Buy Materials, Get Free Printer? It’s Really Happened!

A free 3D printer from XYZprinting? 

A free 3D printer from XYZprinting? 

XYZprinting is apparently offering a free 3D printer - if you buy some materials. 

The deal is the first of its kind I’ve seen: you are to purchase 12 filament spools and you’ll receive an entirely free, functional desktop 3D printer. The unit in question is their Da Vinci 1.0 (Blue) model. 

The filaments to be acquired are either a box of 12 PLA spools or a box of 12 ABS spools. No mixing! But you are allowed to pick colors, as you can see in their rather fun selection panel.  The PLA panel offers only five colors, however. 

Picking colors of filament to get a free 3D printer

Picking colors of filament to get a free 3D printer

The price of this deal is USD$335.40 for the filaments, plus you get the USD$500 3D printer thrown in at no charge. 

Let’s do some arithmetic to see how this works. 

XYZprinting normally sells 600g spools for about USD$27.95 each. For 12 of them, that would normally cost you USD$335.40, the exact same price as their special deal. So, this proves they are not raising the price irregularly, and the machine is indeed being provided at no charge. 

The original Da Vinci 1.0 desktop 3D printer, as seen in 2014

The original Da Vinci 1.0 desktop 3D printer, as seen in 2014

The Da Vinci 1.0 is their very first model that we observed in 2014 when the company burst upon the then-exploding consumer 3D printing market. At that time, few would have guessed the Taiwan-based company would sell so many units and be one of the dominant players in the space only a few years later. 

But I think that’s what’s going on here: the Da Vinci 1.0 is an old machine. It’s over three years old design-wise and since that time the company (and others) have introduced literally hundreds of newer designs. 

It may be that XYZprinting is at the point where they wish to clear out their inventory of this machine to make room for newer models. 

This makes double sense when you realize that the machine requires proprietary materials cartridges: anyone “buying” the zero cost device will find they are also committing to buying additional cartridges in the future, only from XYZprinting. But then again, you must buy materials for ANY 3D printer, free or not, and XYZprinting’s price per kg is not terribly out of line in any case. 

Nevertheless, this is the first case of the “give you the razor and you buy the blades” marketing I’ve seen in the world of 3D printing. 

Given the cost of materials from some vendors, I’m surprised more companies don’t do this, particularly those with more expensive units. 

Via XYZprinting

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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