After our recent story on Simplify3D’s upgrade plans, we received some additional clarifications from the company.
The issue — if indeed there even is an issue — is that some 3D printer operators are fearing the thought of paying for their first upgrade to the popular third party 3D print slicing system. Up to now, all upgrades to the product have been provided by Simplify3D at no additional charge.
But these fears are, in our opinion, groundless at this point because we don’t know two critical things: the price of the upgrade, and the value of the upgrade. It’s pointless to fret about this issue (or non-issue) until we know those things.
However, Simplify3D is hinting that their next release, V5, will be a “massive change”, so it could be that the price may be the key unknown.
Simplify3D reached out to us with some clarifications regarding their upgrade pricing policy. We were actually wondering these same questions, so their response is quite timely.
Question: If a customer has recently bought the software do they have to pay again for Version 5.0?
Simpilfy3D Response: “Simplify3D provides 1 year of free software updates along with a license purchase. This means that if they purchased the software now, they would still be able to upgrade to any version released within the next 12 months for free.”
Simplify3D refers to their FAQ on their support page as a reference to this matter which states:
“Simplify3D includes 1 year of free software upgrades along with your license purchase. This means that if you purchase the software now, you can still upgrade to any new version that is released within the next 12 months.
After that time, there may be a small upgrade fee required to continue receiving the latest updates and support. Information about features and pricing will be provided in advance so that you can make decisions about upgrade needs.”
That clears the air for new clients of Simplify3D, but what about everyone else?
Question: If a customer bought a Simplify3D license over 12 months ago, do they have to pay again?
Simpilfy3D Response: “Version 5 will be a massive update to our product, so there will be a small upgrade fee required to upgrade to this new version. If they have already purchased a Simplify3D license in the past, they will not need to buy a full license again, there will only be a small upgrade fee required. We will be providing more information about features and upgrade pricing later in the year as the release gets closer.
We also have more updates planned for Version 4 which we are working on at the same time. They can continue receiving updates to Version 4, and can keep using that version, even if they do not wish to upgrade to Version 5.”
Yes, there are many in the 3D print community that might be upset by the perception of a price on something they’ve become accustomed to getting for free. Not here, though, as we’re getting increasingly interested in finding out exactly what Simplify3D will include in this new “massive update”.