What does this mean?
It means Marsh Creek can offer slightly larger models for a competitive price, with a level of detail that wasn't available before. In order to test the advantages of the new material, we have designed an HOn30 coach, based on drawings of a never built Yosemite Short Line RR car. We have taken some artistic liberties, but as you can see in the 3D renderings the car certainly looks the part, even with Jackson and Sharp trucks.
Now, the biggest question everyone always has is "what will it cost". For a brief explanation of how the Shapeways pricing structure works:
3D models are priced based on the per part cost for overhead and labor, and the volume of material used in the creation of the part. Designers set their own markup charges, which can be zero to infinity dollars. Until now, our preferred material from Shapeways has been their Frosted Extreme Detail (FXD) because of it's ability to produce highly detailed models, with limited layering. This coach in FXD between part cost and markup would be roughly $90.00. We can hear you gasp and cuss all the way in the shop. We get it, that is far too expensive for something this size, and exactly why we haven't offered any larger designs to date. "But other people offer X, Y, or Z, and it's only 30 bucks!" Yes, we know. What you are getting for that 30 dollars is White Strong and Flexible plastic, which is strong, and flexible, (coincidentally it's also white...who knew?) but it cannot produce fine details, and without a considerable amount of work, cannot match the surface qualities of Wood, Resin, Brass, or Plastic. FXD and FUD were the only materials we felt were suitable for miniatures, until now. In High Definition Acrylate, the price of this model drops to about $55. For comparison, our MDT diesel conversion is about half the size, and costs about the same. That's a significant drop in price, and great news for everyone!
In the next few weeks, we will be looking at other projects that will allow us to take full advantage of the new material, including some price drops on our current models, as long as they meet the standards for HDA, and introduction of new models that can take full advantage of the new material's properties.
Go Build Something Awesome!