There are many hurdles that need to be overcome in order to speed up the mass adoption of 3D printing. One is software accessibility, and trinckle 3D, a German online 3D printing platform, began to address that last year by implementing an easy-to-use online interface with automatic file repair. Another one is pricing and the company is addressing that now, by launching their MeltWerk 3D printing service and offering white nylon (PA12) SLS 3D printing with a minimum price guarantee and the promise of savings up to 85%.
“3D printing promises to be the liberalization of manufacturing,” Florian Reichle, Trinckle 3D’s CEO stated. “But with desktop 3D printers and regular 3D printing services still being expensive and complicated to use, this isn’t true for most of us just yet. With MeltWerk, we want to deliver on that promise. We want to make 3D printing affordable for everyone.”
The low price guarantee offer states that MeltWerk will refund its customers the difference, plus 1%, if they find a better offer from a competing service. The way the company is able to implement this aggressive commercial strategy, without sacrificing quality, is by focusing on one material: white nylon, which can satisfy 90% of its customers’ requests. At the same time, Florian explained that the production process was streamlined (that word is coming up a lot lately) by using a complex automation software developed by trinckle 3D’s team.
One aspect to consider is that some 3D printing services – or the shops, both online and physical – that have entered the market between the end of 2012 and mid-2013 that have leveraged other services that owned plastic SLS systems are now close to having concluded the machine’s amortization and that means that they can implement more aggressive pricing policies, especially since their overhead is altogether more contained than that of large 3D printing companies.
This means that, while on the one hand, we are seeing the development of low cost laser sintering systems.
On the other hand, the price of professional laser sintering – especially through online platforms – is coming down considerably. This must also be combined with the fact that more people are becoming aware of the technology and finding ways to exploit it to give a physical form to their creative ideas. If this is not a creative avalanche yet, MeltWerk’s 85% price reduction might just give it the last, necessary, little push.