Curious about silver

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ScottyD, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. ScottyD
    ScottyD New Member
    Hello Shapeways community,

    I'm very new to this community, and to 3D printing. I've been reading as much as I can about Shapeways and the technology used here. I'm eager to start but I am curious about many things.

    I intend to upload my own designs that would use materials such as White Strong and Flexible, Black Strong and Flexible, stainless steel, and of particular interest to me silver.

    I'd very much like to design my own coin, and bullion pieces and add them to my collection of silver. However I am struck in awe that my designs no matter how I try and fix their size always end up costing more than what an ounce of silver would cost if purchased elsewhere. These designs are always smaller in length, and in width in centimeters, millimeters, and inches than standard coins and bullions seem to cost.

    How much does Shapeways make off of a silver piece? I'd understand cost should be kept in mind when including the machines that build the wax models, and the process of making the object out of silver.

    I really wish to know if it is feasible to make my own designs, and have them made in silver at an affordable cost from Shapeways. My size issues are on my side, and something I'm looking into fixing right now, so it's a concern. I'm sure that my size is off, although it reads correctly inside of Autodesk Maya.

    I'm not sure what else to add. I'd appreciate helpful feedback. I'm also excited to begin uploading content for personal purchases, and taking part in the community here.

    Thank you.
  2. roofoo
    roofoo Well-Known Member
    Keep in mind that Shapeways' products are made-to-order so the cost will never be as low as mass-production options. But there aren't the huge startup costs associated with mass-production either. The price not only includes the raw material but also the labor and time/energy required to make the items.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  3. swbarrett
    swbarrett New Member
    You're not buying an ounce of silver. You're paying for silver... and for electricity to run the machines... and rent to house the machine... and server space for the website... and packing materials to ship the pieces... and people to do the actual work involved, etc. You will never get a bullion or coin piece here that is priced like a mass-produced one, that's just how economics works. Shapeways is not a dedicated silver producer.

    That being said I do feel the silver cost structure here is a bit high so I have my pieces done in other materials which I will be having cast locally (my guy's labor fee is literally ten times less)
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011