A new 3D print service claims to reduce the price of 3D prints by 85%. Is this true?
MeltWerk, a new 3D print service based in Berlin, says they can provide SLS prints at one sixth the price of normal 3D print services. Marketing Manager Robert Kock explains:
Today, we are extremely proud to announce the official launch of our 3D printing service MeltWerk. With prices just a sixth (85% less) of the competition’s prices, MeltWerk realizes 3D printing for the rest of us - finally ;) We are confident enough to have the best offer available. That’s why we’re also giving a Europe-wide best price guarantee. Please note that MeltWerk, for now, only ships to European countries.
This is a bold claim, so we decided to try it out. We used MeltWerk’s very easy to use quoting system, in which you simply drop a file on an icon. The system permits object re-sizing and specification of quantities - with an instantaneous price presented.
There’s no place to specify materials, though, as it appears MeltWerks provides only SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) processes with “high quality polyamide 12, classic white” material.
We used our handy test object to see if their claims are true.
The instantaneous quote showed a price of only €102.60 (USD$108.61) for our 125mm model. But is this 85% less expensive? We went to another popular SLS provider, Quickparts, a member of 3D Systems’ family of companies, to see what they might charge for the same object.
After converting from mm to inches, Quickparts provided a quote of USD$345 for the identical part in Nylon.
The MeltWerk quote in this case is in fact 68% less than Quickparts equivalent service. This is not 85%, but it seems conceivable MeltWerk could indeed hit 85% lower pricing in some situations. Regardless of the degree, their new service appears to be quick a bit less expensive.
We’re wondering how they can actually provide SLS service at such a low price. It’s likely they’ve heavily streamlined their workflow and stripped out many steps, leaving a very efficient process. This is perhaps why they provide only one type of material, for instance.
There is a catch: MeltWerk is currently only available in Europe. But as far as we can tell, what would stop them from sending prints elsewhere in the future? Or setting up a similarly efficient print services branch in other regions?
Nothing, so perhaps that’s what will happen.