Yesterday, Shapeways announced that they have shortened their lead times for printing production, which will certainly be welcome news for both designers and shoppers alike. The turnaround times for some of their most popular materials – a dozen different materials – has been greatly reduced. Now, Dyed Strong & Flexible Plastic can be printed and shipped in 5 days, down from 6 days, and comes in polished pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.
One of Shapeways’ most intriguing offerings, the recently released Interlocking Metals (Silver, Brass and Bronze), has seen its lead time reduced from 10 days to 9 days.While even a single day saved will be welcomed by customers and designers, some materials are seeing huge production time savings. Premium Silver, Polished Brass and Polished Bronze now can be out the door in 8 days. That’s 4 days quicker than before!
Precious Plated Metal, which comes in plated 14k Gold, 18k Gold, 14k Rose Gold, and Rhodium, is seeing one of the largest reductions from the time you order to the time they ship, going from 15 days to 9 days. Black High Definition Acrylate, often used for finely detailed miniatures, has an even faster turn around time, going 15 days to just 8 days, from printing to shipping. According to Shapeways:
“These updates are part of our continuing commitment to reducing lead times. How do we do it? We innovate in manufacturing, processing, and shipping. Whether it’s by testing new materials and processes (shaving seven days off high definition acrylate), investing in updated machinery (halving lead times for two materials), or improving manufacturing efficiency (getting cast metals to you faster), we’re always working to enhance production quality and speed.”
Shapeways is soliciting customer feedback on what other kinds of improvements they’d like to see implemented in 2017. If you have any suggestions, you can share it in the comments section of their Now, Make it Faster blog post. Several users have already chimed in with requests for error repair, a folder system that would allow them to better organize their designs, and additional printing facilities. There have also been quite a few comments from users who have already noticed the difference made by Shapeways’ new, faster shipping system.
“YES! I noticed a big difference in speed already!” enthused one commenter. “This is great news for 2017!! I am hoping quality-checks aren’t sacrificed of course, but so far so good! My last order looks perfect.”
It certainly is a good way to start off the year for 3D printing fans.
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