Print Something Great

July 27th, 2012 Comments Off on Print Something Great

The MakerBot Replicator at Oddyssea Half Moon Bay

Our MakerBot Replicator showed up at the store about 2 weeks ago, but we were unable to place it on the floor because a) we didn’t know what the heck to do with it b) we weren’t sure how to price it simply and fairly and c) we didn’t have the right place to put it.

As of this morning, we have addressed each of these deficiencies. We now know how to use the Replicator properly and have been printing – yay! I built a table specifically for the machine and have placed it inside the store for maximum effect. So we now know where it goes.

The pricing aspect was tricky and we’re weight loss still not sure we’ve kicked it, but we at least have a starting point. Essentially, the costs associated with the machine are: material (plastic) power, labor, amortization of acquisition cost, and provision for maintenance and repair. Trying to reflect all of this in a pricing model that is clear, simple, and concise is something of a challenge.

Here’s where we are right now. The price is $1 per gram of a printed object with a 5 gram minimum. Thus, you bring in your design, print, we weigh what comes off the platform and if it is >5 grams, we charge you $1 / gram. If it’s <5 grams, we charge you $5. Since the material is pretty light, we're finding you can print some pretty cool stuff under the 5 gram minimum. We think this is a compelling price that still allows us a little wiggle room vis a vis our expenses.
Don’t know what to print? No problem. Take a look at the library of things that already exist the ThingVerse. It’s extensive. Don’t like what’s there? Use one of the existing objects as a starting place and modify it or roll your own from scratch. Bring your file on an SD Card down to the shop and we’ll print it out. Just that simple, no fuss no muss.

Our Replicator is a dual extruded model and we have plastic in black, white, blue, yellow, green, and red. Come on over, give it a whirl!

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