Sculpteo announced a new “48 hour” shipping policy that could change people’s minds about using 3D print services.
Specifically, they now offer a “Fast Mode” for shipping of 3D printed objects in which they’re guaranteeing shipment within 48 hours of receiving the print request - or your money back! Here’s the full explanation:
Online 3D printing and additive manufacturing leader Sculpteo today announced a new rush service called Fast Mode that guarantees 3D printed parts will be shipped within 48 hours of ordering. Sculpteo’s Fast Mode service comes with a money back guarantee that refunds the cost of the part if it is not shipped within 48 hours. Fast Mode is available on non-polished white plastic parts only.
Why is this so important? It’s because it addresses what I believe to be the biggest concern of those considering using a 3D print service: when will I get my part?
For some, the answer to this question may resolve a decision to buy a printer or use a service. If you have your own printer, you can more-or-less guarantee the delivery time of a print request, but for a service you are at their mercy.
Until the introduction of Sculpteo’s 48-hour Fast Mode, that is.
I cannot tell you how many people I’ve spoken with who have complained about lengthy delivery times. Some cite multi-week delays, even from well-known services. Some actively seek other partners who can deliver the goods on a more rapid basis, even if it involves shipping prints across oceans and continents.
It’s all about the time to deliver, for many people.
However, for Sculpteo and any other 3D print services wishing to speed up printing, it is a costly step, as they must add printing capacity to handle Fast Mode requests. If they were previously running their machines 24 hours a day, now they must allow some slack space to accommodate immediate requests, and that lowers the hourly revenue generated by the machines slightly.
Therefore, the Fast Mode will cost you a bit more, but for those requiring speedy prints, it will certainly be worth the extra cost.
But how much more? It turns out not that much, actually. In Sculpteo’s example, a 41mm object is priced at USD$8.62, but this rises to USD$12.91 if requesting Fast Mode, or as they say, “Express Production”.
I expect the other 3D print services to step up and offer similar speedy premium services, too.