Another 3D print company announces significant price increases, perhaps with a secret agenda.
Earlier this month we heard from Prusa Research, which explained the tremendous challenges in obtaining supplies and parts. This resulted in the company raising the prices of their two most popular 3D printers by a substantial amount.
Now another company has announced significant price increases: Stratasys. They explain:
“As macro impacts have continued to evolve and despite our efforts, Stratasys, unfortunately, is not immune to the rising costs in raw materials, labor, and logistics. And while we have worked diligently to combat global trends with operational and procurement initiatives as well as absorbing cost increases in many areas, we are announcing that we must increase our prices July 1, 2022.”
The price increases from Stratasys are primarily for the company’s proprietary materials that must be used in their systems, as well as “nominal increase on freight charges.”
Stratasys is increasing the price of FDM and PolyJet materials for currently marketed systems by five percent.
For materials used by “legacy” products like their Fortus Classic, Dimension, F250, uPrint, Mojo, PolyJet Desktop, J7 Series, Eden/Connex and Objet 1000, the price rise is ten percent, twice that of materials for their current systems.
I completely understand the need to increase costs, as prices for everything has risen. In particular, shipping container costs are way up, and this would affect their delivery of components or raw materials.
However, I don’t quite understand why legacy materials take double the price increase. The materials inside the cartridges and canisters are literally the same as those of current products in many cases, with only the packaging being different.
Could it be that Stratasys is incurring more price increases for legacy materials containers? Are they in such small volumes that the price of producing them is increasing at a greater rate?
I think not, since Stratasys has long had a recycling program where empty canisters and cartridges can be returned to the company, presumably for reuse. As many of their clients have shifted to current products, it’s likely they have mountains of empty legacy canisters in the back of their HQ somewhere.
The more likely scenario is that they may be trying to encourage legacy equipment operators to migrate to current equipment by raising the prices of the legacy materials.
Stratasys materials are not inexpensive, and even percentage increases will be notable for legacy equipment operators.
Will this price change actually cause migration to new systems? It’s possible. Years ago Stratasys equipment was quite expensive, and thus operators might lease or depreciate the acquisition costs over many years, perhaps even ten years. While that may sound crazy to those operating inexpensive desktop machines, it makes great financial sense for companies that extensively use 3D printers.
It may be that many of these legacy devices are at or beyond their lease or depreciation period and Stratasys’ price change may gently push operators over the edge to consider replacing their aging gear.
Then the question becomes, if an operator of legacy Stratays equipment wants to upgrade, do they upgrade with Stratasys equipment or machines from another provider? Stratasys better have a strategy for that scenario.