A while back the Shapeways 3D Print service toyed with Gold Plating on stainless steel printed models. Evidently this trial was successful, as they have now announced a new, permanently available material: Gold Plated Stainless Steel.
This sounds great, as we previously postulated that a ton (well, maybe not an *actual* ton, but lots anyway) of imaginative jewelry would be printed. Now aspiring 3D jewellers will have to contend with a new pricing structure for gold:
0cm³ < to ≤1cm³ = Min. price $201cm³ < to ≤ 5cm³ = $11/cm³5cm³ < to ≤ 10cm³ = $10/cm³> 10cm³ = $9/cm³
That's pretty clear, no? There are several ways to price gold plating, and Shapeways had to decide on a method that is both easy to understand but provides the optimum pricing. The price should go down as more gold is used, since the gold - a fixed cost - increases, while the labor expended by a goggled gold dipper is about the same per unit. We think the scheme is reasonable, although the gold used is proportional to the model's surface area, not its volume - and some models could indeed be pathological in this respect.
Some in the Shapeways community were confused by the new pricing in the announcement's comments:
fx2: I thought one of the Shapeways goals was to have a self explaining pricing modelWhystler: the accuracy of how it reflects the amount of work that goes into a gold model compared to a stainless model is not so clear.
Readers were seemingly confused by the scheme which probably should read like this:
- from 0cm³ < to ≤1cm³ = Min. price $20
- plus any additional 1cm³ < to ≤ 5cm³ @ $11/cm³
- plus any additional 5cm³ < to ≤ 10cm³ @ $10/cm³
- plus any additional cm³ over 10cm³ @ $9/cm³
We're quite happy with this pricing. And also that we managed to use "Gold Dipper" in a post.