Introducing The Hp Printer! Sign Up For Early Access

Discussion in 'Official Announcements' started by Andrewsimonthomas, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. MadBikeSkills
    MadBikeSkills Well-Known Member
    @reducedAircraftFactory and @Carlos2k10 I am not seeing the same issue as you are with the HP MJP pricing. Yes others (competitors) are offering the same product and are doing it cheaper than Shapeways. This should be addressed, it looks almost like we Shapeways told themselves, "We did Premium at 2X the price and people bought it, HP MJF should be the same price as Premium."

    I also enabled it on most models in my shop and I am seeing a steady growth with about 10-15% of the people buying the HP parts. I am sure that number would be much higher if the pricing were better. Every model that is available in my shop with Professional Plastic has a short paragraph noting the difference in finish and the increase in strength compared to Versatile Plastic. For most people that is enough information. I also have a model or three (can't recall exactly) that are only available in Professional Plastic.

    It is just one of those things that I have reconciled myself to doing, educating my customers on the available options. I think Shapeways does a generally poor job of explaining why you would want to use one nylon over another. A single sentence or two on the material properties page is not sufficient to educate the customer base.
  2. Carlos2k10
    Carlos2k10 Well-Known Member
    Hi bhammer,

    Your products and my products are very different as well as our customer bases,

    I have been checking your shop and by the looks and geometry of your products is clear that your ratio machine space/material volume is way higher than most of my models.

    This explains why you do not see a high difference between wsf and hp black.

    However in my case most of my models
    (Helicopters, biplanes and inter-war airplanes) do have a low ratio machine space/material volume and it can't be helped as their geometry is as it is.

    The customer perspective is similar your market might not consider the price difference a problem, while my customers will consider the same model going from 10 to 20 not worth the investment for a gaming piece.

    I participated in the beta and I have three printed samples that were very nice
    for SLS models, still not comparable to multijet or photocuring resin finishes

    I was actively considering moving all my designs to hp plastic but after the price was doubled during the beta there was no point anymore.

    I had plenty of conversations with my customers in the background and price is a very sensitive topic as traditionally manufactured items are generally cheaper than 3D printed miniatures.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  3. MadBikeSkills
    MadBikeSkills Well-Known Member

    I appreciate your perspective, I looked at your models and was very impressed by the depth of items you have. In my case, as I said, I do lose sales do to the pricing of HP MJF. I have accounts on all major competitors to Shapeway in North America and I am surprised at the lower pricing compared to Shapeways for the same HP MJF parts. I have ordered test items for myself from these competitors and the quality is indistinguishable from Shapeways parts. My own personal opinion is that Shapeways did not actually study the costs of doing HP MJF printing but rather just priced it identically to Premium Versatile Plastic "because they could!"

    Even in your own case I would still enable PP and even FDP price it accordingly, mention the increase in strength and detail quality and just see if that does not generate a bit of extra $$ you collect each month. The models are already done, the pages already created, it is just your time adding the additional materials. There is always a market for 'collectors' who want a higher quality pieces regardless of pricing.

    When I started offering Premium Versatile Plastic it was priced at double the VP (and still is) and I saw no sales for the first few months, then it started trickling in. It was a very small amount because PVP is a hard sell and not very apparent where the value added by a better finish is worth double the price. Professional Plastic is an easier sell for me as a large portion of my customers ask which models are stronger and a percentage of those will pay additional for that strength. I have removed all Premium VP from my store and replaced it with HP MJF options.

    No matter what, Shapeways needs to review the cost of printing with the HP MJF Printers and I think that study should, if Shapeways does an honest appraisal, lower the pricing.
  4. Carlos2k10
    Carlos2k10 Well-Known Member
    @bhammer thanks for your insights.
    I am going to follow your advice and get PP enabled on my models.

    I will just verify the tolerances and if they are still in line with VP, I will get it enabled on them.

    In any case, I agree with you on the pricing of PP there is no point for Shapeways to keep it higher than their competitors.

    There might be reasons in the background but I doubt that everybody else is selling below cost.
  5. crashtestdummy
    crashtestdummy Well-Known Member
    At last report shapeways was losing money on every print. If they are than all I can figure is the competition is willing to take a bigger loss.
  6. MadBikeSkills
    MadBikeSkills Well-Known Member

    I do not believe that Shapeways reported losing money on every print. They did lose money on several materials and they called them out. That led to the recent reduction in offerings.

    I also would find it hard to imagine every competitor in this space is bleeding money on purpose, and wanting to bleed more than Shapeways.
  7. reducedAircraftFactory
    reducedAircraftFactory Well-Known Member
    While I have zero information on Shapeways' true costs and profit margins, I still find it hard to believe that the HP "Professional Plastic" material (nylon dust) just happens to cost double that of Versatile Plastic (nee-WSF),that it takes double the time and effort to free from the powder and clean, that the powder reuse factors and "empty space" factors also scale the same way. Especially if competitors are not pricing in a similar fashion.

    We no longer have the formulae that are used in computing the prices, but at last look -- and I think they haven't changed -- every single pricing factor was exactly double that of WSF. That doesn't sound like the result of rigorous analysis; it sounds like, "eh, let's just set the price here and see if anyone buys it."
    MadBikeSkills likes this.
  8. crashtestdummy
    crashtestdummy Well-Known Member
    Your also making the assumption that HP is letting shapeways use their name at no charge and are making no extra money for their name brand product over their generic competitor's product. Heck maybe you should demand from the folks at coke & Pepsi that they need to lower their prices because you can get generic cola for much less. If its too expensive, than go ahead and not use the product. I'm not outraged about the prices, I just haven't used it as the price hasn't been in line with what I'm willing to pay for the part. A twelve dollar handle to fix a 10 dollar scissors is a good example, its cheaper just to get a new pair.
    gamm likes this.
  9. Greaseball
    Greaseball Active Member
    It's more likely that the HP printers are far more expensive than standard nylon printers and that there's a backlog in production keeping the prices high. Is Shapeways realizing any cost benefits due to the cheaper and faster printing that HP printers are supposed to provide? We don't know. It depends on a lot of factors. Why might other services be offering prints at lower cost? We also don't know the answer to that. Could be they are selling at a loss just to gain market share. It also makes more sense to charge more at introduction and then lower prices over time after you figure out all the cost issues involved, or market pressures force you to do so.
  10. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    In the case of miniatures SW's best approach was removed, and it didn't reach quality avaliable by other traditional methods (which may or may not include 3d printing as a step) at lower prices. Even more obvious once you realize they come with packaging and the sticker includes distributor's and shop's slices of the pie. That is the problem, you have to compare beyond 3d printing, not among 3d printing techs, and the whole path to buyer.

    One competing factory offers higher detail than Versatile/WSF at lower prices (even before quantity discount, which they offer), with simpler pricing formulas. They have grown in recent years. Other competitors don't seem to be consolidating nor having so much drama... they must get enough to at least pay bills.

    Before the recent removal, there were repricings of materials that are still avaliable. And before that, shipping was included above a minimum order. Website has been constantly redone (waste), and from user POV it was clear something was not optimal (render to later discard is wasted computer time).

    So SW pays more than French or Belgians? Because those other two competitors clearly mark theirs as HP.

    So HP lied about their machine and operation costs? Because that was the hype, cheaper prints thanks to cheaper machines and workflow (strength seems to be due to layer size, SLS achieves similar specs with the right settings).
    MadBikeSkills likes this.
  11. Greaseball
    Greaseball Active Member
    I don't recall HP saying their machines were much cheaper than those of competitors. The cost of operation, partially due to faster printing, might in fact be cheaper. What I was trying to point out is that as a new boffo printer there might be very high demand for the machines increasing the street price. It's just like any other new technology. New introductions are priced high and then over time the price comes down. Not everyone can get their hands on as many printers as they might like to have. Shapeways might need many more machines before they can offer prints at the lower prices that are ultimately achievable. Unless they extend delivery times the only way for Shapeways to control throughput in their existing printers is by increasing print price.
  12. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    From 4AA6-4892ENA-P.pdf
    That is the smallprint by HP, they combine machine, dust and maintenance factors. And the result should be things at half the price than when using competing FDM or SLS.

    If "price" is higher than current tech, there would be no sale. These things aren't bought at will like a trinket, but looking at full picture by accountants. Competition got extra machines, small business are getting them too for in house printing. HP isn't new to manufacturing industrial systems, and they are already talking about next gen.
    crashtestdummy and MadBikeSkills like this.
  13. MadBikeSkills
    MadBikeSkills Well-Known Member
    This was my understanding also, that the HP printers were going to cost less than the current printers Shapeways uses. Of course that was based on HP marketing materials, but you don't build an enterprise business like HP's if you fudge all your numbers.

    My opinion, and it is only an opinion, is that the HP prints were priced the same as the Premium Versatile for two reasons;
    1. To test the market with higher prices.
    2. To not devalue the Premium Versatile Plastic offering.
    In my case I completely removed Premium Versatile from being purchased for any of my models, the gray and black Professional Plastic replaced those offerings. Although, I can honestly say that I do not care for the gray finish at all, it is very inconsistent in shading and surface texture. It is nicer than the old Aluminide prints. The black Professional Plastic prints I have are pretty darn consistent in coloring and surface quality. Overall I am much happier with the Professional Plastic over the Premium Versatile, but I really can't build my 'store' around those offering without a price reduction.
  14. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    Not all machines operate well 24/7 in a foundry type of environment. You'd think the HP machines would be rugged but who knows. Part of figuring out actual manufacturing costs is running the snot out of new machines to figure out how often they break or have downtime for other reasons. It's also rather clear from past material pricing changes that lowering price is a lot easier on everyone than raising prices. Start high and lower costs when you can or must.
  15. MadBikeSkills
    MadBikeSkills Well-Known Member
    So there is a lot of speculating in this thread, myself included.
    I can say with certainty that in the three plus years my shop has been open I have not seen a price reduction in the materials that I select for my models. It might be easier to accept but I haven't seen it. Just saying.
  16. aliciafelber
    aliciafelber Well-Known Member
    Would anybody be able to explain me, please , the difference between:

    1. Versatile Plastic Black Natural and Versatile Plastic Black Premium ? (Premium double the price from Natural)
    2. Black Professional Plastic and Black Premium Versatile Plastic ? (Professional and Premium both the same price)

    They are for a bracelet that has thin parts and I would like it to be a bit flexible.
    Which one will be better?
    Is it worth to pay the difference on the price?

  17. MadBikeSkills
    MadBikeSkills Well-Known Member
    Versatile is Versatile is Versatile, don't get hung up on the Premium vs Natural. It will work the same way either way. The difference between Natural and Premium, according to Shapeways, is that Premium goes through additional polishing and dyeing steps that natural does not. Again according to Shapeways, Black in particular was difficult to get consistent finishes on with their Processed polishing and dyeing steps, so they created Premium to handle the black parts. One Premium vs Natural for Black prints, there is a difference in feel. My own personal opinion on White Natural vs Processed vs Premium, no clue why on earth someone would pay double for white since no dyeing is involved. Processed White will get you pretty much Premium White does.

    Professional plastic is a whole different printer and the color (Black or Gray only) is better overall since the raw material is that color to start with and no dyeing process is involved. Again, my opinion, The Professional Black is nicer than the Gray, which is more marbled in appearance and seems a bit less smooth (color and texture wise) for some reason.

    Both are flexible in smaller thicknesses. My own prints have shown that Versatile may have a slight advantage over Professional in the same thicknesses. I also found that you can go thicker with Versatile before it becomes rigid depending on the model design.

    Hope that helps.
  18. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Black is dyed. And Grey is black inside.
  19. aliciafelber
    aliciafelber Well-Known Member
  20. MadBikeSkills
    MadBikeSkills Well-Known Member

    It is hard to find the exact information on powder available from HP but it appears all the powder is gray. It looks like you are correct in that it is dyed other colors (black only). I am now wondering how HP will provide other colors hinted at by Shapeways (dark red, dark blue, dark green).
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018