Materials Change

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Mechanoid, May 9, 2018.

  1. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
  2. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    I think I'm mostly done here. Every time there's a change it induces a huge amount of effort to revisit every product, readjust materials offered, reprice materials because the changes either eliminated markups or changed them inconsistently, redesign models to compensate for changes in pricing algorithms, change product descriptions, modify the image carousel, update image captions, update tags, re-order the shop inventory to match the actual shop, update the shop sections, etc. It's always something that causes a huge pain. Every.Single.Time. It might be less of an isssue for someone with 5 to 10 shop products but when you get to multiple pages of offerings the pain level skyrockets to absurd.

    At this point if I make any changes it's going to be to go through a process of extreme streamlining to minimize these hassles in the future. That amounts to basically deleting as much stuff as possible, in particular streamlining product descriptions to a short sentence at most and eliminating any references to anything that could change at a future date. Remove all uploaded photos and captions. Offer every product in one single material such as wsf or what I bought it in for personal use. Probably not a material family but just a single material since a constant markup can't be applied to all materials offered. A huge notice at the top of my shop indicating that shoppers can request the activation of any other specific material not presently activated. The markup process is too time consuming if you prefer the constant mark-up method for all materials offered. I'm basically sitting at a time invested bang for the buck juncture. Keep futzing around here or streamline and look for more reasonable alternatives.
  3. woody64
    woody64 Well-Known Member
    Yes, instead of UI interfaces causing additional clicks please give us a simple interface which can be used in batch runs for mass changes.

  4. Bathsheba
    Bathsheba Well-Known Member
    Supposedly we have one, the CSV wizard, but I haven't seen it working lately.

    Also, CSV? Um, 1985 wants its spreadsheet technology back.
    EvieL likes this.
  5. woody64
    woody64 Well-Known Member
    That covers only material changes and pricing.
  6. javelin98
    javelin98 Well-Known Member
    I'm glad to see the demise of White Acrylic. That material ended in far too many cancelled orders from my shop. FUD is far superior and often at a better price.
  7. No more castable wax I have NO USE for Shapeways!!! This is ridiculous!! Beyond pissed as my whole business was based on using the castable wax here. Nor did I get an email saying you were discontinuing this item. TOTAL BS.
    lawrencekramer2014 and Blitza like this.
  8. Vortical
    Vortical Well-Known Member
    ***Warning: Heavy Flak Zone***


    I cannot believe Shapeways just up and canceled porcelain. And worse, then they paint lipstick on that pig with the above-linked announcement that gives the impression that it didn't happen.

    I invested heavy time and money heavily in my porcelain/metal lamp "Phi" specifically because I could get both porcelain and metal pieces done and sold in the same shop. A year of effort at least in this one project, and I opened a shop with many other products because I had that one here.

    I am sure that Shapeways did not make this decision lightly. However I am sure that they did take their responsibility to we the designers lightly. Clearly someone made a decision, in effect, that ripping the Bandaid off the patient in one short jerk without warning, would inflict the least pain in a bad situation. This is good corporate politics I suppose. Shapeways has extracted itself from a bad decision at the trivial cost of revealing to the few who might care that this company too is run by soulless corporate golems.

    I had felt myself to be a lesser business partner, having added my capital investment to Shapeways'. Now I understand that I, that we, the designers, amount to cattle in the eyes of management.

    There are ways to do these things Shapeways. First: employ good planning to avoid such costly errors. Secondly, employ better communications when things go south, as they often do in any endeavor,. Understand that making a mistake obligates you to greater consideration to the persons harmed, not less. Human relations matter more than money, because the money grows only on a minimal degree happy human relations. Courtesy is worth the cost.

    I concede that this decision was well in keeping with mainstream thinking. In the US we have long ago left courtesy and mutual responsibility behind, and crossed the rubicon of casual behavior into a land where any abuse is acceptable as long as there is money to be made.

    May I suggest you hire a Japanese consultant to help you with your designer relations in the future?

    No amount of lipstick will make a pig pretty. Please let's have fewer pigs, and no lipstick.
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
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  9. fx
    fx Well-Known Member
    Shapeways doesn't care. It looks like the CEO could discontinue anything, like the shop feature overnight, if this improved the bottom line.
    Shapeways strengths : clear pricing (gone), unusual materials (almost gone), big marketplace with a lot of sellers (still true). Without them, you are very similar to your competitors.
    Vortical likes this.
  10. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    Playing devil's advocate again... Extending the production time for money losing materials loses more money. That's not to say that improved communications and updates should be neglected, assuming there are enough personnel remaining to handle the situation, but I would imagine that things may be a tad more dire than is publicly known.

    If my numbers are correct here has been a total of around $107 million in capital provided by investors with a publicly stated total number of sold prints sitting at around 10 million. Depending on the average profit realized by each print sent out the door the net result could mean Shapeways is doing extremely well or only so-so. Investors prefer to at least get their money back, salaries need to be paid, facilities, equipment, and source materials are a constant drain on the bank account. It's not a stretch to think that sudden changes might be required to keep the ship floating.

    In addition the latest round of funding seems to be geared towards shifting revenue into some other business promoting areas although it's still a bit nebulous based on public announcements. Maybe charging extra for enhanced personalized shop web sites, drop shipping, pairing with other web services, and other "professional" level business services. If you're limited on profits derived from actual 3D printing then there's an incentive to drive other revenue streams.
    Adela likes this.
  11. Bathsheba
    Bathsheba Well-Known Member
    While I don't approve of the short, after-the-fact, and missing announcements, I'm not altogether sorry to see a shakeup. The way things were going I wasn't feeling the momentum. If axing unprofitable materials helps Shapeways prosper, I'm in favor.

    I never liked SW porcelain -- developing it was a noble effort, but the price point wasn't right for the quality. Now that Boston Ceramics has reemerged I hope that'll go back to being the porcelain of record. It's just better. And who knows what the future may bring? Looks like maybe Nervous Systems has an in-house process that could blow everything else out of the water at small scales. Will they keep it proprietary? I wouldn't put it past them to open source it.
    drloris likes this.
  12. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    I'll be going to a ceramics date night type shop soon to play with clay. You and your date each get to shape a bowl or something on a wheel, then you specify the glazing you want and in a week or so you get your finished product. Maybe I'll get some ideas for making mini-mini-sized ceramics and do my own 3D molds or something.

  13. Ontogenie
    Ontogenie Well-Known Member
    I agree on the SW porcelain. It was always too clunky and didn't make me think of porcelain at all. The Nervous System stuff, on the other hand, is delicate and translucent like porcelain should be. My understanding is that Formlabs is making the ceramic resin available to everyone. You'll need a kiln to fire it, though. And a Formlabs printer.
  14. crashtestdummy
    crashtestdummy Well-Known Member
    What I got for a read on the issue is that they are going to have their own line of customizable products but to me that seems to be putting them in compilation with the store owners or even pushing them out of the space.
  15. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    If they do this it's probably to hammer out problems internally before they introduce it into the wild. They did mention recently that they were going to try to get the bugs out of new features through more extensive internal testing. I don't think they have enough employees to sustain enough shops and products to compete with traditional shop owners.

    I also don't have a problem with an official Shapeways shop store owner employee that reports hassles and problems directly to the CEO the moment they happen. Even better I'd encourage the CEO to open a store of their own (under an assumed name to prevent butt kissing) having 2 or 3 pages of products in order to be able to enjoy all the offered features or hassles. And no cheating by assigning the task to an underling!
  16. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    Remember Shapeways glass?

  17. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    You can find reports talking about this kind of marketplaces not lasting beyond 2025.

    Correct, $107.5 million said new SW CEO.

    Or something about startup incubation. That can be at least two things, 3d printing as prototype method (not a new market, plenty of services and some companies just get the machines for in house use) or 3d printing as manufacturing method because the shapes are only possible that way (which requires reproduceable results, measureable properties, reliable suppliers... or in some cases, yep, buy the machine and do in house). It's all too fuzzy, agreed.
  18. Ontogenie
    Ontogenie Well-Known Member
    The glass must have been before my time. Looks like WSF to me, or what are they calling it these days?
  19. Blitza
    Blitza Active Member
    Dosnt exist´s anymore ….
  20. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    I'm not 100% sure but I think it might be "White Natural Versatile Pldotdotdot"

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