Pricing Changes

Discussion in 'Official Announcements' started by gregorykress, Aug 27, 2018.

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  1. MitchellJetten
    MitchellJetten Shapeways Employee CS Team
    This has nothing to do with freedom of speech.
    This topic about the current repricing, not about our competition and how they run shops.

    Let's stay on topic here.
    mkroeker likes this.
  2. railNscale
    railNscale Well-Known Member
    According to the topic starter, this topic is all about repricing, making money and the competition as SW wants to offer the most competitive pricing "We are still lower or competitive with the industry."

    Most, including SW refer to the 3D printing services and 3D marketplaces. In our case the actual competition are not the 3D printing companies but other (conventional) firms that sell N and TT-scale items. With the current pricing we are more or less able to compete with these companies for the small items. In general our prices are a bit higher and the kits need to be post processed (cleaning, painting) by the customer. The value we are trying to offer are unique models that are of better design than currently available in the market. We're filling a niche.

    Now all discussions here are focussed on cost prices. But what is SW offering to improve the value of a product? I mean, sure a company needs to be sustainable, but raising prices or lowering your service level (moving marketplace out of sight + you really do not answer questions, nor does the service team). The only thing that happens here is that the more active or successful shop owners are looking for alternatives. I'm not sure whether that's the direction SW wants to head. It's two week since this topic was opened and we're still left in the dark.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  3. Sparkshot
    Sparkshot Well-Known Member
    """The only thing that happens here is that the more active or successful shop owners are looking for alternatives."""


    I got no intensions of leaving Shapewways but I'm surely looking to buy a second 3D printer, a resin based one this time and offer some items (Emphasis on SOME) at a lower cost because as a railways modeller I know the market and I can agree with the above post that for railway modelling things on here are often (Emphasis on 'often') WAAAAAYYY too expensive.

    My own 4mm range is a good example of this. For loco bodies in FUD if I set my mark up to ZERO the prices would still be waaay higher than they should be in terms of the typical 4mm market; I'm not exaggerating here, wish I was.

    Now for N gauge it is not as bad. Could still be a bit cheaper but it is more bearable.
    in the bigger scales (7 & 10mm etc) however, as long as you are using WSF (Name changed I know....I'm staying with WSF as it is easier to abbreviate and we all know what we mean) the value becomes pretty good in comparison to the more traditional methods of construction.

    This is subjective because some people will still want etched brass construction for example but for those who are happy having an almost completed model with just a bit of sanding then in this material the price point becomes more realistic.

    As my main area is 4mm though......ouch.
    Need to do something, other than buying that printer to offer cheaper costs I'm a bit stuck.
  4. CybranKNight
    CybranKNight Well-Known Member
    This is the same for me, the last year I've been working on Battletech Miniatures and while my prices are higher the better detailing, articulation and optional parts added enough value to make it worthwhile but with the new prices I just can't add enough value to compensate. I'm being priced out of SW by SW.
    cherokeeblade likes this.
  5. ChristianH
    ChristianH Well-Known Member
    Sorry SW. You are on the wrong path here.
    Yes, you need to make money and survive but you have essentially admitted that your complete business model just isn't working.
    Too many material options? Too many expensive machines?
    The price hikes are (or could) kill off many shops and designers. The pricing is s till not transparent. There is s till no way of estimating what a model would cost to make unless the design is done. Being able to do that is VERY IMPORTANT.
    I do not want to spend long hours to complete a design and then find out it's basically pointless to even try to print it.

    Get your act together please. Thank you.
  6. crashtestdummy
    crashtestdummy Well-Known Member
    Btw, I did reach out directly to me Kress about this thread and others looking for a folow up. If he dosn't post in a few hours I'll try contacting him though another meens.
  7. Blitza
    Blitza Active Member
    i got myself an Zcorp 660 Pro Printer, since the Price Change AND the Quality is an no go to use again Shapeways. if this goes on Shapeways WILL lose alot of Customers and Shop Owners.

    For me it is Bye Bye Shapeways, i do my own Buisness now ^^
  8. crashtestdummy
    crashtestdummy Well-Known Member
    Ive reached out to The CEO directly, lets see if he has anything to add in the next 48 hours. Like all my post, your mileage may vary.
  9. highwingpilot
    highwingpilot Member
    Quite mysteriously and, as typical, without any notification from SW, the pricing on at least one of my more popular items dropped back down to it's original price. Not complaining... one of my customers pounced on it and placed an order. But it's just that I don't trust their pricing. It has been fluctuating more than the Stock Market.
  10. crashtestdummy
    crashtestdummy Well-Known Member
    Ive herd back from the CEO very briefly, he will have an update on the pricing in the next few weeks.
  11. Oitenta
    Oitenta Member
    Hi. Very Important post! I've been using SW for prototyping my designs (mostly homeware and desk accessories) but I always intented to open a shop, once my catalogue is bigger and I can test all my designs. I was ready to launch a Quickstarter of a model I already tested, but the price increased almost 2x since I ordered the prototype. It makes it impossible to market.. I hope there are good news coming soon, because I have this project (and the future ones) on hold...
  12. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    The impending price change thing is hanging over our heads like the Sword of Damocles.
    hanelyp and FerretDesigns like this.
  13. reducedAircraftFactory
    reducedAircraftFactory Well-Known Member
    @Oitenta, I hate to disappoint, but the news that everyone is expecting is a schedule on when our old shops will be converted to the new pricing model (which some old shops and all new shops are already using). And for a lot of designers that will not be good news.

    I'm sure you'll hear the phrase "some prices will go up and some prices will go down". Don't read too much into that -- while it implies the changes will be somewhat price-neutral, it's much more likely that we'll see minor drops here and there and big increases elsewhere. Or it could be that the number of products with increases will greatly outnumber those with decreases. In both those cases it is still true that "some prices will go up and some prices will go down".

    If the new pricing truly reflects Shapeways' underlying cost structures, it looks like they're losing a lot of money on small prints in Versatile Plastic. (It is hard to say for sure, since the pricing models are now opaque and we can only discover through experimentation.) Perhaps it is economically nonviable to print such parts at low prices. Or perhaps Shapeways has simply decided they'll leave that market to someone else and pursue higher-profit markets elsewhere.
    Themikepeng and Oitenta like this.
  14. highwingpilot
    highwingpilot Member
    I had complained several times recently on the sudden exponential rise in the prices of my models in my shop. And here is the exact response:

    "Unfortunately this was a well needed requirement for Shapeways to remain sustainable.
    A lot of small models were actually costing Shapeways money to print and for that reason a minimum pricing was added to make sure that at least no money is lost on printing those parts.

    I wish you all the best on finding a new place to continue with your business and my apologies for not being able to provide a lower rate :("
  15. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    Is there any consensus yet about what the general direction is for the price changes? Are just smaller models going up in price? All models?

    In the past (circa 2010) competitors such as isomethingorother were cheaper for larger prints and Shapeways was cheaper for smaller prints, although apparently with that coming at a financial loss possibly for the last 8 years. Chances are pricing has changed everywhere in the intervening years so someone somewhere is going to need to upload representative models to each service to figure out what types of models to send where for production. I noticed that other services are making things easier to get a quote. You can upload models without needing an account to get cost feedback. That would be a good idea for Shapeways to do as well, if only to not waste so many model/product codes and storage space for things that may never, ever be fabricated if costs are less somewhere else.
  16. AotrsCommander
    AotrsCommander Well-Known Member
    Right, So they emphatically DON'T want our business now.

    Good to know.

    Well, it isn't, but at least we know where we stand.

    One imagines that there will be a good lot less shops in the moderate future, then - or at least a lot of shops idle, taking up storage space on their servers and never being used...

    They aren't, as far as I've seen, by-the-by - even before looking around, I knew of one place cheaper and while one competior is more expensive, one I've also looked at has a higher minimum floor cost but is drastically cheaper once you get past that.

    The only thing Shapeways has got over their competitors for a long while is their web-shops.

    Of note on a related issue: the model (a set of sprued vehicles) I used when looking elsewhere at wouldn't even be accepted by Shapeways due to file size. That is going to be a MAJOR problem for Shapeways if they truly want to move to only big models - big models mean big files. (Like, duh.) If a mere six vehicles is too much for the rather low 64meg cap, then it means that they REALLY can't compete with their competitors even as a more regular print house, since they are then going to be wanting orders that the customers literally cannot give them. So, even if I am inclined to sprue all my models into groups (assuming there was some sort of sane threshold where the price increases reach parity or go lower than before per model), the liklihood of being able to upload that here and be of use is rather low.

    Given the way these changes have been rolled out, I suspect that thought hasn't even occurred to them.
    crashtestdummy likes this.
  17. javelin98
    javelin98 Well-Known Member
    Inflation where you live is at 200%? Where are you, Venezuela?

    My monthly markup dropped 70.5% this month. Coincidence?
  18. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    Technology drives cost deflation for everything except 3D printing and Apple iPhones.
    crashtestdummy, Ngineer and czhunter like this.
  19. xigfrid
    xigfrid Member
    Let me try explaining my point of view about shapeways new pricing: I rather like the changes: less weird parameters, less price exceptions. All the prints are now straight forward reflection of their volume / machine volume.

    Just an example, I had a 30 USD multi-parts sprued model with a global square shape and if I would move the sprues and change the global shape to match one of a N-scale train, the price would drastically drop down to something like 18USD... Not mentioning the huge price change if you rotate 90° the default print orientation... Why dunno?

    I don't sell enough volume to justify me to review all my 3D models and take advantage of these "flaws". To me the change of the pricing is now putting all sellers to the same pricing, and not favoring the "miniature", "train" or any category.

    OK for the new formula BUT Not OK for the pricing being well over the competitors.

    I am getting tired of WSF (Standard plastic?) and its grainy surface, and its 1mm detail resolution. I have tried HP prints thanks to Shapeways, and now that I have printed a few of my favorite designs in HP plastic, I can see that HP printers offers a better resolution, better surface. This is a step-up over the old Syntratec SLS machines. If you compare 2 prints of the same model, you will love the HP print over the WSF print. From the Shapeways comments I think that these old Syntratec machines cost a lot to maintain running, just let them go, sell these and prelace them with HP printers FFS ?

    I have found that a large number of competitors has appeared in europe equipped with HP printers, I have contacted a few in BE, NL, UK or IT. They don't have a market place like shapeways for most BUT they know that their main competitor is Shapeways, and they visibly have some room in pricing and they ALL offer a lower price than Shapways HP plastic (which is doubled the WSF price, that noone should want to order now)
    Out of 7 print services I contacted, 1 was offering a HP prints at about the same price as Shapeways's WSF, and 1 had HP prints cheaper than Shapeways's WSF.

    Shapeways WSF is still competitive price-wise but not quality wise. Shapeways HP plastic is competitive quality-wise and not price-wise. It won't hurt dropping SLS technology and focus on the HP fusion plastics price.

    EXCEPT if Shapeways has a life-insurance contract with Syntratec ?
  20. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    The description of the new pricing algorithm was much too vague to conclude that it has "less weird parameters and exceptions". BTW it is EOS not Sintratec, and at least my test print did not show a significant improvement in print quality with the HP so the outcome may depend on part geometry and phase of the moon.
    CybranKNight likes this.
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