Repricing Strong & Flexible Plastic and Steel

Discussion in 'Official Announcements' started by SavIsSavvy, Sep 30, 2014.

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  1. SavIsSavvy
    SavIsSavvy Member
    Hi Everyone,

    Today Pete announced the biggest change in Price in Shapeways History.

    It is very exciting for all of us to offer a considerable price reduction on 75% of our white strong and flexible plastic models and 85% of our Steel models.

    This is the thread for your general repricing thoughts and questions.

    To discuss how this affects you as a Shop Owner and learn more about how to manage your markup during this period, head here.

    Have a multi-part file that just went up in price? Learn more and discuss here.

    And this cost-optimizing SLS tutorial may really help you out.

    Many of our staff will be monitoring this thread closely, so let us know your questions- by asking you may help someone else out too!
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2014
  2. Yeah. About 80% of my models are increasing its price. Some double the old price.

    And the price increases in some cases look very random. I understand the models with multiple parts, but some of the models that are just one piece increase its price and some decrease it.

    I would love to understand how "Labour" is measured.
  3. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    So it seems the new scheme penalizes low-density models (cost of most of mine will double or even triple, it seems), while at the same time making the pricing scheme more complicated.
  4. Mid7night
    Mid7night Member
    I would like to know how the "Machine Volume" is calculated, because if it's just a simple bounding-box volume I think that's unfairly penalizing parts that might have "free volume" around them where you can actually fit other parts in the print-box. For example, what if I were printing an L-bracket; there would be very little part-volume, since it's just two legs of a square, but the box-volume would be substantial and largely unused! Would the unused volume be filled up by another part? If the empty volume is filled as much as possible by someone else's part, it seems that you might be charging more than once for the same "piece" of print-volume.

    Also, I am quite disappointed that multiple-part models are now penalized with additional per-part fees. I understand that if the parts are actually separate, then someone has to actually "handle" each individual part; but it is quite a big change to the price, especially when you consider that the "packing" of the models has already be done by the designer. I did read about the "looping" option, but honestly that may not always be practical or possible, and it's also just wasted material to "hold the parts".

    I am happy to see that SOME of my parts have come down slightly in price, but MOST of my models have gone UP in cost, either due to machine-volume cost or multiple-part-per-model cost. This is disappointing for prototyping and experimentation.

    Also, THIS puts it very concisely:

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  5. 7943_deleted
    7943_deleted Member
    NOTE: So, I'm speaking as a jewelry designer here:

    Whoa, in my shop all of my sparse models are going down in price a little bit (well, except my favorite earrings!) but the big, solid models are going down in price a LOT. That's cool to know that I won't be limited in my designs going forward. :)

    And, back to my Shapeways community manager self:
    While we made this pricing to make it fairer across the board we ALSO suspected it would open up design possibility because we no longer skewed prices towards volume-based designs.

    There's a reason there is so much thin, wiry designs on Shapeways and that is for years people just like me and you modeled things to get them 3D printed as cheap as possible.

    I think we may well look back on the early 2000's as the "Early 3D Printing Era" much the way we talk about the "Renaissance" or "Baroque" periods of art history - and the art will be defined by white, thin wiry models.

    I look forward to this new permissive era of design and the glorious, unbound creativity these new permissive, fair prices will unleash.

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  6. OrbRacing
    OrbRacing Member
    Boo! All of my models will become more expensive, most by more than 50% (high density, large assemblies of multiple parts in WSF)! And besides that, the pricing system is way less transparent - I used to be able to estimate for customers how much my order would cost before I started modelling, and that's completely gone now!
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  7. 7943_deleted
    7943_deleted Member
    To put it differently @mkroeker:

    We are ENCOURAGING design freedom and making the pricing scheme more FAIR. ;-)

    Under the old pricing, low density models were inadvertently encouraged under the old pricing system and (as a designer) this limited most of my designs to low density, wiry things. Now, we have more design freedom.

    The "machine space" pricing model is based on the idea that if you "shrink wrapped" your model, how much space would it take up?

    This makes it more precise than bounding box and its more fair - now, instead of paying for the volume of powder you use, you pay for how much space in the machine your model takes up. We then build in, as we always have, how much labor your part takes to clean as reflected by the startup cost, but now it takes into account how many parts there are in your file.

    Again, this makes it fair - if you have a five part model, that takes a person cleaning it five times as long as it would to clean one piece - and since we want to treat EVERY model with the same amount of quality and attention, we must reflect this in the price.

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  8. 7943_deleted
    7943_deleted Member
    It's not completely gone, you will still get an instant price quote upon upload. And, just like you learned from experience to estimate how much certain "types" of models cost in the past, I'm sure you will get accustomed to this new system and again be able to estimate your costs before you model. :)


    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  9. Mid7night
    Mid7night Member

    Except that I design parts for RC aircraft, so the lightweight and thin walled design requirements have nothing to do with the 3-D printing process, it has everything to do with the fact that aircraft parts need to be lightweight. The entire genre of designs like mine is being penalized by these new pricing rules.

    I already miss the good old days when designers were rewarded for efficient structures and optimized volumes.
  10. 7943_deleted
    7943_deleted Member
    You can still optimize your volume and design efficient structures, but you will now pay a fair price for them. Subsequently, you then can get a fair price for them when you sell them to your customers! ;-)

    Honestly, beyond just this design side-effect, we realized that the way we were charging for 3D printing was becoming unsustainable. Especially given the way designers were using it.

    As a company, we've CONSTANTLY evolved with the needs and requests of our community - as you guys pushed the boundaries of what was possible in 3D printing, we adjusted our machines and our processes to keep up! And now, we need to necessarily continue this evolution and make our pricing match what you are designing.

    We're on this journey together, rocky roads included!


    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  11. I think the point here was that you could give a budget to a customer BEFORE doing the model or at least before doing all the detail. Now you have to wait untill you upload the finished product to give a budget.
  12. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    Could you expand on this, Natalia, please?

  13. eriban
    eriban Member
    I think the new pricing makes sense. I have attended the tour through the Shapeways factory and seen the amount of manual processing involved, Given that, I always thought the price of my multi-part puzzle model was relatively low. Unfortunately, that is changing now. Its price has doubled, but given that it consists of 36 parts, I consider that fair. At its new price, I don't think it will sell anymore (so quickly grab your chance and buy a copy at the old bargain price! ;-). I still need to check if Wrapping is an option to lower the costs.

    On the other hand, my single part, solid models have significantly gone down in price. As it happens, these have been the more popular ones anyway. So all in all, I think it might result in more sales in my case. Let's just wait and see though.

  14. 7943_deleted
    7943_deleted Member

    I can't really elaborate but Raphael will be posting a DETAILED blog post about this week to explain it more. I hope you can wait a few days!

  15. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    No problem - I've just noticed that you can see it for a Model from the Edit Model screen, along with Bounding Box info etc.

    I can figure it out from this, I think.
  16. Shouldnt prices have also lowered by the technology improvements too? I mean yes in this upcoming future we will look at white, thin, wiry models as old 3D printing, but shouldnt we also say things like "back in those days printing this in 3D would cost THAT much!".

    Usually, as technology moves forward things get less expensive not more.

  17. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    As Mid7night wrote, not everybody is completely "free" in their designs. If shapeways sees a happy future in printing mainly costume jewelry, good luck with it. People doing scale models of - whatever - will probably not like this change. And I suspect even some more extravagant designs like nervoussystems' lamp shades will go from expensive to hideously expensive - even the mighty strandbeests will probably suffer ?
  18. 7943_deleted
    7943_deleted Member
    Thanks Erwin!! This is exactly what we are hoping everyone will come to understand :)

    And for those of you that will help to see the factory process, here's a whirlwind tour of the factory:

    Hyperlapse of LIC Factory

  19. Mid7night
    Mid7night Member

    So Shapeways figured out that designers were optimizing their models for lowest cost, and said "hey, we're losing money on some of these things, we should change the rules, 'cause we can."

    If Shapeways needed to change their pricing structure in order to have a more sustainable business model then just say THAT. Changing the pricing so that some models cost more than they used to (by a LOT in some cases)and some models cost less than they used to is not fair. It may be good for your business model and I certainly don't want to see Shapeways go under, but it's not FAIR.

    I'd respect honesty over a nice story.
  20. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    Well, let's be fair, for a lot of models the price will go down. Just not those with a certain geometry.

    And it has also been clear for some time that SW created their pricing on a less-than-rigorously-calculated basis, just to keep things simple, so this adjustment could have been expected. It is clearly more expensive to process models with multiple parts and build volume has an impliedcost, so the previous model gave a 'free ride' to those who had many parts or low density.

    Having said that, logically, the price of earrings and cufflinks should go up...
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