Whoo Hoo & Boo Hoo

Discussion in 'My Shapeways Order Arrived' started by Dotsan, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Dotsan
    Dotsan Well-Known Member
    Having worked on many models for Shapeways customers over the years, I developed an understanding of good design unique to 3D printing. I came up with an idea that ticket all the boxes in terms of aesthetic, size and cost. I knew it would be challenging and push Shapeways to their limits. They always seem to be partying and enjoying themselves so I thought I'd make them work for their money; I did and I nearly broke them :laughing:

    The design I came up with is a classic majestic Stag Head, inspired by the work of Matthew Plummer-Fernandez originaly it was a modeling and rendering exercise in Rhino 3D and Maxwell Render which I've posted on Society 6.

    3D Stag by Dot San, on Flickr

    I Knew a solid design would cost a fortune to 3D print because of the amount of material needed. I created a triangulated mesh which dramatically reduced the cost and it hit the sweet spot for a beautiful design, the largest size possible to print and at the lowest cost. The large model was 57.56cm w x 30.0cm d x 32.04cm h, the cost was coming in at an amazing 25 Euro without VAT & Shipping.

    Stag Wire 2 by Dot San, on Flickr

    I placed an order with Shapeways, some time had passed, its fragility was causing problems during the cleaning process but was told a good one would be sent, which it was and WOW what a big box. So if I was ever going to make a video of unboxing prints I had to make it of this one.

    Unpacking video

    (would like to know how to embed a video on to this forum)

    Fantastic care was taken with packaging which I managed to recycle. I was very impressed with the results and Shapeways did a fantastic job. The models look fantastic on a wall and the smaller ones also work well as hanging ornaments.

    So the video was done and I took a few pictures and uploaded the models to my shop:
    Small Stag Head
    Large Stag Head

    Large Stag2 by Dot San, on Flickr

    3 small stags b by Dot San, on Flickr

    As soon as I uploaded them the orders started to come in and I thought to myself happy days, let the good times roll. In the back of my mind and through experience I felt it was too good to be true and yep I was right, although Shapeways loved the design I was told the large Stag Head would kill them if it became popular which it did The size meant it did not fit in with the pricing structure, automated processes and require additional man hours, basically it was not feasible to produce even if the wire diameter was increased to strengthen it. I sadly had to unlist the large Stag Head from sale and disappoint a lot potential customers.

    The conclusion is to avoid future dissapointment, Shapeways has to be clear on the largest models it is willing to print not what the maximum printing box size is as this is misleading. I hope I've given some food for thought, it's crap when your creativity is restricted but design relishes in challenges so lets see what I can come up with next?

    Expertise: Models created, checked, repaired, shelled and colored
    Experience: 10yrs+
    Rate:Fixed rate,no two jobs are the same,email to discuss

    Shapeways reviews
    Dot San Website
    Dot San on Flickr
    Shapeways Interview
    Society 6

    Your ideas modeled and checked for 3D Printing by Dot San by Dot San, on Flickr
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  2. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    Great work, but I am guessing you already knew this was not quite fair when you saw the 25 euros.
    Perhaps shapeways should stock up on tear-damp "never do this again" notes to include in such
    parcels, to avoid confusion between what is technically possible as a one-off piece and what is
    acceptable as a recurring sales item ?
  3. Dotsan
    Dotsan Well-Known Member
    I did think it was too good to be true and I was proved right.
  4. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    I understand your frustration (sometimes I am daydreaming about using an entire printer frame for one of my zeolite models - a madman's
    jungle gym built from zillions of corner-sharing 4mm wide tetrahedra). In the video, the large stag head looks so fragile that I wonder how
    many of your prospective buyers would have ended up breaking it during unpacking.
    If you would make the wires thicker, say 2 to 3 mm, it would probably still not be out of proportion, the model should be much more robust
    and a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation puts it price somewhere in the 200-300 euro range, possibly more acceptable for shapeways
    and not completely out of reach for at least some design aficionados ?
  5. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    1mm is below what SW rules say about walls, for 570mm the minimum is 3.42mm.
  6. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Well-Known Member
  7. Piers
    Piers Member
    Very stunning design. good job
  8. rangio
    rangio Member
    that's an interesting story. actually your design is so huge I think people would buy it even if it would cost 4times as before.
    it's a smokin' good design. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  9. Dotsan
    Dotsan Well-Known Member
    More boo hoo, since the introduction of tumbling all colours, have had to regrettably remove the colour option for all the sizes. This is a shame as I think there will be many refined designs that were available before and won't be now. I suppose it is in the nature of the beast of a technology company changing as it grows, experimenting and learning but ruddy annoying if you are the designer and have to redesign your models every time a new material or process is introduced, I can't see this stopping?
  10. macouno
    macouno Member
    Yeah that's what we get for wanting to use an innovative technology.

    I'm sure at some point it will stabilize a bit, but I expect it'll take a couple years yet. In the mean time lets hope it just makes our stuff more exclusive ;)
  11. Dotsan
    Dotsan Well-Known Member
  12. duann
    duann Member
    that is SO awesome...