73008&private=0
index.php?t=getfile&id=73009&private=0

Re: Repricing Strong & Flexible Plastic and Steel [message #100005 is a reply to message #100004 ] Thu, 02 October 2014 00:57 UTC
avatar stannum  is currently offline stannum
Messages: 982
Registered: May 2009
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henryseg, you will have to find an arrangement that minimizes "air". Imagine you are wrapping all the parts with plastic film. Separate, the parts have 9 volumes, but joined by the stick, they must be near each other, or the air from one to another counts (the system doesn't push them) for the total. If you can't get the extra "air" to be less than 57 cm3, forget it. 1.50 * 8 parts = 12 dollars, 12 / 0.21 = 57.14.

The system is a puzzle on itself.
Re: Repricing Strong & Flexible Plastic and Steel [message #100006 is a reply to message #99524 ] Thu, 02 October 2014 00:57 UTC
avatar chainmaildude  is currently offline chainmaildude
Messages: 1
Registered: October 2013
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Pete's 3 part series on SLS Nylon printing was very informative. I was following with great interest, because I was preparing to put in some rather large orders of models having multi-part shells. I was initially concerned as I read that perhaps a price change might be coming, but then I read this line from the Part 3: https://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/17704-3d-print-in-ny lon-with-selective-laser-sintering-part-3.html

"Next week I will cover how our current price model covers these costs and how we can optimize."

That was on September 5. So I checked back in the next week on September 12. Nothing. The next week, September 19. Nothing. The next week, September 26. Nothing. I started wondering if perhaps he meant 'Next month'. Then came the September 30 announcement.

After looking at my models, and realizing that I needed to either sprue or loop to keep the price viable, I started wondering if perhaps Pete had started that blog post and realized that in many cases the current price model didn't cover the costs.

At the same time, I started doing some back of the envelope calculations of my own.

So, considering that the bounding box is 650 x 350 x 550 mm, but that it is preferred to keep the depth to 250 mm to allow a given print tray to be completed in a day, that means that the available space in the printer would be 65 x 35 x 25 cm, or 56,875 cm3.

So lets say that in a given print run, shapeways is able to pack the tray so that 90% of the machine space is utilized. The amounts to approximately 50,000 cm3 @ $0.21 per cm3, so they are bringing in $10,500 per print run for the machine space.

So then, assuming that the average model is 10% dense (probably on the high side, though all of my models are in the 30% neighborhood), then that means 5,000 cm3 of material @ $0.28 per cm3, so bringing in $1,400 for materials

Lastly, let's assume that there are 300 shells in the tray. That's $450 for labor.

So, on the revenue side, approximately $12,500 per day, per printer. Assuming 90% uptime on the printer, that's a little over $4,000,000 in revenue annually per printer.

Making the same assumptions of the old pricing, at $1.40 per cm3, that's $7,000 for materials, and assuming that there are 150 models, $225 for handling, so $7,225 per day, per printer. Same assumptions, that's $2,300,000 in revenue annually.

So obviously the new model is better for Shapeways (as it should be). I have no idea where the overhead sits, or material costs, or utilities etc sit, but I'm guessing they've got more money savvy folks than myself looking at that and helping them set these prices.

So, if Shapeways was losing money on WSF before, hopefully now they are sustainable in WSF, with a close to 80% increase in revenue coming off the printers, assuming they still have enough business to keep those things busy, which I expect they do (If they didn't expect to lose some business as a result of this, then maybe I gave the money savvy folks too much credit above).

I'm irked mostly by the 7 day warning, and the missed follow-up to the September 5 blog seemingly becoming this announcement. Ultimately I'm still sustainable on shapeways now that I've put my parts on a rail, but the change has prodded me to look into some alternatives, since I order my products in bulk and sell them on my own web site. It may be that Shapeways is the fastest and most cost effective for prototypes and small items, but if the quality of some of the other services out there is good enough, I can see moving my production to those services for large print runs which will cost less than half as much as Shapeways will. And perhaps that is as it should be. Shapeways may wish to focus on small products and small print runs, while leaving the larger print runs and larger products to other companies. Every company has to decide what its niche is, and who its most important customers are. Very rarely can a company be all things to all people, especially in an industry like 3D printing that serves so many other interests.

All the best, Shapeways,

Andre

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