Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The "Professional" Price of a Mendel
Likely not many of us make $21 an hour, especially in our spare bedroom, or shop wearing our hack around clothes. But that is around how much you can tell your family you are paying yourself as you spend a week or two printing the Mendel parts.
A company named Protovanage posted an advert on the RepRap forum, offering to print a full Mendel set. They didn't mention a price, but luckily for me they have a WONDERFUL web interface, that makes tracking out the costs of their printed items very easy. After adding up the costs of all the items to build a Mendel using their service (They offered some parts for Mendel that are not listed on the Mendel Assembly Data Sheet, but this might have been my lack of understanding considering I haven't even built my RepStrap Yet.
The Total cost of a Full set of RP parts for Mendel came out to $1,577.33. Or ruffly the equivalent of 2 Makerbots, or 1 Rapman and 8 pounds of ABS. Below is the spreadsheet that I used to come to this total, please tell me if I am wrong here.
The point of this post is not to beat up on Protovantage
, honestly I might use their service at some point if I have a part that must be printed to an extremely tight tolerance, such as extruder. They are the only Rapid Prototyper firm that I have seen that allows 1 off prints of any STL with an instant online price quote (considering all the Mendel parts came out between $5 and $50 a piece it might occasionally be worth using them).
My point is likely some people in the community are actually going to pay the $1,500 to get the pieces from Protovantage. Most will scoff at the price, but in a community where Darwin, and now Mendel parts have always been few and far between, it really raises a question.
If RepRap has put a factory in your shop, are you willing to pay yourself $100 for an afternoon reading a book while your Reprap sings The Gold diggers song to you?