Author Topic: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement  (Read 42539 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« on: September 20, 2012, 10:05:18 am »


Dave.
 

Offline Skippy

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 10:45:00 am »
I'm not sure how you can talk about the Makerbot without talking about the RepRap.

It seems to me there are two groups of users:

a) Hobbyists, who haven't got lots of money, but are prepared to tweak stuff and are prepared to overlook it when their prints go wrong and they have to spend time tweaking it to make it work- in fact they quite enjoy fiddling with their machine.

b) Professional people who want a tool, and are cheesed off when it's out of service or screws up. Time is money for these people. They would be better off spending money getting something that just works rather than paying their staff to wait around or work on the printer.

a) would be better with a RepRap, and b) would be better off with a big name $8000 printer. Who is the Makerbot for?

If Makerbot do manage to carve out a successful niche at $3000, the next day a big manufacturer will just release one of their machines for $3000, it will be far better and Makerbot will be squashed flat.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012, 12:53:17 pm »
a) would be better with a RepRap, and b) would be better off with a big name $8000 printer. Who is the Makerbot for?

$2200/$2700 is a longway from $8000. There is a BIG market there I suspect.
If the Replicaotr 2 perfroms as claims, then it's probably as good in capability as those $8K printers? (or near enough not to justify the higher price?)

Quote
If Makerbot do manage to carve out a successful niche at $3000, the next day a big manufacturer will just release one of their machines for $3000, it will be far better and Makerbot will be squashed flat.

Are the $8K machine "far better" though? I have not used one so don't really know. And can they drop it from $8K to $3K and still stay in business?

Dave.
 

Offline ejeffrey

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2012, 01:17:42 pm »
There are definitely a lot of hobbyists who can't or don't want to assemble their 3D printer and continuously tweak and maintain it.  Not everyone is an electronics / computer nerd.  I think there are a lot of artists, architects, beginners, or just people who don't want the hassle even if they could handle it.  Whether there is sufficient market at the 2-3k price point I have no idea, but I think there is a lot of room between the reprap and the 8k "professional" models.

The 3K price point is also fairly reachable for hackerspaces, shared equipment, university research groups, and small companies.  If I had a good use for it, I could basically order a $2200 3D printer for our research group without too much effort.  $8K is a lot harder.
 

Online Short Circuit

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 01:18:27 pm »
As one of the many self employed EE's, I'd say there is plenty of potential for such a machine.
An investment for 2-3000$ is easily justified, even when purchased for just one project (.
When you look at the price range around 10k, then you really need to think 'bigger' since there's
no way to earn that back on just one project. So you need a plan to get more projects that need the
machine to make it work financially.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2012, 01:35:19 pm »
If I had a good use for it, I could basically order a $2200 3D printer for our research group without too much effort.  $8K is a lot harder.

Many companies I've worked at it would be a similar thing. <$5K=not so hard, >$5K=extracting teeth!
Heck, at one company I could have bought such a thing on my company credit card.

Dave.
 

Offline Zad

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2012, 05:33:04 pm »
If I were an engineering manager asked to approve this purchase, I'd look at it and think... "it looks like a toy". The old one looked like something from a part-work magazine, so I suppose it has moved upwards in quality.

$2500 is either too expensive or too cheap. They really need to decide where they are pitching it, and then get an experienced industrial designer in. They should get that flexible hose with the cables and plastic feed moved out of the way, and get the plastic feed in a cartridge. Home users don't mind messing about with trim and feeds, but office users just want it to get on with the job and not look messy.

That's just design and engineering though. I do wonder how they are going to protect their intellectual property now though. Surely most of it having been open  cannot be then closed?

"Hey look at our product guys, its open so everyone contribute to make it better"
"Oh wait, we changed our minds. Its now closed and all our property, thanks for the support I'm just off to the bank to cash this fat cheque"

Meanwhile China don't give a damn and start churning them out by the million.

Offline ejeffrey

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2012, 06:40:21 pm »
Many companies I've worked at it would be a similar thing. <$5K=not so hard, >$5K=extracting teeth!
Heck, at one company I could have bought such a thing on my company credit card.

Yeah.  Somewhere between $5k  and $10k people beyond your boss start paying attention.  It might have to be considered a capital expenditure, need an asset tag, and in some cases go out for bids or require a sole source justification.  All of which makes it take a lot longer, and a lot more work not just for myself but for people who need to approve the order.  Hassle is a strongly non-linear function of cost.

Quote from: Zad
If I were an engineering manager asked to approve this purchase, I'd look at it and think... "it looks like a toy". The old one looked like something from a part-work magazine, so I suppose it has moved upwards in quality.

That is very much a matter of culture.  I know places like that exist, but I have never worked at one, either in academia or industry.  Of course I have never worked at a large company.  There are definitely pros and cons.  Sometimes you can save 5 grand on a pro model that you don't need, or you can waste 3 grand on something that never works right, spend another few grand on trying to make it work and then shell out for the 8k version in the end after wasting 6 months.
 

Offline T4P

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2012, 06:41:43 pm »
Meanwhile China don't give a damn and start churning them out by the million.
Unless you want a printer that doesn't work out of the box!
 

Offline Rutger

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2012, 06:57:37 pm »
Early technology is always expensive, in 1988 the first inkjet printer was $ 1000 !! and was probably a dog... Now they are virtually given them away.
I think if hobbyist are patient prices will come down in the future quite a bit. I predict that if a company like HP will see the potential in the market and start engineering a model, the price will come down a lot.  I also think that a lot of homes in the future will have unit at home for making spare parts for their home appliances and you can buy the 3-D file for pennies from the appliances manufactures. Just like we have inkjet/laser printers at home now.  It might take a while, let say 10-20 years based upon the inkjet printer history.

On a personal note, I won't buy one until the price has come down below $ 500 and still think it is expensive based on inkjet printer prices.
Maybe they should make the money on the plastic spool and start selling them for cost.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 07:03:45 pm by Rutger »
 

Offline kripton2035

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2012, 07:08:23 pm »
Early technology is always expensive, in 1988 the first inkjet printer was $ 1000 !! and was probably a dog... Now they are virtually given them away.
I think if hobbyist are patient prices will come down in the future quite a bit. I predict that if a company like HP will see the potential in the market and start engineering a model, the price will come down a lot.  I also think that a lot of homes in the future will have unit at home for making spare parts for their home appliances and you can buy the 3-D file for pennies from the appliances manufactures. Just like we have inkjet/laser printers at home now.  It might take a while, let say 10-20 years based upon the inkjet printer history.

On a personal note, I won't buy one until the price has come down below $ 500 and still think it is expensive based on inkjet printer prices.
Maybe they should make the money on the plastic spool and start selling them for cost.

they will never come as down as the inkjet prices, as there will always be far less users than inkjets ...

Offline Sylvain

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2012, 08:55:50 pm »
I quite agree with skippy ...

I don't think this "in the middle" market does really exist and If it exists, I don't think makerbot could fullfill it.

They were marketing slow/complicated/unreliable/delicate printers for $2k two months ago and you now think they will produce semi-pro grade machine for say 500$ more ?

Having some investors does not make everything, much of the problem seen in the makerbot I was due to big engineering/design problem, not a lack of money.

Spending $2500, for an unreliable/useless thing is not an option for the companies I know, but spending $8k for something that just do the job could be not a problem at all if this thing is needed. $8k is more or less the price of those big multifunction color Laser printers that every companies here in France have if they got more than say 5 employees at their office.

Concerning the market of the architects and so one, some may try but like much of them don't do their photos/websites/advertising material ... by themselves they will just call other professionals with $30k printers that could fullfill there needsquickly and reliably without any investment in equipment or time.


To finish, as I may have allready said here some weeks ago, I think that 3D printers are not at all complicated/expensive things to develop for companies that are  mastering 2D (inkjet) printing. If there is a market it won't be long for HP/Epson/Canon ... to come with good 3D printers with a price "as low as necessary". If they are produced in "large" quantities I don't really see why a Makerbot sized 3D printer should cost more than 500$ or even 300$.

Sylvain.

 

Offline Mikey

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 08:58:50 pm »
RepRap ftw! :P
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Offline oPossum

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2012, 09:07:23 pm »
Statement from MakerBot regarding open source and Replicator 2

They don't really say if it will be open.

I doubt there is much in it that couldn't be 'reverse engineered' if someone was determined enough. Seems like making it closed will only hurt them.
 

Offline nixxon

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2012, 10:36:19 pm »
Being a hobbyist, I would not spend $1K on a "slow/complicated/unreliable/delicate" 3D printer that has to be tweaked and fiddled with, that cannot be adjusted properly and with semi-coarse looking products.

I would, however, be likely to spend $2-3K on a replicator that simply works and makes a neat looking, reliable result.

Hey, I could even make some money with such a machine, making decent looking models of houses and surroundings as part of illustrating building applications.

Is the Makerbot Replicator software truly compatible with one or more Sketchup Pro 3D files?
 ?3DS (.3ds)
 ?AutoCAD DWG (.dwg)
 ?AutoCAD DXF (.dxf)
 ?FBX (.fbx).
 ?OBJ (.obj)
 ?XSI (.xsi)
 ?VRML (.vrml)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2012, 10:50:02 pm »
Meanwhile China don't give a damn and start churning them out by the million.

China are already selling Replicator clones:
http://www.mbot3d.com/

Dave.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2012, 10:54:09 pm »
they will never come as down as the inkjet prices, as there will always be far less users than inkjets ...

I agree, as the are fundamental different technology.
Inkjets are cheap because the print mechanism is far easier and less precise.
Quality 3D printers require very high precision, repeatability orders of magnitude higher, and more weight and space.
I don't see that changing any time time soon, it's just the nature of the beast.
Would it even be possible to get high performance out of a cheap plastic frame for example?

Dave.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2012, 10:56:46 pm »
Is the Makerbot Replicator software truly compatible with one or more Sketchup Pro 3D files?
 ?3DS (.3ds)
 ?AutoCAD DWG (.dwg)
 ?AutoCAD DXF (.dxf)
 ?FBX (.fbx).
 ?OBJ (.obj)
 ?XSI (.xsi)
 ?VRML (.vrml)

.STL and .OBJ only
It's a big omission not to have .STEP

Dave.
 

Offline JoannaK

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2012, 10:59:22 pm »
Don’t really like your totally criticless view of makerbot… Afterall it’s just Hyped clunky clone of old RepRap model (with arduino in it). Their new one will apparently start to meet last year’s repraps.

Also their attitude towards Open Source community has changed a lot towards worse since VC:s started to shovel money.. Plenty people are abandoning the Thingiverse.

http://josefprusa.cz/open-hardware-meaning/

(EDIT) I do admt that his new one looks a lot better.. The old wood-box was amongts the worst materials one could imaging (besides plexiglass) for 3d pritner like machine, if the new machine really has have decent aluminium or sheet metal housing it's a big step right direction.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 11:04:53 pm by JoannaK »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2012, 11:04:43 pm »
@nixxon. i subsribe to your train of thought.
i'd gladly spend 2K for a 3d printer that DOES WORK. the makerbot is not in this category. Don't know what the makerbot 2 will be like...

Here at the techshop they have an UP! and a makerbot. the differences are incredible

UP! vs makerbot ( original makerbot not the 2 )
+ metal chassis
+ leveling of the work surface is a snap ( hit the 'center' button , bring work surface in contact with extruder. drop platform 1 cm ( there is a command to do that) . send extruder front-left. put piece of plastic known to be 1cm between platen and extruder and turn screw until contact is made. send extruder back-left. repeat , send eztruder mid-right , repeat. it takes 30 seconds to level the surface.
+ runs out of the box
+ professional slicing , raft and fill algorithms ( they use the algorithms that were developed for an industrial 3d printer.)
+ turnkey software. no need to collect 3 different pieces of software , install python, figure out wat version you need. it is a standard windows executable or macintosh dmg. written in C++.
+ software sends job to machine , machine beeps and you can unplug the usb port if you want. Machine is standalone
+ signed drivers ( not like makerbot where you get warning about unsigned drivers so you can't install on win 7. )
+++ it just works. load the STL file or files , click a button to 'autoplace'. rotate parts if you want , set your wanted precision and fill style and click 'process' a few seconds later it asks you 'Do you want to submit the job for printing'. click yes. done. you can load multiple files at a time , place them and print them in one shot.
No futzing, no messing

now, it's not all sunshine and roses

- there are two versions of the up!. after the first 500 or so were made they got feedback from the community and modded the design. a retrofit kit was made avaialble for the older machines. that kit is a bit of a kludge .... made from various bits of printed material ( you can print yourself ) and a few switches plus a new computer board. it takes a bit of time to install. things they improved in the upgrade : air shield to protect the extruder from airflow that would cool it down , additional power button  (original machine was standby only , no real power ). upgrades to computer board. ( actually you re-use the cpu board but the driver stages for the motors have been changed as well as some other stuff ). this thing is not arduino based but uses an ARM cpu.
- limited to 5x5x5
- unexpected powerloss or improper shutdown will drop the build platform rapidly and can 'bend' the arm... put this thing on a ups.... and don't forget to send the command to lower the platform before you power off...
- not open source ( although i don;t care about that. since it just works )



« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 11:30:23 pm by free_electron »
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Offline danielpublic

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2012, 11:05:19 pm »
Meanwhile, there is an uproar on Thingiverse started by the guy who made a simplified version of the sells mendel, Prusa.



Is Makerbot not an option amongst the DIY crowed?
I say good riddance. It was always about loud marketing and culture hailing from the worst calvinistic culture in north america. It has never been about usability, advance tech, making it more accessible for the common man, betterment of society, darwinian marxism or anything. Just$ and in its trail a brainwashed bunch of groupies that don't really create stuff and ironically is the consumer that their purchased product were to alleviate. Come on, look at the makerbot tag that number (3925) is not upgrades for the product. Even though some claim it is needed but thats another story.

Remember that these printers, even those with "just" a 100x100x100mm print volume can replicate them self. Btw, that volume is really enough and you have to some experience to know how a material like abs will react when you print certain objects and so forth.

Also, it's quite hard to make a printer that one can train a monkey to print perfect stuff, especially with the FDM type of machines.
You always has to check the first layer and yadda yadda blah blah. If one want a semi-professional printer, well SLS, otherwise one has to take experience as a factor, beyond what one needs either way of course.

PLA is really easy to print, just have a fan blowing on it, blue tape for smaller objects that you dont want any corners lifted if not use ~60c heated glass. I very much doubt there is any real value in those "changes" on this second machine and I agree with prusa that there is so much bullshit around this whole area and in any case, mostly everything builds upon the reprap community. That's the "sad" truth.

I mean, you want something professional? Look at makergears M2.
You want something truly Free opensource and somewhat innovative? Look at tantillus.
You want something that prints crazy fast and materials that others "cant" print with? Well.. build it yourself of aluminium extrusions and use a watercooled hotend so that your teflon tubing serving the hotends filamentspath doesnt go anywhere.
Want you know... even crazier accuracy go SLS, want to print stuff that is solid metal? Fund and/or help research MetalicaRap.

Regarding the files which is supported or not, use something like FreeCAD to convert stuff into .stl and run the file through slic3r, thats it basically. There are loads on info on this on youtube, the reprap wiki, search for richrap as well as he has written some nice tuts.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 11:24:39 pm by danielpublic »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2012, 11:24:32 pm »
Don’t really like your totally criticless view of makerbot…

I was not going to throw too much criticism into it because:
a) I (or anyone else) has not seen the Replicator 2 actually perform,
and b) The closed source thing was just a rumor, it could have been completely wrong.

Quote
Afterall it’s just Hyped clunky clone of old RepRap model (with arduino in it). Their new one will apparently start to meet last year’s repraps.

I could be wrong, but all I hear about the RepRap is people's problems with it getting it work and trying to tweak it to get the bets results.
IMO, they really can't be compared. One is essentially and "out of the box" consumer product, the other is a DIY kit with the resultant mixed results.

Dave.
 

Offline JoannaK

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2012, 03:39:13 am »
Don’t really like your totally criticless view of makerbot…

I was not going to throw too much criticism into it because:
a) I (or anyone else) has not seen the Replicator 2 actually perform,
and b) The closed source thing was just a rumor, it could have been completely wrong.

Ok, the vblog you made sounded just so much like reading their marketing material. It's just so downright Fan-boyish that IMHO it does not suit your normal style.

Quote
Quote
Afterall it’s just Hyped clunky clone of old RepRap model (with arduino in it). Their new one will apparently start to meet last year’s repraps.

I could be wrong, but all I hear about the RepRap is people's problems with it getting it work and trying to tweak it to get the bets results.
IMO, they really can't be compared. One is essentially and "out of the box" consumer product, the other is a DIY kit with the resultant mixed results.

Dave.

Yeah.. There is need to tweaking and tuniing, but I seriously doubt that this new Makerbot could eliminate those either. These innovative new features you mentioned, like stable frame, faster printing, thinner layers, '3 point' bed adjustment, PLA printing etc has all been standard features on Repraps at least a year (my last year's huxy has those and it was less than 500Eur before assembly). And yes.. Misprints still happen and system needs tuning.

I have no real data, but on my gut instinct..  basic environment like temperature and moisture can sometimes make the difference. Like you know on electronic components, moisture has nasty habit to creep on unwanted places and it does affect the process. Also the filament batches (especially if not purchased form high price vendor) tend to differ a lot, so there is need to monitor feed rates temperatures etc.

I do admit that it is *theoretically* possible that Makerbot team has been able to innovate something totally unique making their system  remarkable better than existing Repraps (with that money, it could happen). If they do that, then the price and marketing could be considered justifiable. Time will tell, there are plenty 3d printers coming to market and it won't be easy for them to become Out-of-box system success.



 

Offline Rutger

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2012, 04:50:17 am »
they will never come as down as the inkjet prices, as there will always be far less users than inkjets ...

I agree, as the are fundamental different technology.
Inkjets are cheap because the print mechanism is far easier and less precise.
Quality 3D printers require very high precision, repeatability orders of magnitude higher, and more weight and space.
I don't see that changing any time time soon, it's just the nature of the beast.
Would it even be possible to get high performance out of a cheap plastic frame for example?

Dave.

Sorry, I don't think so. Who has ever build a inkjet printer, this technology is very precise and also uses a stepper motor.
I think a 3D printer is actually a simpler design, just look at the extruder head.
A lot of people thought we never needed computers at home I think is some form or shape this technology will be in every home in the future.
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2012, 06:16:50 am »
Statement from MakerBot regarding open source and Replicator 2

They don't really say if it will be open.

Indeed. And you know what that means. They won't. They packed that information in a bunch of marketing bull so it doesn't hurt to much. They are just looking for a way to get away with closing the design and not leaving to much scorched earth and disappointed customers behind.
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