The price matching tool is an algorithm that, by comparing models and their expected prices, figures out the main prices drivers and then puts a figure on them. These figures are then transferred to the Machine page and Material page by way of the price tweaker.
The models are preset and downloadable, the expected prices should be entered by the user. The more consistent the pricing per model, entered by the user, the closer the algorithm will be able to get to the "real" pricing setup.
The tool is meant as a first step, in situations where:
a. the user is not party to the "real" pricing set-up, for example when selling parts produced by a third party.
b. The user's own pricing setup does not fit 1-on-1 any of DigiFabster's templates.
The matching tool is meant to point in the right direction, normal price tweaking after the matching tool has done its job is part of the routine.
First step: Set up "empty" printer and material.
Set up a printer and material without inputting any pricing information. I'm using the good old Ultimaker 2+:
and ABS material:
Second step: Pricing the provided models.
Once I've saved both, the printer and material become available for price matching:
Then select the relevant printer and material:
Click set price for the first model, download it, evaluate according to whatever information you have, note your evaluation.
Repeat for all ten models.
Now again open the parts one by one and enter the price you would expect.
Click "Run price matching tool". The result will be a diagram that compares the user-entered values with the values that result from the algorithm's analysis and output. Please take note of any large differences, models 8 and 9 in this case.
Third step: Tweak.
Click "Apply settings" and have a look at that output: We're now in price tweaker mode,
with the only difference that the values we see in the first column were generated by the matching algorithm, simply on the basis of what it knows about the tech involved and the correlations, it found between prices and model geometries, now projected on the default model in price tweaker, Marvin, which gets a price of 4.92.
Click "accept settings" on the bottom of the page:
It will take you back to the printer and materials list.
Now if you open the Ultimaker 2+, you will see that the settings, generated by the matching tool and shown in tweaker are now copied into that printer and its material, like, for example, the price per hour of 1.79 (at 60mm per hour, which is the default setting for this printer in DF).
The last step and this one will be different for everybody, is studying the two cases where the algorithm did not give an accurate enough price, models 8 and 9:
In this case, the reason for the large difference is obvious: When I entered my prices in the price matching tool, I ignored the cost of supports. The algorithm, knowing supports should be there, had no choice but to undervalue their cost as compared to the cost of the model itself. Thus those models which do have substantial support will be undervalued.
The user now has basically 3 choices:
Tweak the pricing towards his understanding of how models should be priced (i.e. the classical price per cm3), by decreasing the price for support material and increasing the price for model volume.
Leave everything as it is and start selling.
Tweak pricing towards a more realistic division of costs, by increasing material price for both part and support and decreasing the price for model volume.
Hope this helps :-)