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Thread: Changes in Shapeways Materials

  1. #1

    Default Changes in Shapeways Materials

    Shapeways is in the middle of a lot of changes:

    1. On the good side, the HP materials have finally been released for non-designers to buy. On the bad side, they left the price pegged at 2x WSF price, which is IMHO overcharging (why would the per-part price be double WSF, for instance?). We can only hope that they lower their prices as the volume picks up. They've renamed the HP materials "Professional Plastic". It still has great strength and durability (especially for larger models), but I was hoping the price would drop to somewhere in between WSF and FUD.
    2. They've renamed the Strong and Flexible materials (such as WSF -- White, Strong, and Flexible) to "Versatile Plastic".
    3. They've renamed FUD and FXD to "Fine Detail Plastic" ("smooth" and "smoothest").
    4. They've come out with a matte version of full-color sandstone, which is good for a small number of models (like ground units and scenery).
    5. They killed off Black Acrylate and a few other materials.
    6. They've removed all the equations and descriptions of how their pricing is done, which has a lot of designers concerned. (How can we design for good pricing if we don't know how things are priced?) It only took a few days before designers had put together models that allow you to reverse-engineer the pricing, though. :-)


    I haven't yet gone through all my models and checked for availability in the new materials -- that will be an exercise for the weekend. I expect it will take a while for most designers to catch up. Everywhere I used the terms "WSF" and "FUD" in the picture captions and product descriptions will need to be changed. *sigh*

  2. #2

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    They need to be careful about overcharging. Makes getting your own printer more reasonable. Sooner or later they will be out of business unless they get better detail on their printers and competitive pricing. Not good for you unless you develop a on line library that somehow can be used for printing things without losing control of your files so people can not steal them. Just allow them to pay a small fee to have access to your files on a monthly basis. Then concentrate on new files for 28 and 15mm WWII vehicles, and maybe 1/1200 or 1/2400 ships. Home 3D printing has the potential to seriously bite into wargame companies cash flow. May be why we are seeing things like no new card decks for WoG or the new vehicle cards for Flames of War. Expect companies to start doing things to make their product more desirable while trying to figure out how to get around Home 3D printing. Same for laser cut buildings and the like as prices on the printers get cheaper.

  3. #3

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    Interesting information! Thanks guys I met a friend at a local show, last weekend, who had recently purchased his own printer. Not sure if it was new or second hand, but he mentioned a cost figure of £200.00, if I remember correctly. He then showed us what he had produced with it, so far -a block of Roman infantry, in what looked like 6mm scale. Very simple, but effective. At the end of the day, I guess it depends on the skill of the designer and how technically difficult it is to produce more complicated items like aircraft. I can't, for example, see myself going down that route. Which still leaves me as a customer of your fantastic designs Daryl. Whether or not I am prepared to pay double, for models in the "Professional Plastic" category, remains to be seen. I'm inclined, at this stage, to stick to the "Versatile" and patiently apply PVA/water mix, over three days, before painting. There you go, a little bit of marketing research for you

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Interesting information! Thanks guys I met a friend at a local show, last weekend, who had recently purchased his own printer. Not sure if it was new or second hand, but he mentioned a cost figure of £200.00, if I remember correctly. He then showed us what he had produced with it, so far -a block of Roman infantry, in what looked like 6mm scale. Very simple, but effective. At the end of the day, I guess it depends on the skill of the designer and how technically difficult it is to produce more complicated items like aircraft. I can't, for example, see myself going down that route. Which still leaves me as a customer of your fantastic designs Daryl. Whether or not I am prepared to pay double, for models in the "Professional Plastic" category, remains to be seen. I'm inclined, at this stage, to stick to the "Versatile" and patiently apply PVA/water mix, over three days, before painting. There you go, a little bit of marketing research for you
    Current £200 home printers struggle with 1/144 and 1/200 aircraft due to supporting material - the Reggiane 2000 in the following thread didn't separate from it's support very well

    https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/sh...t-at-home-quot

    The 1/600 ships came out very well.

  5. #5

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    Has anyone tried the professional plastic yet?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Young Guard View Post
    Has anyone tried the professional plastic yet?
    I think it's a great material for larger models (based on my three test prints), where the added strength is really handy. I just wish they'd drop the price to closer to the (what was) WSF price. And if it were within spitting-distance to WSF I'd make it my preferred material for 1:144.

    If they don't eventually adjust their prices, their competitors will start to look attractive for that material. I've already started testing those waters; I'm not sure about any of the other 3D print designers.

  7. #7

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    Is it more detailed, less grainy than WSF? I'm torn between it and your 1/288 scale ones in FUD

  8. #8

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    See this thread (link) for some comparison photos. Nothing beats FUD/FXD for detail (I'm using the old names here), but it's also brittle. It's great for smaller scales and for models you don't think will see much abuse (such as ham-fisted gamers or tipped-over stands). The HP "Professional" plastics don't have that level of detail, but they're super-strong (and alas -- currently -- pretty expensive). The WSF material is cheap for 1:144 and holds up to light abuse, though it can be bent out of shape if placed under continuous stress, and it requires some good surface preparation before painting.



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