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cal.n

Shapeways Price Change (Increase)

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Unsurprisingly Ive had questions skirted around in the forums.  

They say there will now be two speeds of orders, standard (new) and economy (current).  However I wanted to know if their "standard" offering will be comparable to current "normal" and theyll be charging customers more for the same level of service  rather than lowering costs in the economy option.  

No definitive answer from the reply.  

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I want to know what minimum price they're setting for prints. Most of my products are parts sprued in small quantities to keep the print price down. I may have to go back and change all that if they're setting a floor of, say, €10.

 

EDIT: I see from the Shapeways forum that a price-floor of $7.50 (£5.78 at current exchange) is suggested but not yet confirmed. That stuffs up most of my products. Of course, if they jack up the rest of the pricing algorithm, then all my prints will be above minimum anyway.

Edited by Guy Rixon

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The lack of information actually given out is dsturbing, and hopefully they have learned from the shambles when they adjusted prices last time.

Minimum prices , I can see their point, but I wonder if they have actually looked at what is on their database, as I suspect there are far more lower cost items than higher ones.

Using terms such as 'grandfathering' suggests they are more into terminology than reality, and should actually be saying whether they plan to put prices up or not. I see nothing wrong in putting up base price for everything , but this proposal sounds clumsy and ill thought out.

They say that one justification is that it costs as much to process small items as bigger ones, but that is why they have a value they add to overall cost for each part. Seconly they can pack far more smaller items into a machine than a few lrger ones. It is noticable how much quicker smaller items get started as it is easier to fit them in.

 

Speed of orders. Hang on they used to have a two tier version of that, but they dropped in this year. I actually liked it, but they claimed it wasn't being used.

 

There have been a lot of comments about their new website, it has obviously been modified in a very clumsy way. I keep finding references to features no longer present. The latest was on a help page still referring to blue colour used , which is actually now pink/red! Fix thse faults before introducing even more problems.

Edited by rue_d_etropal

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The lack of information actually given out is dsturbing, and hopefully they have learned from the shambles when they adjusted prices last time.

Minimum prices , I can see their point, but I wonder if they have actually looked at what is on their database, as I suspect there are far more lower cost items than higher ones.

Using terms such as 'grandfathering' suggests they are more into terminology than reality, and should actually be saying whether they plan to put prices up or not. I see nothing wrong in putting up base price for everything , but this proposal sounds clumsy and ill thought out.

They say that one justification is that it costs as much to process small items as bigger ones, but that is why they have a value they add to overall cost for each part. Seconly they can pack far more smaller items into a machine than a few lrger ones. It is noticable how much quicker smaller items get started as it is easier to fit them in.

 

Speed of orders. Hang on they used to have a two tier version of that, but they dropped in this year. I actually liked it, but they claimed it wasn't being used.

 

There have been a lot of comments about their new website, it has obviously been modified in a very clumsy way. I keep finding references to features no longer present. The latest was on a help page still referring to blue colour used , which is actually now pink/red! Fix thse faults before introducing even more problems.

On the forum today, its been stated they can not disclose pricing structures and will not in the future.  Because hiding it away until the users discover it through testing certainly doesnt breed distrust.  

 

This whole thing is a mess.  Theyre trying to nickel and dime customers for the same level of service and quality.  ShapeWAYS certainly doesnt seem long for this world at this rate.  

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Looking at the forum, and for me I don't think is as bad as it sounded, and that is the problem. A badly worded  newsletter is not the best way to do business. It seems to be mainly those who produce sprues of small parts who might lose out, but the odd one I have done draws in the bits so as little space is wasted.

The delivery time change, as I have already mentioned is something they had for a while up to early this year, but dropped it, possibly at same time they started to change a few things.

Delivery and processing time has reduced over past couple of years, quite a bit  for UK customers. One trick I use, if I don't want any extra delay  was to order mid week, and then the weekend did not delay processing or delivery. Not sure if I am correct, but it does look like not much happens at weekends, although that just might be chance. Certainly no pickup and delivery by UPS at weekends(or any holidays).

 

 

They say they won't be changing price of existing items. I wonder if that is because of what happened last time, and they don't know how to update everyone's add on price correctly.

It will be interesting to do a parallel pricing test after 22nd, on two items the same, to see if price does change. On the whole, what I am designing now is not small items, so hopefully it should not do any harm to my shop. Mind you, if a rumour gets started that prices might be going up could result in a lot of people putting in orders now.

 

What does concern me is mis-information, and the damage that can do. I don't tend to go on the SW forum that often, but did do so this time, and did not find it as negative as it was made out to be. 

Edited by rue_d_etropal
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They say they won't be changing price of existing items. I wonder if that is because of what happened last time, and they don't know how to update everyone's add on price correctly.

This means nothing to me, if they cancel orders as they sometimes do for silly things or if we update our models because of a cancellation or improvement embarked upon they will be 'new' models so will likely be subject to the new structure. One wonders if we will see a series of cancellations just to put them in the new categories! Maybe that is too pessemistic.

 

Will have to wait and see, can't say I'm feeling fluffy though. :-/

Edited by Knuckles

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This means nothing to me, if they cancel orders as they sometimes do for silly things or if we update our models because of a cancellation or improvement embarked upon they will be 'new' models so will likely be subject to the new structure. One wonders if we will see a series of cancellations just to put them in the new categories! Maybe that is too pessemistic.

 

Will have to wait and see, can't say I'm feeling fluffy though. :-/

Last time they simply changed their base prices, not taking any account of the add on value, so in many cases those were wiped out and we had to update a lot of items.In effect the overall price was simply not being updated. There does now seem to be an auto update adjust mechanism in place now.If you update an item, I have noticed add on value gets adjusted in line with update .

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They've finally revealed the minimum prices.  For fine detail plastic, it's $7.50 per part. For versatile plastic its from $5 to $11 per part depending on the degree of processing of the order. The proce floor presumably applied to the base price before designer's mark-up; they have stated this explicitly, but it's the only approach that makes any sense. 

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They've finally revealed the minimum prices.  For fine detail plastic, it's $7.50 per part. For versatile plastic its from $5 to $11 per part depending on the degree of processing of the order. The proce floor presumably applied to the base price before designer's mark-up; they have stated this explicitly, but it's the only approach that makes any sense. 

So its the outright death for many smaller scale sellers unless its an item which is worthwhile sprueing many together.  

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So its the outright death for many smaller scale sellers unless its an item which is worthwhile sprueing many together.  

 

True. However, the existing prices include a per-part handling-charge of about $2.50, so it's already necessary to sell sprues to get a sensible price per item. The latest change just increases the number of items on the sprue.

 

I understand why they've done this - they make a loss on very cheap prints because of their labour costs. I find it a little odd that they didn't just increase the per-part charge to cover (more of) their costs. 

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Annoyingly for my range, there's a fair few smaller parts which I'd left out deliberately that I will probably now need to include into the models, another round of tweaks to files and products.

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some of my smaller items will need to be looked at. One thing I will repeat, is that it might be a good time to let people know some prices will be going up so a good idea to buy now.

 

I suspect some of the increases are being cross subsidised by upping some of the prices on basic items. I assume they set the original price per part at a viable value, and cost of materials at a viable price, but it seems they were not recouping cost of the extras such as polishing  and colouring, neither of which I use or offer.

One problem with sprues(just had to do a load of mods because SW said they were not thick enough!)  is that if you attach them to a thin fragile part of your design, then that becomes a bigger weak point. I will look at stringing some items together, assuming they still allow that. Even if they print OK, it would be difficult to separate some detailed parts from a thick and clumsy sprue..

Edited by rue_d_etropal

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They've made another price change, this one already in force and unannounced. Remember when, about two years ago, they told us to make detail-plastic prints short in the z-axis to save money? Not any more.

 

post-22875-0-24698900-1539764394_thumb.pngpost-22875-0-12227500-1539764375_thumb.png

 

I've been printing about the flattest things one can imagine and lo! they are cheapest when stood on end for maximum extent in z.

 

This means that all long-wide parts printed detail-side up for quality are now made much more expensive. That's my entire projected range of wagon and coach kits, which will probably now not be worth producing. Gee, thanks, Shapeways; great way to drive away customers.

 

Does anybody know of another print bureau which offers a similar service (i.e. selling prints to third parties without the designer being in the supply loop) and which can print fine details in resin? I would consider moving my business.

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They've made another price change, this one already in force and unannounced. Remember when, about two years ago, they told us to make detail-plastic prints short in the z-axis to save money? Not any more.

 

attachicon.gifScreen Shot 2018-10-17 at 09.13.58.pngattachicon.gifScreen Shot 2018-10-17 at 09.15.03.png

 

I've been printing about the flattest things one can imagine and lo! they are cheapest when stood on end for maximum extent in z.

 

This means that all long-wide parts printed detail-side up for quality are now made much more expensive. That's my entire projected range of wagon and coach kits, which will probably now not be worth producing. Gee, thanks, Shapeways; great way to drive away customers.

 

Does anybody know of another print bureau which offers a similar service (i.e. selling prints to third parties without the designer being in the supply loop) and which can print fine details in resin? I would consider moving my business.

Sounds like they are trying to pack more prints on one print bed. I can understand their view point, even if it might cause some a problem.

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Yes, but they've exactly reversed the pricing bias of 2016 without telling anybody. That's not OK.

 

For my long-flat wagon-baseplates, it doesn't matter which way round they print them. Surface finish is not so important and they're only printed in detail plastic so that they can be very thin. It would be handy to have an option for "print it whichever way fits best in the tray, but at a discount".

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Shapeways has REALLY screwed up now.

Make unannounced changes which hurt sales and user experience, 'explain' that its for our own good, disclose the changes being made to try to save face in the wake of these mistakes, make MORE of the same mistakes and directly contradict things already said!

 

Also, no, AFAIK there are no similar companies.  Seems a trend, when a company has a monopoly on a niche market, they will consistently screw it up because there is no risk for loss.  

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I have been working on an SNCF coach project with a friend in France. He has designed the 3D printed parts and I have designed the brass parts. Now suddenly the delivered price of the 3d printed parts has increased by 50% for Smoothest fine detail plastic. Luckily I had held off on ordering the brass etches, because the whole project is no longer viable using Shapeways.

 

Just looked at a couple of my own items and they have gone up by 23% on Black natural versatile plastic.

 

 

EDIT: I cannot now replicate these prices which I had on screen earlier in the week, so I am unsure what the future prices are now.

Edited by mikeharvey22

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I have been working on an SNCF coach project with a friend in France. He has designed the 3D printed parts and I have designed the brass parts. Now suddenly the delivered price of the 3d printed parts has increased by 50% for Smoothest fine detail plastic. Luckily I had held off on ordering the brass etches, because the whole project is no longer viable using Shapeways.

 

Just looked at a couple of my own items and they have gone up by 23% on Black natural versatile plastic.

 

Already? The minimum-price hack isn't supposed to happen until 22nd October. Presumably you're seeing the previous changes to the algorithm that prices the machine space.

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Already? The minimum-price hack isn't supposed to happen until 22nd October. Presumably you're seeing the previous changes to the algorithm that prices the machine space.

 

No, I think it is because the shipping date is after 22 October. As I read it shipping date triggers the higher price.

 

 

 

 

 

EDIT: I cannot now replicate the prices which I had on screen earlier in the week, so I am unsure what the future prices are now.

Edited by mikeharvey22

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Shapeways has REALLY screwed up now.

Make unannounced changes which hurt sales and user experience, 'explain' that its for our own good, disclose the changes being made to try to save face in the wake of these mistakes, make MORE of the same mistakes and directly contradict things already said!

 

Also, no, AFAIK there are no similar companies.  Seems a trend, when a company has a monopoly on a niche market, they will consistently screw it up because there is no risk for loss.  

That des not sound deliberate, just inexperience and poor planning and management.

I think that part of the problem is that they are trying to do too much, and should concentrate on the core materials, which for modellers would be what used to be called WSF and FUD(and extreme version). Other companies have found similar problems and had to adjust prices. Until they had running smoothly, they did not know the full costs. Odd thing is I though that was sorted out, which suggests someone has come up with some new bright idea, and I suspect they don't know the consequences. Someone there seems to be more interested in experimenting rather than actually getting existing systems working properly.

Apart from someone actually taking a serious look at their database and website design, they should be looking at setting up more production units(or outsourcing production)in different countries in particular Australia/New Zealand. I also think there would be enough business with a production facity in Britain, or outsourcing work to other companies.

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I suspect that they make far more from jewellery than miniatures and would be more likely to drop detail plastic as a labour-intensive loss-maker. Conversely, the more open they are about pricing for FDP, the more we designers can help them make it pay.

 

I still think it's bonkers that they don't just say "it costs $x in labour to handle a FDP print" and make that the base price, to which they add materials costs and maybe some cost for the machine space. As things stand now, if they break even on small prints by applying the price floor, then they make a loss on big prints where the materials cost is significant. Why not have a price structure so they have a margin on all sizes of prints?

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I suspect that they make far more from jewellery than miniatures and would be more likely to drop detail plastic as a labour-intensive loss-maker. Conversely, the more open they are about pricing for FDP, the more we designers can help them make it pay.

 

I still think it's bonkers that they don't just say "it costs $x in labour to handle a FDP print" and make that the base price, to which they add materials costs and maybe some cost for the machine space. As things stand now, if they break even on small prints by applying the price floor, then they make a loss on big prints where the materials cost is significant. Why not have a price structure so they have a margin on all sizes of prints?

Because that requires more work than outsourcing website design to the lowest bidder and neglecting any of the engineering or business aspects to running a tech business. 

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If - hypothetically - they are defining their pricing model as "whatever the web designers find easy to code" then they are certainly stuffed and us with them. I hope it hasn't got that silly.

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Urm....when I said prices have dropped on my loco bodies in the FUD I did upload tests and recorded things with a pad.

 

Then, they changed things.

 

Looks like they changed their algorithm again. Looks like I made a fool out of myself for saying so.

 

*sigh*

 

What a joke.

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