Many people ask why is this so expensive. The short answer is that nothing about making resin models is quick or cheap. The long answer requires a more in depth look at the costs involved. Unlike many manufacturers, I do not feel it is constructive to dance around this question. An honest question deserves an honest answer.
So let us pull back the wizards curtain and see what hides behind...
Pricing my models is a subject that often causes me a great deal of discomfort. Every kit, every release begs the question what is a fair price? What do I need to charge to keep the doors open and continue making things I, and hopefully others enjoy. While understanding not every model will be a spectacular hit, what is a reasonable number of models you should expect to sell to amortize your upfront costs?
Now we look at the ugly numbers. I already own the equipment so I will not count that in the total but I show them here for general reference. Also, keep in mind this rough overview is for a rather large and complicated model with over 32 molds and 136 parts. Although the costs are not accurate to the penny, they are honest reflections of the true costs. There are numerous other costs that will not reflected in this break down, such as overhead, web development, problems with molds, etc. These costs likely reflect another 3% to 5% reduction in true profit.
Initial equipment investment: (This cost is not reflected in the totals below)
Compressor, Pressure pots, Vacuum pump, Vacuum chamber, assorted tools, mixing containers, etc
Rough estimate- $1800.00
Initial materials investment:
Model print cost, Initial molds (RTV Silicone cost), Mold boxes, clay and other tools, Resin for mold master.
Rough estimate- $3850.00
Cost for each model produced:
Assuming a conservative25 pulls per mold, before mold needs replacing. Estimate for resin, rubber and packaging.
Cost for casting service:
Assuming the molds are made and supplied by me.
Rough Estimate-$75.00?? (This number is still unresolved)
Shipping costs back to me from caster-$4.00
Credit card transaction fees:
3% to 6.5% (average 4.75% of $350.00 retail) $16.62
TOTAL PER KIT COST TO PRODUCE AND SELL A SINGLE MODEL- $185.00
RETAIL PRICE PER KIT- $350.00
Taxes on profit:
$65.00 (Uncle Sam and California demand their share of my hard work)
TOTAL NET PROFIT- $100.00
DreamForge-Games company profit- $50.00 per kit
Costs of initial investment, $3850.00. (First true profit after 77 kits have been sold)
My profit per kit- $50.00 per kit
Target of $15.00 an hour for my time. CAD Modeling, Benching, Mold Making. Four hundred and sixty hours invested, and an additional ninety hours for the three mold change outs needed to meet the 77 total kits sold to square up the initial model/materials costs.
Total dollar cost of my time $8,250. (First true profit after 165 kits have been sold)
What do I make per hour, if we try to zero my hourly rate at the 77 kits sold, based on the initial investment costs of the model and materials. I net $6.99 an hour for my time…Hmmmm…
Add the taxes back into the total that we removed earlier and were up to a “respectable?” $9.44 per hour actual working wage. This begs the question, if you possessed the creativity and the skills set in CAD and mold/model production, would you work for $9.44 an hour with no health plan. I am not crying poor me, this work is something I love doing or I would not be doing it.
I hope that this release is a smashing success and I sell hundreds… This would improve the look of my financials greatly. I would much prefer to amortize my investment to the first 40 or 50 kits sold, and on smaller less expensive models, this is always my target.
For the immediate future, I will need to cast these in house while I search for a suitable service provider. This will increase my profit margin but will slow the development of new models and severely limit the number of kits available to my customers. With this in mind, moving production out of house is a very high priority. If the contract casters services are far greater than expected, I will need to increase the price to reflect the additional costs.
Things being what they are, I feel it is a fair price for my customers and a fair price for the product I deliver. I hope that you feel the same and I hope that I helped to dispel the age-old question “why is the price so damn high?!”