I started my foray into 3d printing by ordering with Solidoodle. I was surprised to find that they immediately withdrew money from my credit card, even when they had no idea as to when they would ship. Eventually, I decided to order a prusa mendel kit instead and submit a return request with Solidoodle. They did not respond at all to any kind of inquiry, whether through their web contact form or email. At this point, I became worried, especially since my credit card only gives me 30 days to dispute a charge.
I know they are a real company that has shipped printers, but I'm a little concerned they may have bitten off more than they can chew and may have issues as the order pile in. I filed a dispute with my credit card company after multiple contact attempts were met with silence. Has anyone ever received any kind of response from Solidoodle support? While I would like them to cancel my order, any kind of reply would be preferable to black hole that it feels like my messages are being thrown into.
b4 coming to this forum i was asking lots of questions on the solidoodle forum. they all where very keen and helpful and it seemed that it was very much a going concerrn. why dont you ask the solidoodle forum people im sure they would know if there was some trouble with the supplier.
Prusa 'Explorer' (3dStuffMaker), GEN6, J-head Mk III-B, Bowden Extruder, Marlin 1.0.0 RC2, Repitier-Host V0.84 and Slic3r 0.9.8, PLA. Live at Victoria, Australia.
It will be several weeks but you'll get a printer. When I contacted them in Nov they said 8-10 weeks though some have reported closer to 15 weeks. It will be interesting to see what impact the growth curve has on supporting machines in the market and what will happen when someone like up or Canon het into the market.
Friday, 11/30/2012 at 2:36 P.M.
I hate to throw them a curve ball, but yes starting a company is hard. Also, I suspect their design on the printer should not have made it this hard to move ahead. It isn't like they aren't delivering orders at a steady rate, they are just doing it slow. I also think there is no way they are making money - every time I do the analysis the labor is 60% of the cost and the materials are 30% of the cost. So if they have sub par employees that were not experienced perhaps there are a lot of mistakes - who knows. I will let you know next week when I open it up what I find. \
But I WILL sell it on EBAY after testing it. This is a plus for you all since you will get it (5 months) ahead of SD2 and know it is working. If you want first please send me a PM, and propose a price. This is what I paid:
Solidoodle 3D Printer, 2nd Generation
- Solidoodle 2 Options: Pro Model SD1001-A 1 $548.00 $548.00
1.75mm ABS Black Filament - 2lb spool SD1005-A 1 $43.00 $43.00
Priority Mail: $18.15
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2012 08:02PM by Simba.
I ordered my solidoodle on May 1st and received it on August 10th. It took a considerable number of complaints, on the #reprap IRC to the solidoodlesupport guy until it was shipped. I think he got tired of me asking him about it.
They are catching up, the amount of time people are waiting has dropped from 20 weeks to 16 in the last month or so. They got a late start because there were so many orders in the first few weeks that they had to move to a bigger space, create an assembly line, order more parts and hire 40-60 people before they could start getting them out the door. They spent the whole summer learning how to operate as a factory rather than a dozen guys in a garage, and have been trying to catch up ever since.
The demand caught them by surprise, but the reaction to the Printrbot should have given them a heads up. If they had used a batch system like Makerbot did in the very beginning there wouldn't be so much anger from customers. In that case however, people would be lucky to be customers since Solidoodle batches would have sold out very quickly.
I'll be doing a report on the SD2. Based on my findings, I'm very impressed with the design. It is almost entirely multiple pieces made from folded steel, lasercut acrylic, and FDM printed ABS plastic. I'm very impressed with the shortcuts they took to use commercially available parts and expect their total cost without labor around $150 for the base model.
I also can see where they went wrong in needing 50 people to produce 5-10 products per DAY - the need for making printers to print ABS parts - calibration woes with the stamped metal alignment of rods, the tightness of MXL pulleys on sub-sized nema 17 motors, and the failure of lasercut acrylic as a support material (the polycarbonate will crack on the nozzle area of overtightened, and the support base appears to be oven-cooked together). Also there doesnt appear to be an obvious Z-base alignment. I haven't done prints yet, but it seems very impressive and promising for this price point.
> I'd be interested in seeing your break down of a
> $150 BOM for the Solidoodle.
Yeah its just a guess but I'll break it down for you in brief here ahead of a detailed write up (if I get to it soon!). Basically, this was determined by my experience with scale up in reprap product sales, and with known facts (2.8-4 fold industry standard markups on cost of materials). I do this for fun (sorry SD2).
$60 for electronic. Sanguinolu is $99 shipped with 4 motor controllers. [www.ebay.com]. Any savy seller would have sold 200 or more units at about $60 each.
$6 for the power supply, because I found it for $10 online for a single one. (AC laptop replacement adapter 10A)
$30-40 The metal frame was bent as a box in a CNC brake machine. based on estimate with Emachineshop + use of software
$25 Sub-normal sized nema 17 motors (4) in bulk estimate based on conversations with kysan
$2 3D printed frame holders, and more (estimate)
$14.2 Laser cut acrylic pieces for drive motor and laser cut pieces for main bed estimated pieces with 4x5 + 6x8 + 2x6 + 2x8 sqin pieces = 96 sq inches, cost 15 cent/sqin bulk estimate from [www.customlasercutting.com]
$12.374 6 steel rod shafting based on [www.onlinemetals.com] Stainless Round 440C $4.125/ft retail, less 40% bulk purchase = $2.475/ft 10" per axis *6 = 12.375
$2 - 6 bushings
$1 6 small hose clamp keep steel in place
$16 nozzle cost, based on personal experience estimate
Subtotal so far $168.6+. One can imagine screws and cables and springs and kapton tape and such hardly adding more than a few bucks. So in reality, this may be horribly wrong, I suspect it is well under or near $200. The labor factor still blows me away.
Also, assuming they use some of their in house labor to do the metal braking in house, the frame could cost $10 or less. Also, building the electronic with eagle files in house might have made those costs far less too. So I think for a company $150 makes sense. Any individual trying to duplicate it might as well pay $400 with quantity = 1 and shipping costs, not factor labor and screw ups, always best to buy from them for the low markup they have.
Here are the BOM only numbers I was thinking from seeing pictures of it on the inets.
$36 4 motors
$30 4 drivers
$30 sanguinolulu + including components and connectors
$10 power supply
$30 frame (outsourced including labor)
$2 acrylic extruder bits
$4 Z axis laser cut bits
$5 drill rod
$4 printed parts
I probably missed a few things. My guess is that by the time every single little part is accounted for the BOM is $200, but I think $150 is possible. Going lower is going to require a huge rethink of the basic 3dprinter design.
Building in Brooklyn has got to be expensive. If I remember correctly their jobs page used to say $16/hr so say $20/hr employer cost. To make a best case profit at $500 they'll need to complete a printer with 15 hours of labor. There are a LOT of parts in a printer and bringing one from a bucket of raw materials to an assembled and tested machine in 15 hours would be very impressive. I think Sam is trying to build a business and it's ok if he's not making much or any profit at this point. If he can get a lot of Solidoodle 3 sold with its extra $300 margin then I think he'll be in good shape near term.
Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2012 09:10PM by billyzelsnack.
Whereby do you think the hotend is $5? How do they do that, or what examples are there of this? The PTFE insert looks identical to my Makergear....(thats a pricey one btw) - I wonder how they get that too.
$16/hr is a lot for a manufacturing job. I agree, labor costs seem extreme.
Let me remind you, they sell 400 printers a month or so, and have 50+ employees. Doing the math suggests some 20 man hours per printer. That seems fair, but excessive given their margins.
Thew prices on the BOM are high and the employee cost is low. Pricing when in bulk like that is far lower than anything you find online. The chassis price is likely closer to 5 bucks. Stamping gauge is cheap. I doubt they have more than 100 bucks in material, if that.The electronics are likely closer to 20 on bulk with those coming from Asia likely the pcbs as well.
When are they going to clean up that oil residue from the sheet metal
After looking into sourcing abroad for my own 3D production product, I revise the solidoodle BOM to the following:
[*] $60 for electronics
[*] $8 for the power supply
[*] $10 The metal frame was bent as a box in a CNC brake machine.
[*] $20 Sub-normal sized nema 14
[*] $2 3D printed frame holders, and more (estimate)
[*] $14.2 Laser cut acrylic pieces for drive motor (This may be cheaper with in house labor)
[*] $12.374 6 steel rod shafting based on [www.onlinemetals.com] Stainless Round 440C $4.125/ft retail, less 40% bulk purchase = $2.475/ft 10" per axis *6 = 12.375
[*] $3 - 6 bushings
[*] $1 6 small hose clamp keep steel in place
[*] $5 nozzle cost, based on personal experience estimate
[*] $12 pulleys and belts
[*] $10 Misc
$157 ~ about the same.
I hope that someone can get electronics for $20 in bulk, but I haven't been able to get anything ballparks away from that price. It is surely the most expensive aspect of it.