Road To Major Fud Improvements Starts With Repricing

Discussion in 'Official Announcements' started by Andrewsimonthomas, May 9, 2017.

  1. I am sorry to say this but this is extremely nonsensical and will be very counter productive for Shapeways. Whoever took this decision to force the scale model Designers who use FED plastic to print their models halves 'detailled-side-down', models for which Designers have worked hard (often for months) to make them very finely detailed to print them at Shapeways highest resolution at 16 microns will now see all those fine details be covered with frost and crystals, all of that because Shapeways wants to use less support material... This is really nonsense ! The very reason Designers go to Shapeways is to have the maximum amount of resolution that Polyjet 3DSystems machines can offer, NOT to have it ruined by printing our aircraft fuselages halves or train engines upside down !! What the heck is going on at Shapeways decisional level for them to take such self-destructive measures ??!

    Remember what happened with social networks Friendster, Multiply, versus Facebook ? Bugs ruined Friendster and made it shrink and then disappear from the market. Facebook was offering better ease of use and features (minus the bugs) and gathered the largest amount of users. The bosses of Shapeways should really read the story of the demise of Friendster, it might give you an idea of what could happen to Shapeways if it does not remember the most basic principle for this sort of businesses: make the people who use your service happy and make sure they get what they paid for. Otherwise Shapeways might very well go the same way as Friendster and Multiply and many other such companies that disappeared because they never fixed their bugs and did not offer a service that kept their users happy. When people are dissatisfied, they go elsewhere.

    So unless Shapeways is trying to become only a jewelry and fashion store (and it looks more and more like this is the way they are heading), then you will lose that core group of scale modelers (who would have become your biggest users and sellers, if you do not end up chasing them all of with this new nonsensical rules and pricing scheme for Polyjet plastics. I have nothing against price reductions, but when you do a price reduction, offer it to everyone, NOT just for the smallest tiny models, to then punish and dump a crazily high increase of price on the back of the people who have models that are longer than say 10 cm...!

    Also remember that it is when you start to change things in a wrong way that things start to go down. This is the very kind of sudden and brutal changes that alienated the users of Friendster. Soon after the company was defunct.

    The truth is: there is a need for a price equal to or lower than the 6$ per centimeter cube that we had before for the so called BIGGER, LONGER parts printed in FED at 16 microns (not just for the smaller sizes) ! (But certainly not printed face down !). And if 3DSystems are using monopoly tactics and are putting RFID tags on their bottles for the support wax thus not allowing anyone who might want to recycle the wax to put it into their machines, then start a campaign of pressure against 3DS to force them to stop this practice, write articles, have bloggers talk about how outrageous this is, here i give you exemples of titles that might catch their attention:

    ''3D printing giant 3DSystems does not care about recycling and goes as far as putting RFID tags on the bottle of wax support material so as to make it impossible for their clients to put any recycled wax into their machines.''

    ''3DSystems does not care about the environnment and is a major polluter.''

    ''3DSystems support material wax goes directly into landfills by the tons because they refuse to let their users recycle the wax.''

    I believe States in the US and cities should even charge taxes on 3DSystems for the garbage they force their clients to send to landfill (California could do that given how progressive they have been since a few years to implement measures against polluters and chemical industries (thanks to them we now often know from MSDS sheets if a product contains chemicals that are carcinogenic).

    You are using their machines, you have every right to ask them to stop causing you problems with the wax and to allow companies to recycle it if they are not willing to do it themselves.

    In fact, based on the only fact that they are using RFID tags on their bottles (similar to the way Canon is putting chips on their inkjet cartridges to block 3rd party manufacturers to sell replacement ink cartridges at cheaper prices) tells me that there are probably ALREADY companies that have figured out a way to either recycle the wax or to make wax that cost less than 3DS's, and they are trying to block them from selling it to end users so as to continue to charge monopoly rates most likely (i don't know how much the stuff costs, but i know what monopoly does to prices). They are probably using excuses such as ''this might damage our machines or void your warranty'',,,. But last time i checked, people could use many different types of SLA resins in the various DLP machines out there, so i see no reason why the same could not be done with 3DS machines for alternate sources of wax, or even for recycled wax (which i am pretty much sure 3DS could do if they invested into some R&D, but i think they probably prefer to continue to charge monopolistic rates rather than make it cheaper).

    @Shapeways, you say ''Both we're looking into solutions for because for obvious reasons recycling wax would be good''.

    Both ? You mean who ? Shapeways and 3DS ? I doubt so, because you said it yourself : 3DSystems puts RFID tags on its wax bottles so that their machines will refuse to load any wax that doesn't come from their factory. So even if you had a 'solution', 3DSystems would still block you from using it or would sue you.

    The only solution is to force 3DS to recycle the wax as sending it into the landfill is bad for the environment, period. Even if a company did offer a less expensive wax for exemple, unless they cracked the RFID ID of the tags to create their own tags, they would get 3DS on their back and 3DS would quickly modify their RFID tags with a new ID and they would be blocked again. Back to square one.

    On the other hand, it is not impossible that you could take on 3DS in court if ever they pretend that you have no right to 'break' through the RFID lock that stops you from using an alternative source for the wax, because once you have purchased a product (the 3D printer), it is your property, and there is nothing they can do to stop you from modifying it if you need to (it is not as if you were removing the 4th wheel of a car and driving on the road on 3 wheels... 3D printers are not regulated and won't go anywhere, so you would most likely be perfectly able to do any modification you need to unblock what i consider to be an attempt to create a monopoly by 3DSystems with their RFID block. It is kind of the same as if Ford or Chrysler said you can only put Shell gasoline in their cars. I would tell them to go take a walk. Oh, but i forget: of course there are people who are modifying (and happily to so, to run on used cooking oil, which smells good and does not pollute the environment), or for more trivial pursuits such as to make their car look better or more sporty, with new alloy wheels, lowered body, etc). So, all the more reasons for Shapeways to do a little 'body work' on their printers due to necessity.

    Of course if your machines are still under warranty, you cannot go ask them to repair it if something breaks if you did put wax from a 3rd party in it, that's the chance you'll have to take. But then once the machines are no longer under warranty, that would no longer make any difference, and you would most likely be able to do so as long as the alternative product does not damage your machines or printed parts.


    Take note that i understand the logic to price the tinyest brass metal parts at a higher price due to the fact they cost your more in post-treatment than some parts that are a bit bigger. However if we use the same line of thinking to look at the tinyest parts made with FED and FUD plastic, that does not explain why these are now cheaper in the new scheme for Polyjet plastic prices... In all logic they should now also cost MORE (not less) than before, just like for the new pricing scheme for brass...

    Apparently someone is using a 1 rule, 2 measures at Shapeways... Your PR may repeat your mantra hundreds of times, but i am not buying it. Too many things that clearly sound like PR brainwashing to try to make us forget what the real problem is here. Shapeways is possibly in trouble, so prices are going up, and they want us to believe that it's all for our own good and it will bring many new 'opportunities'. Well, i ask what opportunities ?? when your own Designers are saying: 'back to serving tables at Starbuck'...

    Here is the list of what you have just eliminated as your market and Designers:

    Anyone who makes scale models bigger than 5-10 cm.

    Anyone who needs a hollow scale model of more than 5-10 cm with a finely detailed outer surface.

    Anyone who makes jewelry bigger than a hand-ring.

    Anyone who makes brass or any other metal models, earings, pendants, bangles that are made of wire.

    Any models that have a complicated, detailed shape (that just about eliminate more than 50% of the people who use 3D printing services to make their jewelry, decorative or scale model pieces...).

    Anything big (bye-bye lamps and anyone who designed those great, imaginative, spectacular large pieces that attracted me and thousands of other Designers and clients to Shapeways in the first place).

    Did i forget anyone ?


    That leaves pretty much only simple small finger rings and earings, and tiny figurines and scale models detail parts.
     
    railNscale likes this.
  2. @MitchellJetten

    Printing a Boeing 737 fuselage half as a 'bathtub' as you say and ending up with the whole outer surface covered with a granular frost in an attempt to try to offset your wildly high price increase of the FUD and FED plastics for larger parts is totally unacceptable and is NOT a 'balance to decide what works best for you', it is a way for Shapeways to say we wash our hands of it and we don't care if you get lower quality parts as long as Shapeways still make a sale. This totally shoots in the foot the very concept of printing something at 16 microns high resolution to get smooth, highly detailled fine surface details .

    What's the point to go to Shapeways to get 16 microns Polyjet parts when you now want to force people (while telling them 'well it's your choice if you want to save money...') to print their parts internal side up and ruin detailed smooth outer surfaces ? It's one more exemple of a big company not listening to what their customers need and instead caring only about what they want to increase profits at the expense of the customers. In sales, caring more about what the company want vs what the client need is never a winning situation.

    Remember, there are lots of 3D bureaus who own 3DSystems 3500HD MAX. Some of them offer higher start up cost but they DO offer batches service, and they let me orient my your parts the way you want to get optimal surface quality, and if i print a batch of say 30 sets that will reduce the start up cost to WAY BELOW what Shapeways start up cost was prior to their pricing change, and the total price for all my parts will be quite lower than what Shapeways offers right now for larger parts (& quality will be higher), in fact it will be lower than the price you used to offer for all your FED plastic at 16 microns in your older pricing scheme !

    Since Shapeways told me they were already unwilling to print my upcoming "long'' parts vertically (only 12 cm tall...) because they are afraid to 'crash' a load of parts if some parts that are taller than 5cm, and they now also want people to print their parts wrong side up to save reduce their support material cost, i will have no choice but to go to a local 3D printing service to print those new parts (but the good news is that it will now cost me less than at Shapeways, and it was already costing me less even before their pricing scheme change, if i print batches).

    So, Shapeways, you ARE losing clients right now. By the time people who where here mostly because of the brand name wake up when they realize all the hoops they now have to jump through to fit 'Shapeways mold' and realize that this is a losing proposition, they will send their next designs to another company that's using 3DS 3500HD MAX printers at a cost similar to your old pricing scheme, no choice... and i will sell my parts directly to my customers via specialized internet forums. It will be a bit more work but at least i will get what i want.

    There is an alternative for Shapeways Designers: buying their own DLP SLA printer (i have been shopping for one for a while). Since DLP SLA resin costs as little as 15 CENT per CM CUBE (!) (yes, there is support material to add (stilts), but at such a low price, even when you factor that in it is still way cheaper than paying the old 6$ per cm cube price OR the new price hike many Designers are now experiencing wit FED.

    So basically Shapeways seems to have decided to be only a jewelry store and a store for minuscule figurines, and they are quietly telling their Designers who make complete scale model kits and larger parts: We don't want you. Just print your parts upside down to ruin your quality and disearthen you some more after the crazy price hike so that you will go away.

    But trust me Shapeways, the people who helped you the most and who trusted you might now be helping your competitors, and others will set themselves up to be independant (by purchasing their own DLP 3D printer, which these days cost as little as 600$ and produce very high resolution, close to that of 3DS).

    And the myth that some have that Shapeways had great customer service is just that, a myth. They never fixed most of the problems and bugs i have been reporting to them since last October about their softwares. They do respond to queries, yes, but answering quickly without fixing the bugs is not what i would call customer service. It is only lip service. People get an 'appearance' of customer service, but mostly, very little gets fixed. I must admit the customer service employees are not to be blamed for this, they are just following orders from above.

    Personally i won't jump through all these hoops and dramatically increase my work burden which is already heavy just to fit Shapeways needs to reduce THEIR COST while MINE will INCREASE and they basically just don't care. They just say turn your parts upside down and decrease their quality (which at 16 microns and at the price we now pay is total nonsense) and spend all your time redesigning your parts at your expense to fit Shapeways needs''. I don't have time for this nonsense.

    But isn't it that what Shapeways actually wanted ? To get rid of their Designers who print larger parts ? But wait... these Shapeways Designers DO NOT ONLY make larger parts. Like me, they also make medium and small parts. Uh, Oooh... Shapeways did a HUGE miscalculation. All those pissed-off Designers that you are pushing away, will create a MUCH larger sales loss than you were expecting. You are gambling on the (very thin) idea that more and more designers will use your new price decrease on tiny parts to come to Shapeways. BIG MISTAKE. They won't. The number one growing market for 3D printed plastic goes into the direction of making complete scale model kits (to directly compete against injected plastic kits) or to make complete sets of improvement parts for injected plastic kits. I don't think there is a sudden boom of demand for tiny figurines on the market, unless there is some secret group of people suddenly building desk armies of tiny figurines. But if there is, i am not aware of them, and that alone plus a few low cost pieces of jewelry won't keep Shapeways afloat in the future.

    I now believe Shapways will now turn into nothing more than a metal jewelry store of low cost rings and earings and a store of tiny minuscule figurines, and that's a pity. But i guess they will learn it the hard way when all their scale model Designers will go to place that listen to them and print their parts as they want. I saw this coming for a long while when i saw them keep pushing their employees to find ways to "optimize" parts fitting into the trays to maximize used space and reduce their cost, it was already fitted tight in there since years, i knew they would not be able to add more parts into the holes between the parts. So now we got it: cellphone company's and airline style price advertizing schemes is their last resort as they cannot stuff any more parts in the nook and crannies.

    Word to the wise: there are now extremely high resolution desktop DLP SLA printer created through crowd funding campaigns that can print at 25 microns and cost less than 1000$. Better yet, there is now one such open source machine which you can build yourself (it's open source folks ! So you can source the parts yourself, modify it, improve it, whichever way you want, or just build it as is if you buy the kit from the manufacturer). Prices for the small DLP printers vary from 600$ to up to 5-6-7000$, and they are almost all high resolution. You might think an SLA printer is a complex machine, but in fact they are surprisingly simple, most of them use only 1 or 2 step motors. And with all the ready-made printed circuits (Arduino) and softwares out there, it is pretty simple. You just add your own DLP projector to it (they cost between 500 to 1000$ for a decent one) and your are set (in some cases the machines already include their own light source). Though there is a learning curve for calibration depending on which resin you use and so on, it is no more complicated than say, learning to drive a car.

    Based on what i see, the future of 3D printing will not go through large companies like Shapeways, it will go through people using their own small desktop DLP printers. Numerous small scale models companies are already doing so, the number of new machines coming out each year continues to grow, and demand is growing too. When you cannot get what you want from the big companies or they charge too much, then go independant. There are very impressive results out there with resolution often so close to Polyjet that a comparison done a few years ago between parts made by a small desktop DLP printer and a 3DS 3500HD MAX were impossible to tall apart (except for the frosted side on the Polyjet part).

    The excuse that "tall prints would slow down all the other prints" or that it increases the risks of crashes does not hold water. If Shapeways was serious they would buy more 3500HD MAX Polyjet printers and they would put the tall prints into one machine and the thin ones onto another. End of the story. I am sure they can afford to have several of the same machine for different needs. That would be the efficient way to manage this problem without causing a huge waste of time and money to lots of Shapeways Designers.

    Or else, another option: 'Shapeways slow machine time to print long vertical parts at high quality surface is slowing you down and costing them money when put in the same tray as small flat parts ? Rent Carbon3D printers, you will get somewhat less resolution than Polyjet (28 microns instead of 16) but you will accelerate printing speed by 10-25 times or more.
     
    railNscale likes this.
  3. HOLDEN8702
    HOLDEN8702 Well-Known Member
    WHEN MORE IS LESS: REAL IMPACT ON NUMBERS FROM REPRICING.

    Total sales,
    right printed and sent models from my three shops May-16th-2017 to June-15th-2017 (before price changes):

    SHOP ONE: 189 models - $ 4657.06 (base+markup price, VAT excl.)
    SHOP TWO: 178 models - $ 4594.44 (base+markup price, VAT excl.)
    SHOP THREE: 29 models - $ 938.89 (base+markup price, VAT excl.)
    this means a total of 396 models sold+printed+sent,
    and shapeways invoiced to Customers $10192.39 (VAT excl.) in this month after the business on my own designs.

    Total sales,
    right printed and sent models from my three shops June-16th-2017 to July-15th-2017 (AFTER the price change):

    SHOP ONE: 64 models - $ 1484.16 (base+markup price, VAT excl.)
    SHOP TWO: 38 models - $ 1520.89 (base+markup price, VAT excl.)
    SHOP THREE: 0 models - $ 0.00 (base+markup price, VAT excl.)
    this means a total of 102 models sold+printed+sent,
    and shapeways invoiced to Customers $3005.05 (VAT excl.) in this month after the business on my own designs.

    What's the difference?
    this means a difference from a month to other of 294 models, 74% less models sold+printed+sent,
    and shapeways has invoiced to Customers $7187.34 LESS (VAT excl.), 70.5% LESS in this month after the business on my own designs.

    Paraphrashing to George Patton, my kids can eat their belts, but these expensive 3D printing machines need something ordered by Customers to print!

    You can call me mad, but I don't think would be a good commercial decision what reduces the turnover in a 70% from a month to the following.
     
    railNscale likes this.
  4. crashtestdummy
    crashtestdummy Active Member

    Well to take a comparison to Pets.com and most every internet company of the 90's at the end of the day they have to make money. They can't lose money on every or most prints forever or they are going out off business once the money runs out. Depending on how much they are losing you may have lost 74% of sales but at the same time.

    If they lost 1 unit of money in the first sample (396) then they would have lost 396 units of money in month two they made (102) models and made .25 or 1/4 of a unit of money they would have ended up 25.50 units ahead rather than 396.

    Lets say the whole pricing scheme was revenue neutral between months one and two:
    Lost 1 unit per model Month one they would have lost 396 units and month two lost 102.

    Your not forced to buy from shapeways or selling your product on shapeways. If you think your being treated unfairly price out other shops and let us know. If your getting charged unfairly and let Shapeways know how they need to adjust their prices or change suppliers. If


    From The front page of this article:
    .
    Like it says not everything is getting cheaper, demanding everything get cheaper isn't a fix and they could have raised the base price on the simplified price system so all prices went up and then you would be upset all the prices went up.
     
    PenistoneRailwayWorks likes this.
  5. BoMonroe
    BoMonroe Well-Known Member
    Passing along something I discovered while refactoring a product that consisted of several parts, that I wished to optimize for orientation and price, particularly in FXD. Maybe someone else will find this useful.

    Here is the original collection of parts. The parts are not all orientated optimally for quality, but the best case orientation in FXD (without modifying the file) is over $75: fokkerd3_exhibit a.jpg My first attempt at modifying the file, sprue-ing all the elements together and rotating parts for maximum quality resulted in this (I also split apart the barrel-shaped tank, and changed the way the polygon shaped tank spilt for max surface quality):
    fokkerd3.jpg

    ... cost in FUD was reduced by over 37% but of course it is unprintable in FXD as it exceeds the FXD footprint. Back to the drawing board.

    I split the parts into 3 sprues, none exceeding the 50mmx50mm FXD tray footprint, parts grouped by z height:

    fokkerd3_exhibit-c_mod.jpg

    Now here's the interesting part, and not 100% intuitive: Which is cheaper -- making these separate skus or a single product with three parts, or some combination? It turns out the cheapest option is to combine sprues B & C into one product and leave sprue A as a separate.In FUD the prices are all very close, within a dollar of each other, but In FXD the price difference is substantial -- almost $5. Overall the price went down over $32 while totally optimizing the model against support artifacts.

    Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 4.25.11 PM.png
     
    taz_of_boyds likes this.
  6. ETS35
    ETS35 Well-Known Member
    @ BoMonroe, you're right it's not quite intuitive. The effect of machine space in calculating prices really complicates matters. I still think the new formula is unfair in calculating machine space based on the highest point in a sprue*. It's been argued that's because a single high point affects the cost of the entire sprue. But why doesn't it affect all sprues? AFAIK Shapeways still prints one design in one go. If that's correct a single tall sprue should increase the price of everything that's being printed.

    * I'd prefer mm^3 per layer or something. However you define those layers is another matter. Certainly does not have to correspond with actual printing layers. Perhaps 0,1mm or something.
     
    PenistoneRailwayWorks likes this.
  7. railNscale
    railNscale Well-Known Member
    @holden,

    Thank you for sharing this information. Wow, that's a big impact on your sales. Because most of our products are not composed in many parts, the pricing consequence was in most cases little. I modified the sets comprising many single parts and by this the biggest harm was gone. (And now we're heading for another hurdle caused by this so-called print orientation tool)

    @crashtestdummy,

    What is the purpose of your response? Your comparison with 20 years old history is speculative and does in no way contribute to the problems shop owners are facing here. Now you can down-play things by telling people that they are doing some sort of hobby or should not try to make money here. Shop owners that sell (in great numbers) actually contribute to hobbyists seeking unique models. The larger shop owners are mentioned in various printed magazines and forums. These (little) successes do contribute to Shapeways as a platform.

    Your statements display one message "take it or leave it". That is basically killing every discussion. I think that is not contributing to the discussions here. What Holden mentioned is his actual experiences here. And I think, albeit based on 1 month sales comparison, tells a clear message that disruptive measures (as unfortunately happens more often here at SW) has a major impact on shops. And if more successfull shops are facing similar problems this will spread out and have also consequences for SW. And this will also negatively impact the smaller shops.

    Regards,
    Maurice
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  8. HOLDEN8702
    HOLDEN8702 Well-Known Member
    @railNscale

    Thanks, Maurice, really appreciate your comments. Great your Shop wasn't badly harmed.

    About some suposedly designers that are doing comments here, well, all we know these aren't really designers (they haven't any model or shop, or only a few models on it) and sure these are false users opened to troll serious comments and acclaim the marvellous direction of shapeways clever decisions (here in Spain we call them "d*cksuckers").

    It isn't worth answering his unfounded comments.

    But the message "take it or leave it" from shapeways is clear. From the days Strong Flexible was severely harmed I'm daily praying about to emerge a serious rival company that takes the torch... maybe then shapeways ask the best seller shops before doing radical changes?
     
  9. BoMonroe
    BoMonroe Well-Known Member
    @ETS35, to be clear, "single tall sprue should increase the price of everything that's being printed" -- indeed it does seem like this is the case. This explains why, in my example, Sprue A (18mm tall) + Sprue B (9mm tall) + Sprue C (4mm tall) taken together as a single file produced the most expensive end product. I think though that because the height cost penalty is exponential, it explains why grouping Sprue B + Sprue C was cheaper even though Sprue C is over twice the height of Sprue B. The savings of $2.50 by grouping the models more than offset the "height penalty" where Sprue B is getting charged for 5mm of dead space above it.

    Bottom line is it pays to experiment.
     
    taz_of_boyds likes this.
    • "crashtestdummy, post: 200671, member: 1415576"]yes yes yes yes. I'm suggesting you get smart with your designs rather than crying a river. Many of the injection manufactures and the resin manufactures do it so you should be able to do it too.

    *Injection molding companies have infinitely bigger budgets & profit margins than 3D printing designers or resin kit companies for that matter, so, wrong comparison here. And it's not because you see injected kits companies do whole series of variants of the same aircraft, tank or train that it means it is cheap or easy. Rapid CNC costs both arms & eyes, so that's why they are doing it because the cost of the basic tooling is so damn expensive.

    swapping roofs ends and doors is the name of the game. By making just roofs you could expand your product reach without any real increase in drawing time.

    As I see it you have four options:

    1. Give up and do something else. Delete it all and get on with your life.

    2. Come up with innovate solutions you your products to lower the cost

    3. Suck it up and optimize your products, if you wanted to be clever you could offer both options one orientated for best price and the other for best quality and let your customers decide what is more important. Start with your best selling products and go from there.

    4. Buy your own printer or contract space someplace else and do it your self. If you think you can do better someplace else or on your own, try it. I suspect SW has a good handle on prices and the market currently, if you can do better let us know.

    *Buy your own 3D printer ? Well, with prices as low as 15 cents per cm cube for the resin for small desktop DLP printers you can hardly argue. If you had done your homework you would already know that Shapeways isn't the cheapest service around. Don't be naive assuming that because SW is suddenly coming up with those new complicated (& voluntarily confusing) price scheme it does not mean that 'they have a good handle on prices', quite the contrary I would say, I think after someone recently did their accounting (or after 3DSystems suddenly raised the price of wax support material, a good possibility given their monopoly) either they realized they were losing money, or they just decided they wanted to make more profit than they already do, so they jacked up prices. Guess No.1 is that they've already been losing money since years & now their pants are on fire & they are raising prices left & right, 1st with nylon & now with Polyjet & brass. 2nd guess is that they just decided they want more money. Or 3 their had lots of cost increases since a year (city taxes, manpower, materials, etc) & decided to raise prices. Or 4: new managers (which would explain the radical departure from the previous price schemes).

    *From the gist of it I would bet you are one of those model kit company owners who got another main job which is how money is no object to you and you are obviously not living in the same reality as people who's only source of revenue is their company. So I think you might want to refrain from telling other Designers that they should 'give up and do something else ' which in no way helps with the problems Designers who are here now face (if you are a designer at all that is, many people for whom this is a sort of sideline hobby that turned into a company while they still work at their main job often have the design done for them by someone else, so, easy for you to say if you are not doing the job yourself, though I admit that if you want to do many variants based on the same basic design it is smart to make the basic design modular, but my own experience with injected scale models tells me that this (often greedy) manufacturing technique results most of the time in seriously compromising the structural integrity of the products, so much so that you often end up with a very weak model that will pop at the seams the moment you pick it up. This is too often the sad reality for injected plastic models & it is the customers in the end who end up being cheated. I do not say it cannot be done but it should certainly not be a blanket solution.

    *Take note I slightly updated and corrected my post as when I sent it earlier it had an incomplete sentence.

    *I hope we may convince Shapeways to use methods that will not increase prices crazily for us and which will bring them more sales and save them money.

    *As for your mention that some of the shop owners 'who sell most' and are talked about in magazines, what does this have to do with the problems at hand which are sudden price increases, unfixed bugs and design problems with many of the softwares, high cost (supposedly) of the 3DSystems support wax material, inefficient use of machines (not enough 3500HD Max to separate the flat parts from the detailled tall parts that need to be orientated vertically so as to avoid crashes due to them using mixes of batches of parts oriented flat and parts oriented vertically which seems to be the way they are functioning right now, etc, and if they separated both in 2 different machines they would fix most of the problem ( and I hope Shapeways will listen to my proposals and apply them, see my other posts for the details ).

    *As for magazines, there is almost no one reading these anymore, i have stopped buying these 10 years ago and most magazine shops have now closed down. Now these days most people are reading online scale model forums instead.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  10. You might want to have a look at this thread first before wasting anymore time redesigning 100's of parts to fit the new crazy mold of Shapeways, but believe me your not gonna like what you'll see. Once you're done reading and past the heart attack come back and tell me if you still want people to waste hundreds of man hour of redesign only to end up with piles of expensively paid deformed crap as shown in the photos below...

    https://www.shapeways.com/forum/t/powder-appearing-on-fud-after-storage.68722/page-5

    https://www.shapeways.com/forum/t/powder-appearing-on-fud-after-storage.68722/


    Like another poster said, I don't like to be taken for a ride by SW.

    In any case, all that talk & hand wringing going on for 31 pages about how to redesign all your parts in endless attempts to try to reduce the dreaded price hike was actually all for naught, because given the crapulent blobs of crystal you will get in return, everyone will now realize this was all for nothing.

    Or perhaps not: there is still hope for SW as their pulverulent masses of crystallization would actually make good Christmas ornaments, they are already all in shape of stars.