Shapeways

Discussion in 'Plastic products' started by Andy_Sollis, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    Many if you will by now know that I have been producing 3D Models in 4mm and 7mm and the odd 2mm item. For the last three years I have been very happy using Shapeways to produce my items in two different materials.

    End of last year, they did a price restructure.

    I will be leaving my shop open with them, but I think I will be looking at future items else where... why? We’ll see why below... this is 4x 4mm palletts, which to be fair, are not much bigger than your thumb nail! But look at what they want to charge me before postage (note it is on euros!)

    C7F81557-448D-4D95-948B-101889567B25.png

    Now to me, I would say they are in a business where the machines they are using will be getting better with detail and probably coming down in their cost and materials, but frankly, that is just a silly price that I nor anyone else in a right mind would pay.!

    I wonder how many other customers are now thinking about walking else where.??

    Btw, it’s £27.49 before you ask! I won’t be putting them for sale in my shop :mad:
     
  2. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Wow,

    They have taken leave of their senses I think. As nice as the items look, surely somebody there must view the product and do a sense check before charging these prices. It doesn't make sense.

    There will be other means of getting your products to market Andy. It may just take a bit of clever thinking. Don't lose heart and keep producing your designs whilst a sensible solution is being sought.

    A bunch of jokers I think

    Toto
     
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  3. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Now that I think about it, the way to go may be to get 3 or 4 folks together who dabble in your black art and try and work out some kind of collaborative production method. Sharing production costs somehow.

    If folks don't have a big enough range of stuff to justify buying a reasonable spec of machine, club in, share designs and share the profits. There must be a way that it could work. Just needs a bit thought...... some kind of cooperative.

    Toto
     
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  4. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    This is true. A pal of mine from work has just retired. He’s wondering what to do with himself. He’s done tech graphics in the past... so I think he may look at something like this, but think he is looking at Aircraft parts.
     
  5. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    That may not be a blocker necessarily ..... it's all about sharing production and overhead costs. It maybe would help if the subject matter tied in though as you could actually product share as well. ...... Just throwing some ideas out there and trying to think out of the box a bit.

    Toto
     
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  6. SBt

    SBt Full Member

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    I used Shapeways on behalf of a client last year and agree they were expensive. I haven't seen the actual results but from what I have seen the 3d Resin printing Paul's doing is just as good if not better.
     
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  7. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    And ....... if enough people were going through him ...... The economies of scale would be there. Don't want to speak out of turn on behalf of Paul but I know he has a little hankering for a project like this but it's time ....... he's holding out for his retirement package . It may just be a ,matter of time.

    Worth thinking about ...... after he's done mine ...... :avatar:

    Toto
     
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  8. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    How many machines is he going to have? And postage and packing dept.

    I recon he needs around 4 machines and 2 packers minimum. :avatar:
     
  9. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    And that will do the weekend shift ...... :avatar:
     
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  10. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    In seriousness, subject to what model we may be printing and size and time to print, there may well be a need for more than one printer. I’m not sure how we could do this.... :scratchchin:
     
  11. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    I believe your product designs are good. The issue is the print time factor due to the size / complexity of the individual pieces. It maybe that the 3D printer is more suited to smaller parts ( say windows And doors etc ) and another medium needs to be considered for other products. Plywood, brass , whatever. The same designs could maybe be used but the medium changes.

    Paul is talking about dabbling in plywood / MDF boxes and baseboard sections as well as 3D printing, white metal casting. Etc etc. Each will have their own place but it means a wider and varied portfolio which as a whole creates a worthwhile combined product range.

    I think 3D printing is still in its infancy and the bigger / faster machines required to deliver suitable cost effective outputs are still to reach the price tags of most. Fine for small or one off products but not for quick mass produced lines. I may be wrong.

    The thing is ..... Don't give up on your ideas, just look at them in another light.

    That said .... multiple machines doing a well thought out run of specific projects in a specific order / quantity, could very well work. I'd say it's worth further consideration.

    Toto
     
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  12. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    The current technology level of 3D printing is similar to how digital camera technology was twenty years ago, when I first saw a digital photograph in 1997 ... strangely it was a colour picture of NSR No 2 and pinned to the notice board in the mess room at Cheddleton, my immediate impression what a poor quality capture. The picture was highly pixelated and looked harsh, not a development in photography when compared to a good SLR was my opinion, right now this is where economical large scale 3D printing is at, however having said that waiting until production cost comes down and the end quality equals that of an object produced from a good mould cast from a master then everyone will be at it. So Andy my advice is create the designs and get them copyrighted, research differing production methods and start making stuff which may not necessarily rely on high tech systems. the one great thing in your favour is that Shapeways are pricing themselves out of a regular marketplace.
     
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  13. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    mmmmmmm ..... the mind boggles, The print times are the main draw back, however with decent scheduling it can be overcome, as long as there is enough resin then they can be pretty well ignored during the print process. Some of the dearer resin printers have large reservoir tanks to avoid that issue, but I could probably buy 4 or 5 of my printers for the same price.

    I'm well impressed with the quality of Andy and Steve's £D models and the detail that can be achieved with the 3d resin printing, a bigger print area would be nice, but only if the price remains comparable. Just means I have to learn to make assemblies :whatever:

    I like the look of the laser printers, and can see it being very useful - providing I can learn to design the models, and having the wee cnc / engraver means I can practice on smaller models before venturing to the real thing.

    Rather than go down the full blown business route at the moment, I think I would design and build items I want, hence the HR Passenger Tank, and if they turned out good enough then maybe make them for others who are interested, especially as the boss wants to enjoy some of my retirement, and I don't think that quite includes spending all day working on models - ach we'll bring her round :avatar:

    Paul
     
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  14. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    A few years ago Model Rail mag featured a colliery layout in 7mm with a scratch built head stocks with Shapeways wheels and a link to them. I chased it up as I quite fancy'd building some thing similar. £70 for 1! Just the wheels! I soon knocked that idea in the head.

    Pete.
     
  15. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    I must say that some of the stuff on Shapeways does look interesting, but there are wild variations in prices between items, sometimes even from the same vendor. The Furness Railway seems particularly well served (thinks.... a few of those FR 4-4-0s look rather like Glasgow and South Western locomotives.....)
     
  16. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    At he moment theybhave admitted on emails to all shop owners there is an issue with the repricing of the (what was known as) Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD) plastic so they have held the prices.

    I think what they have done so it’s not making them a loss is put a minimum fee on a size, so it your item is under you may pay the same...

    However, these 4 palletts nearly come out at the same price I have for a small OO building, which makes it just as laughable.

    There are some great products on there still at some great prices. Makes me think the seller is making absolutely nothing from it though.
     
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  17. Mr Porter

    Mr Porter Failure is always an option. Full Member

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  18. Gary

    Gary Currently Unemployed ! Staff Member Administrator

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  19. ed

    ed Full Member

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    Think I'd rather have 24 wooden pallets at £5.5 than 1 plastic one for £6.50.

    I've recently bought a Bachmann Skarloey (more on that on another thread) and wanted to replace the face with a normal smoke box door.

    The only one I could find on Shapeways was £5.30, plus £6.42 shipping.

    Bit exorbitant for a piece of plastic smaller than a 5 pence piece!

    I got one from cwrailways.com for £1 plus £2.65 postage.

    Obviously it pays to search around.


    Ed
     
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  20. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    Difference is CW Railway is UK and Shapeways are in Holland I think.
     

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