When you think of a Brooklyn-based desktop 3D printer manufacturer, MakerBot likely would be the first company to pop into your head. That’s because they are the giant within the space, and have absorbed a majority of the demand within the market for desktop 3D printers. With that said, there is actually a second rather popular 3D printer manufacturer located in Brooklyn as well, called Solidoodle.
The brainchild of former MakerBot COO Sam Cervantes, Solidoodle has quickly set its place among the leaders withing the desktop 3D printing market. That’s why back in August when the company unveiled their lineup of three new, affordable 3D printers, the competition began to worry a bit. Three printers, with three different price points, all promising the simplicity, reliability, and print quality that you might find in machines costing 2-3 times the price. The Press, the Workbench and the Workbench Apprentice were all priced under $1,300, and all were expected to begin shipping sometime in September of this year.
September came, October rolled around, and November creeped in, yet none of these machines have left the warehouse for customers’ homes. The problem? The manufacturing and assembly did not go as planned. After the initial machines began to roll off the assembly line, the company noticed that the units were not up to par. Therefore Solidoodle had to reconfigure the entire manufacturing process, altering the machines used to create the components, retraining those assembling the devices, and putting in place quality assurance testing.
“I am in China as I write this and I am personally inspecting each printer of the first batch as it comes off the assembly line to ensure quality control,” explained Sam Cervantes, CEO and Founder of Solidoodle, in an email to customers. “We’re all working very hard to ship as soon as possible.”
When a relatively small company expands rapidly and releases a new product, which is gobbled up faster than even they could have imagined, issues apparently arise. This has been the case with all three of Solidoodle’s new products. Their manufacturing facilities and suppliers were used to medium-volume manufacturing methods, so when these new printers, particularly the Solidoodle Press, were introduced into the market, they were not ready to produce the high-volume mass-manufactured components necessary.
There is good news, however, in that the company has released a new timetable for shipments. The Solidoodle Press, which has been the most popular of the new products, should begin shipping the week of December 18th. This will cover order numbers 25863 to 26445. From there, as new machines roll off the assembly line, further shipments will commence. As for the Solidoodle Workbench, these too should begin shipping around the middle of December. For those who have ordered the Workbench Apprentice, the news is even better. Starting December 1st these machines will commence shipping, and all Apprentice’s will be shipped by the 5th.
It’s not easy having to wait months longer than one had expected for a product they had ordered, especially when the holidays are just around the corner. With that said, at least some individuals will be receiving their orders prior to the holidays, and others soon after. Have you been waiting for your new Solidoodle 3D printer? Let us know your thoughts on these delays in the Solidoodle Press & Workbench forum thread on 3DPB.com. The complete email from the company regarding these delays can be read below: