Author Topic: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement  (Read 42451 times)

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Online 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.
 

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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.
 

Online 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.
 

Offline 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.
 

Online 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.

Online 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)
 

Online 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.
 

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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.
 

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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 »
 

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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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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2012, 06:21:38 am »
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.

The marketing material is all I had to go on, it had only been announced a few hours earlier.

Quote
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.

When it comes down to it, Makerbot will live or die by the quality and value for money of their product. No amount of VC funding or industry rep/goodwill will save them if they have a turd.
As I have not played with one, I don't know if it's a turd, just average, or great value for money. Yes, a $3K machine can be great value for money, just like a $300 machine can be great value for money, or a turd.

Dave.
 

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2012, 06:33:08 am »
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.

Yes, but I don't think you are thinking 4th dimensionality!
Yes, the head on inkjet printers are very evolved and precise. But once you have that nailed (which took maybe 20+ years), the rest of it is much simpler than a 3D printer.
In an inkjet printer:
1) There are no thermal issues
2) The Y axis is one direction only, and single pass. A minute and it's all over. It can use a simple roller to slide the paper.
3) There is no Z axis.
4) There is no issue with repeatability. 3D printer need to be repeatable over hundreds of thousands of vector operations over just for a simple print.
5) Will always be smaller and lighter, and be able to be built with simple non-ridged mass produced frames. This does not seem likely for 3D printers unless something radical changes.
6) There are few real alignment issues.

Don't mistake the apparent simplicity of the operation of a 3D printer with what is required to get excellent results from one on a repeatable and consistent basis for the consumer market.

I've always said 3D printers will be in every xmas stocking in maybe 5 years time.

Dave.
 

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2012, 06:36:35 am »
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.

Indeed.
Bre's last quote says it all:
Quote
This isn’t the first change we’ve made to become more of a professional business, and it won’t be our last.
So it's admitted they are changing from being an OSHW company. The only question remains, what parts, and how much?
I bet their legal team have already determined that quite some time back.

Dave.
 

Offline dda

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2012, 06:58:52 am »
since the replicator is open, if makerbot alienate the maker 'base', dome people will just fork it and pick up where makerbot left off.
 

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2012, 07:00:31 am »
In an inkjet printer:
...
4) There is no issue with repeatability.

I'm still not seeing this. If you print a page with vertical lines on it every pass of the print head has to repeat the same horizontal alignment precisely to 1000ths of an inch or your image gets zig zaggy.

Frankly, just looking at videos of the Makerbot in any of its incarnations makes me feel it lacks good engineering design. It seems to be a case of jumping on a bandwagon and fancy marketing over attention to detail and reliable performance. I might be persuaded to drop $500 on one as a throw away purchase, but no way would I spend over $2000 on something that seems so complicated and unpredictable to use.

I'm sure competing products now and in the future will demonstrate better technical execution and will ultimately provide more attractive options for purchase.
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Offline T4P

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2012, 08:39:00 am »
Here's the real difference, a big stepper motor requires even better control and the motor itself better be precise too due to the weight!
What do they use in inkjet printers? DC Motors! Because there's little weight to shuffle around and therefore more precise movements can be handled BUT do you have thermal issues, really?

A 3D printer needs to be a few orders of magnitude more precise to print precisely to 1000ths of an inch compared to a inkjet
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2012, 12:47:59 pm »
You can get greater accuracy using dc motors with servo's on them. Or even using linear motors.
Harddisks use linear motors.
Huge cnc machines use dc servo. Otors. Pick and place machines use dc servomotors.
Or you can use ac servomotors.
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Offline Mikey

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2012, 04:24:06 pm »
Here's the real difference, a big stepper motor requires even better control and the motor itself better be precise too due to the weight!
What do they use in inkjet printers? DC Motors! Because there's little weight to shuffle around and therefore more precise movements can be handled BUT do you have thermal issues, really?

A 3D printer needs to be a few orders of magnitude more precise to print precisely to 1000ths of an inch compared to a inkjet
Another big difference is also that the print head on a normal 2D printer moves at a fixed speed, that speed maybe mixed with an encoder, makes the print head fire a little drop of ink out at the precise moment. A 3D printer can't do that, it must extrude the plastic at the right rate all the time, and must be able to make rapid changes of the speed it is doing it at. With a dc motor you got higher acceleration and de-acceleration than a stepper motor, plus it is much harder to control, not saying that it can't be done.

Most of the first 3D printers, both reprap's and makerbot's were all using DC motors in the beginning for the extruder, and they all had just those problems. Today not many use them any longer (last time I checked we had 1 on the reprap irc channel, and he was in the process of changing that to a stepper motor too).

Huge cnc machines use dc servo.
No, they also more and more use linear motors, but there are still some servo motors to be found in them. :)

And that brings up a whole new problem too, just to wrap it all up, because one of the older cnc lathes we got where I work AGAIN got encoder problems. So suddenly the X axis can fall 0.05mm without the machine knowing, because the encoder somehow failed to register some impulses. To be able to track a DC motor and make it turn exactly as you want it to, you need to have an encoder on, to get a good reliable result, you need a good encoder, to get a good encoder you need to spend even more money and need more wires to get the readings back to the controller.

Such an encoder for a 5mm shaft could be one from Zapp, which would then be around £36 for the encoder only, and seems to be in a good an usable quality... And a stepper motor that could perform same task would be just over £13...
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 04:32:39 pm by Mikey »
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Offline dda

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2012, 09:07:15 am »
There is an interesting blog post at sparkfun http://www.sparkfun.com/news/963 about viability of oshw. Sounds like a direct comment to the makerbot kerfuffle (eg, 150 employees etc).

The thing that separates makerbot from sparkfun/adafruit/arduino/?? is what exactly? Maybe a question to think on. I'd think the risky thing about makerbots business is it's lack of product diversity compared to the cost of it's product.
 

Offline dolabra

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2012, 09:09:39 am »
I don't think that this generation of 3d printers will be in every home,  It will take another evolution to get there. It will have to be a system that doesn't require moving heavy thermal print head around.  I bet it will be similar to the SLA processes. A laser or a UV print head will raster across a vat of resin creating an object in the vat.  Maybe it will be a deposition system with the resin being dropped from a inkjet like print head and a UV light to cure the resin.  But I think the thermal deposition systems will become the pen plotter of the past, replaced by more reliable raster based systems.  Just like dot matrix printers there will be an initial decrease in quality going to the raster system, but the cost savings will make people  adopt it and then in successive generations the quality will increase.
 

Offline dolabra

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2012, 09:24:26 am »
thanks for posting that link to mbot3d.  I'm glad to see the old thing-o-matic back,  I was about to buy one when the replicator came out and they phased out the old one.  I felt kinda sad about it, I didn't want the upgrades and the upgraded price.  In this case I think smaller is better, I don't need to print large things.  I still may not buy one, because there are lots of other options, I'm just glad to see the someone is keeping the old design alive.  In this case I see no problem in this clone,  the designer abandoned the design and left current owners left on their own, these people stepped in and filled the need. Bravo.
 

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2012, 09:33:02 am »
The thing that separates makerbot from sparkfun/adafruit/arduino/?? is what exactly?

A couple of big differences:
1) Makerbot has VC funding, the others do not. That means that the people who founded Makerbot are not in control any more.

2) Makerbot have essentially only one major product at a very high price point. The others do not, and in some cases have hundreds of products to spread the risk et.al e.g if someone clones the MintyBoost and everyone flocks to buy it from them instead of Adafruit, it would barely rate on Adafruits balance sheet.

Dave.
 

Offline Mikey

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2012, 09:47:28 am »
... to spread the risk et.al e.g if someone clones the MintyBoost and everyone flocks to buy it from them instead of Adafruit ...
This was a big problem here when the economical crisis started. There were MANY companies in the metal working industry working for single big companies like Danfoss and so, and when they cut down, the smaller companies making parts for them suddenly was without any income...

So it is risky what makerbot does, what if they fail with that single product they made? Maybe it is too low on the professional scale for professionals to buy it, and at the same time too expensive for hobbyists to buy it.
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Offline David_AVD

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2012, 11:01:44 am »
This was a big problem here when the economical crisis started. There were MANY companies in the metal working industry working for single big companies like Danfoss and so, and when they cut down, the smaller companies making parts for them suddenly was without any income...

Yes, having one major client can make for a very risky business future.

Also, if you only make one product, you'd better be damn sure there's a good market for it.
 

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #39 on: September 22, 2012, 01:10:57 pm »
So it is risky what makerbot does, what if they fail with that single product they made?

The VC's lose their money, Bre is out of a job, and the world continues spinning.

Dave.
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #40 on: September 22, 2012, 03:58:43 pm »
So it is risky what makerbot does, what if they fail with that single product they made?

The VC's lose their money, Bre is out of a job,

And no one in the open source community will even take a lollipop from him after this current stunt. But unlike the 150 engineers who will be out of a job, too, he should have some savings in the bank.
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Offline Mikey

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #41 on: September 22, 2012, 04:07:57 pm »
So it is risky what makerbot does, what if they fail with that single product they made?

The VC's lose their money, Bre is out of a job, and the world continues spinning.

Dave.
Well, I didn't really consider what would be the consequences on a world scale, more like what it would mean to them. Already when they stopped selling their TOM and no longer offered kits they narrowed their market down.
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Offline Richard345

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #42 on: September 22, 2012, 10:00:13 pm »
They go in the wrong direction, I think. It can't be very successful to bring such a project to semi-professional scale.
The Replicator 2 still won't be a stable, "user friendly" source for "high quality" printouts. It's not possible at this price. Regardless, hobbyists would like it. Small business professionals, with need for 3D printing, spend their money on modeling software and their time on modeling. They have the choice to send models to printing services that have the better printers, the better materials, the fitting technology available for each project.

 

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2012, 02:20:47 am »
They go in the wrong direction, I think. It can't be very successful to bring such a project to semi-professional scale.
The Replicator 2 still won't be a stable, "user friendly" source for "high quality" printouts. It's not possible at this price.

How do you know?, have you tried it?
I still haven't heard anyone name a competing commercial 3D printer in the same price bracket with similar looks and (claimed) performance.
They may very well be in a good niche that works for them, I would not write them off.
I'm not sure about the viability of their retail shop front in this price bracket. Their target "engineers, designers etc" market would be better serves with a few roving salespeople that come and demo the unit at your workplace.

Dave.
 

Offline JoannaK

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2012, 03:52:48 am »
I'm nore interested about the IP misuse (and mislabeling) than commercial (or not) success of the product. This I posted to another site.

Quote
For the feasible solution I'd recommend Makerbot-inc to release their corporation-hold of thingiverse if they can't uphold the sprit and legal aspects of open source any longer. It's obvious that the VC:s are calling the shots and original people behind the company are either thown out or bough into submisson with plenty of $$$ ..

In the end I belive that one shared Opensouce based respositery will be good for all. And Makerbot can still release theor parts/designs like others. This way thei will get all the goodwill they can, and I'm sure they will get their fair share of trafic and attention. I'm sure it's been good

I'm more worried about people more and more hiding their new designs... There has been plenty neat stuff at Thingiverse, and it's likely to (at least partially) collapse due all this. There's been talk of making a new alternative repositoruy, but copying the old designs will be complex operation since it's unlikely you'd be able to reach all designers in decent timeframe for opinion/permission.
 

Offline hodx

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #45 on: September 23, 2012, 10:02:06 pm »
Who cares if its open source or not....life goes on....Bre, will be jobless soon, as soon as his backers find a Steve Jobs type person....Adafruit makes little breakout boards, sure i copied the eagle files...but...I never make any of there boards...I make my own with fewer parts and different chips.Open Source is good for all the little kiddies that starting out in electronics,they keep the Adafruit and Sparkfuns in business by buying parts from them...If the electroniics movement dies again, so will they...its all supply and demand...what a rant...I sound like Dave  ;D
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 11:27:13 pm by hodx »
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2012, 05:47:19 am »
I make my own with fewer parts

Chinese engineering.
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Offline Richard345

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #47 on: September 24, 2012, 06:14:13 pm »
How do you know?, have you tried it?

No, but I've already seen many different models from rapid prototyping and I think, this approach of spitting thermoplastics out of a printhead has its limitations in comparison to stereolithography or even laser sintering. And every model needs some small corrections and finish, sometimes less, sometimes more...perhaps even print it a second time...so why not turning to a service, from which you get a certain quality and look for a certain price.
It might be the best printer you can get at this price, but I doubt that the outcomes convince professionals. When talking about quality, consider that these prototypes are not solely for engineers, who understand the capabilities of such a device. But they can imagine their models when looking at the CAD anyway. These things are often made for presentations to average consumers in a business position. The first thing they do, when the get it at their fingers, they flip it to its weakest point, compare it to their iPhone and ask: "It won't be that crude in production?"
 

Offline hodx

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #48 on: September 24, 2012, 09:07:08 pm »
@Bored@Work

  No...not Chinese Engineering...its called using your brain...and i use good parts...not HungLo parts....if i said this on the adafruit forum, i be banned like a friend of mine...never will buy from them again
 

Offline T4P

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #49 on: September 24, 2012, 09:15:02 pm »
Unless you really find a need for rapid prototyping 3D printers still do what they do best : quite slow prototyping at a reduced cost
Sure, laser sintering and stereolithography but asking somebody to do the services for you can cost quite alot on the long road, but that said if you don't do prototypes too often hiring some company's services is a good idea

But as you said, this is for semi-professionals so i doubt they even want a slow prototyping model, i think. But, who knows?! It's really about your need.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #50 on: September 28, 2012, 09:30:54 pm »
i'm eyeballing these guys : http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/25111729/hyrel-3d-printer

This looks like a 'real' machine.

1) It is built by a company (35 years in business) that specializes in precision robotics for waferfabs. ( They make wafer handlers used in cleanrooms and know all about precision motion control and mechanics )
2) No rubber gearbelts with paperclips or clothespin 'tensioners' here. These guys use precision linear rails and ball/screw drives for the z axis. 
3) No plastic parts and certainly no 3d printed parts in the production machine. Everything is milled from solid aluminum stock and anodized. Other parts are steel.
4) Oversized steppers
5) a real controller board and stepper controllers with some 'oomph' behind it as opposed to an underpowered hard-whino and stepper chips that explode if you sneeze in their general direction...
6) swappable extruders. machine is dual extruder capable. the extruder head simply snaps into place. changing filaments is a metter of pulling out the 'print' head and putting the new one in place.
7) large build volume ( 200x200x200 )
8) turnkey operation. ready to run out of the box
9) partially OPEN, in the sense that it can be driven from open source 3d printing software. The machine itself is an 'appliance' , but the API is G-code so you can use whatever frontend you want and tinker with that. (which is what i care about. i am not interested in building my own 3d printer or software. i want to print things. first time right without fuss. i use screwdrivers , i don't want to make them nor modify them. this printer is a 'screwdriver' )
10) pc / mac / linux
11) optional enclosure
12 ) optional print server. no futzing with usb or sd cards. plug it on your network and submit jobs into a queue.
13) local color graphics touchscreen
14) upgradeable printheads for different materials

And, it's CHEAPER than the makerbot or the machine form MIT that uses a liquid medium, but it is made by people who know to build precision mechanics and electronics for motion control.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 09:38:40 pm by free_electron »
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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #51 on: September 29, 2012, 12:56:52 am »
  No...not Chinese Engineering...its called using your brain...and i use good parts...not HungLo parts....if i said this on the adafruit forum, i be banned like a friend of mine...never will buy from them again

They ban people on the Adafruit forum?

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Offline Noize

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #52 on: September 29, 2012, 01:26:31 am »
Looks very professional(the promotional video is well made).   If I had the spare cash to get a 3D printer, I'd get one of these.

i'm eyeballing these guys : http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/25111729/hyrel-3d-printer

This looks like a 'real' machine.

1) It is built by a company (35 years in business) that specializes in precision robotics for waferfabs. ( They make wafer handlers used in cleanrooms and know all about precision motion control and mechanics )
2) No rubber gearbelts with paperclips or clothespin 'tensioners' here. These guys use precision linear rails and ball/screw drives for the z axis. 
3) No plastic parts and certainly no 3d printed parts in the production machine. Everything is milled from solid aluminum stock and anodized. Other parts are steel.
4) Oversized steppers
5) a real controller board and stepper controllers with some 'oomph' behind it as opposed to an underpowered hard-whino and stepper chips that explode if you sneeze in their general direction...
6) swappable extruders. machine is dual extruder capable. the extruder head simply snaps into place. changing filaments is a metter of pulling out the 'print' head and putting the new one in place.
7) large build volume ( 200x200x200 )
8) turnkey operation. ready to run out of the box
9) partially OPEN, in the sense that it can be driven from open source 3d printing software. The machine itself is an 'appliance' , but the API is G-code so you can use whatever frontend you want and tinker with that. (which is what i care about. i am not interested in building my own 3d printer or software. i want to print things. first time right without fuss. i use screwdrivers , i don't want to make them nor modify them. this printer is a 'screwdriver' )
10) pc / mac / linux
11) optional enclosure
12 ) optional print server. no futzing with usb or sd cards. plug it on your network and submit jobs into a queue.
13) local color graphics touchscreen
14) upgradeable printheads for different materials

And, it's CHEAPER than the makerbot or the machine form MIT that uses a liquid medium, but it is made by people who know to build precision mechanics and electronics for motion control.
 

Offline hodx

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #53 on: September 29, 2012, 02:48:48 pm »
Yes Dave, they ban people all the time...they don't let anyone talk about there fanboys or put down there products....that show they have is just a infomerical to sell...they banned a retarded friend of mine for having a email that reflected that problem...did you see any video from the open source summit....looks like DIY Drones are going to follow Makerbot...with closed source hardware or software...Bre from Maketbot looked and talked a little funny....he was nervous...he said what was closed source finally....
 

Offline Dagon

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #54 on: September 29, 2012, 07:35:57 pm »
Quote
Looks very professional(the promotional video is well made).   If I had the spare cash to get a 3D printer, I'd get one of these.

It does look pretty good. The MIT guys seems to be getting a lot more attention though. They blew right past their goal.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/formlabs/form-1-an-affordable-professional-3d-printer

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