STL CUTTER FILES - WHY DO THEY COST MORE THAN A PHYSICAL CUTTER?
The .stl file is the original file for the 3D object; once you have the file, there is no way I can limit the number of cutters you print and/or sell, nor can I truly prevent the digital file from being further distributed.
Professionally-created design can be surprisingly pricey. The cost of design is determined by who is creating the design; for example, you could design a logo yourself or with a friend and it would be free. Or, you could hire a professional and it might cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. It’s not necessarily the final result you are paying for (although, the final result will likely reflect the skills of the designer), it’s the designer’s PROCESS! There is extensive research, concept development, and refinements that go into a design project. I’m a professional designer with a Bachelor's Degree in Design (majoring in Graphic Design & Marketing) and have years of full-time work under my belt. All my cookie cutters are created using professional design software: I digitally illustrate the cutter as a 2D shape, then build the pieces into a 3D form. There are certain specifications required for this process, such as determining an appropriate size and thickness for the cutter, and if any supports will be needed to keep it sturdy. Once I’m satisfied with how it’s looking on-screen, I print and test it!
There’s no question you can find inexpensive or free .stl files in other online shops, and if you do find free files that you like, I seriously encourage you to use them!! However, as a professional designer by training, I simply cannot offer my files for sale at a low price.
To put this into perspective, another example of design that comes in a wide range of prices is fonts. Some fonts may be free to download, and others may cost an incredible amount of money! You can find lots of free fonts at dafont.com, or you can purchase them through myfonts.com. The font designer may have spent countless hours designing each letter, perfecting the kerning, among other technical details - a free font may not have had such time put into it. Take a look at some of price tags on the fonts below:
Same goes for photography. There are countless ways to obtain an image nowadays - you can search Google or download it from a Free Stock Image website. But most stock images can cost a chunk of money, and that's because there is a professional photographer behind the camera trying to make a living, while protecting the rights to their work.
Purchasing the rights to use an image can costs a few bucks, or hundreds. Check out the price range I’ve found on these images from professional stock image sites:
That being said, should you purchase one of my .stl files, you are also obtaining the rights to use my intellectual property for your own personal AND business use. Where fonts and images can be used by companies to promote their own brands and make money, you too can use my .stl files to print as many of a cutter as you’d like! You can also gift those cutters to friends and family or sell them at your own pop-up shops to help offset the initial cost. However, similar to fonts and stock photos, the one major restriction is that my .stl file (the cookie cutter design file) is NOT for resale - the .stl file (or files containing/relating to it) cannot be sold or redistributed to others.
It’s important to note that design is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it, but also, what the designer is willing to release it for. If you ever have an issue with one of my files, please feel free to reach out with any troubleshooting questions! I’m always willing to help!