Popular 3D print service i.materialise has thrown out their complex shipping calculations and replaced it with a ridiculously simple flat rate.
No, there isn’t “one single fee”, but rather there are fees for different regions. For example, they say ALL shipments to Asia are now €19.95 (USD$21.70), to Canada are €19.50 (USD$21.25) or to EU locations are either €9.50 (USD$10.30) or €13.50 (USD$14.70) for express delivery.
Previously shipping rates were calculated by an algorithm that used print volume and weight, as well as destination. Now it’s only the destination that matters.
We like this approach because of one reason: it’s simple. If there’s one thing the 3D printing industry could use a lot more of, it’s simplicity.
Complexity has been one of the long-standing barriers to growth in the industry, and that complexity appears in all dimensions. It may be in the software, a machine’s control panel, the operational instructions, the material selection options, the 3D design, or any number of other things.
Simplifying pricing is not going to solve all of those things. But it is making the world of 3D printing just a slight bit less complex.
If more companies took this approach to more aspects of their operations, we would expect the 3D printing industry to grow faster than it is today.
Simple always wins.