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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Andrew Mazotta's interview with Shapeways

Andrew Mazotta recently visited Shapeways an had an interview with Bart Veldhuizen who, incidentally, was one of the people who bought Blender and released it free and open source. (By the way, I'm totally writing a book that's all about Blender.) So an all around good guy and awesome to have Andrew interview him.

I like Shapeways. I'm on Shapeways. I really appreciate what they're trying to do. But unfortunately I'm not thrilled with how much Shapeways costs. That's the reason I don't have more things on Shapeways. To bring cost down your things either need to be whispy thin or you need to plate 20 or 100 of them and then sell them yourself on etsy.  (It seems Shapeways has an initial base cost plus material, so to bring the overall cost down spread the initial base cost across more materials.) And then if something is the wrong size or anything there is no return policy because it's not like they can resell the item to someone else. Plus that initial cost deters first time designers from buying their own things so they don't discover that their models are too fragile to work.

Obviously Shapeways has found it's niche with some people willing to spend $15 to make their transforms able to gesture with their fingers. (And I've already lauded modibots.) But since shapeways is too expensive for really solid things it seems it's relegated to the realm of novelty toys or jewelry, which doesn't do much to advance the field of alternative manufacturing.

But like I say, I love what these guys are doing and I wish them well. I just wish they were cheaper too.

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