Minnesota-based Afinia has abruptly dropped the price of their former flagship 3D printer, the H480 by almost 40%. But why?
The company has been selling 3D printers, primarily to the education market, for some years now. Starting in 2012, the company has sold a variety of 3D printers and scanners.
Now they’ve lowered the price of the H480 from USD$1,299 to only USD$799, a drop of 38.5%.
Whenever a substantial drop occurs, it is a signal that something might be going on. In this case, I think it’s a combination of factors.
First, the company has now designated the new H800 machine as their flagship machine, priced at a much larger USD$1,899, more than USD$1,000 more than the newly priced H480. However, the H800 has substantially more features than the H480 and the value is there. It’s faster, fully enclosed for reliability, easy-loading, includes automatic calibration and even has a filtration system to make the system a lot safer.
Most of those features aren’t available on the H480, so Afinia had to re-price it proportionally to the H800.
Another factor is competition: recently there have been multiple new inexpensive 3D printers that are quite capable, yet have relatively low pricing. While most of these competitors might have comparable equipment capabilities to the H480, they mostly do not have the educational focus that Afinia provides.
Thus, this move may be a way for Afinia to protect their educational market by providing a low cost alternative – that comes with educational features.
Finally, there is a different kind of competition facing Afinia: their main supplier, Tiertime, manufactures the machines on Afinia’s behalf. Their UP BOX is the basis for the H800 and its presence in the market may have caused Afinia to match pricing.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding this re-pricing action, it’s all good for buyers of 3D printers. The lower the prices on quality equipment, the better.