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Robo C2 and Robo R2 Smart 3D Printers

Discussion in 'ROBO 3D News and Announcements' started by ROBOLabs, Sep 21, 2016.

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  1. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    I would be interested in seeing an itemized list of the "over 20 different filaments" the kickstarter claims. Because all I can think of are:

    1. Standard PLA
    2. Woodfilled PLA (under any given brand name)
    3. Metalfilled PLA (under any given brand name)
    4. Taulman's Nylon 230
    5. Maybe one or two other specialty filaments specifically designed for printers without heatbeds that are hard to find/expensive.
    Getting away from Glass as the build plate doesn't help the non-heated bed argument (that actually makes it worse, given the prolific range of PCB options thanks to the Reprap movement).
     
  2. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    You can (off the top of my head) print BluPrint with PEI or buildtak on a cold bed (we have done that) and Alloy910 doesn't need heat (done that one too).

    There are a number of others we have used, but ... I am a nervous nelly and almost always use some amount of bed heat (even though it is a panacea).

    edit: Mind you -- I still think not adding the heated bed is a downer.
     
    #102 mark tomlinson, Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
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  3. danzca6

    danzca6 Well-Known Member

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    Got to have something to keep them wanting more...and buying a future upgrade kit $$$ ;) Kind of like the second extruder for the R2.
     
  4. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    I think not just selling it with two up-front (a cheaper option for a single if you really wanted) is also a mistake.
    There are too many other dual-extrusion machines out there now* and not playing with that team is putting yourself at a disadvantage.
    Things have changed by leaps and bounds (not all for the better, but still...) since the days of the Robo Beta.


    *again as I have said before -- using dual extrusion is more complex than people realize and it is actually needed even less with good modelling.
     
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  5. WheresWaldo

    WheresWaldo Volunteer ( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)
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    I think you guys are looking at this all wrong. I believe the market that Robo is going for is the true CONSUMER. Not the enthusiast or tinkerer, but rather those that believe the hype of 'If you can imagine it, you can print it!' Of course anyone with even a modicum of experience with 3D printers knows that is simply marketing and not true. This appears to be built as a pretty machine that looks good on a shelf or on display at some big box store. It's appears meant to look good in a sterile office environment on someone's desk. So if it is missing features like a heated bed for the C2 or dual extruders for the R2 it doesn't really matter to those purchasers. Open source doesn't matter to those buyers either, that is why it is not more prominent in the Kickstarter ad copy. The pricing matches this assessment. If you want to sell it in consumer outlets there has to be enough margin in it for big box stores to dedicate floor and warehouse space to it.

    We here, for the most part, look at the value of all the components to provide this type of functionality and see that the sum of the parts do not equal the whole, so we complain about overly inflated price point and the lack of real innovation. We complain about the lack of openness with regard to how it is assembled or the combination of software/components used. Maybe, just maybe this printer isn't for us. After all you can't build a business if all you do is sell into your already existing customer base.

    Just an opinion.
     
  6. Geof

    Geof Volunteer Moderator
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    Because i cant do it more than once....LIKE LIKE LIKE!

    perfectly put
     
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  7. Ed Ferguson

    Ed Ferguson Active Member

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    Waldo – Points well taken.

    I see parallels between the 3D printer market and the PC market circa 1977 – mid-eighties.

    Take Apple as a comparison.

    Apple 1: 1976. Built in a garage. Marketed to hobbyists who know how to solder and write programs in assembly language. Purely for those who wanted to tinker & learn. Got attention of investors.

    Apple II: 1977. Investor backing. Built in a factory. Fully enclosed case. Designed as a plug n’ play appliance (sorta, still needed a monitor). Limited practical applications until cheaper memory & storage came along. BASIC program language for non-programmers. Lots of upgrade paths in terms of open slots, external storage, modems, etc. Word processing and spreadsheet functionality very limited at the start.

    Macintosh 1984: Closed system - not even expandable memory. Sold as an “appliance” computer. Programming skills not required to perform word processing, spreadsheets, graphics, etc. Heavily marketed to students and graphic artists.

    So yes, selling to hobbyists is a limited market. As the technology improves the products evolve and new markets open. Companies who want to sell kits and open-frame products may hang in there during the infancy, but long-term they eventually fail if they don’t evolve into main stream products and find larger markets. In the early days of Apple, the education market was key.
     
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  8. mark tomlinson

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    This.

    Said this myself a time or two :)
     
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  9. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    The problem with the "consumer appliance" mindset is that 3d printers at the price point we're talking about are still nowhere near the advanced stage they need to be in order for the general consumer to be happy with the printer.

    The MK2 gets very close (again, at the price range we're talking about), but even that printer still has tinkering issues once you get past the Youtube reviews and start reading the forum posts on the Original Prusa forums (mostly having to do with people doing terrible jobs putting the kit together, the people that buy the assembled/tested version tend to be very happy).

    And that's my point.

    Someone else has come out with a printer that all of more popular 3d printer enthusiast names have come out and said sets the new benchmark for printers at this price point/range. Someone that already has a history in the hobbyist circles for coming up with the previous benchmark design that everyone else copied (including Robo3d for the original R1, which was just an i3 design with a molded plastic case covering the Z-axis and functioning as a dubious support structure and a baffling design decision to make the build plate out of a very poor glass plate in the early iterations of the design).

    Then you have Robo and their C2 & R2. The C2 is very close to the same price point as the MK2; yet smaller in build size, no heated build plate and nobody has had any kind of hands on look at the thing yet but we're supposed to take it on faith that the design will not suffer from the same issues the R1 was plagued with since the Beta kickstarter (quality control, support, etc.)?

    These forums are largely a safe haven for the R1 but if you go outside to Facebook or Reddit and it's reputation is basically mud to anyone that isn't a complete newbie. That AMA that was on Reddit for the R1 was brutal.

    Then there is the R2. The same criticism applies to all these promises being made in spec sheets but no real hands-on reviews or even token time-lapses like the Prometheus folks did for their kickstarter.

    Nobody has actually seen either printer print something from start to finish that wasn't an employee of Robo saying "Trust me guys, the printer actually meets the specs promised!"

    Trade show after trade show with a static model surrounded by R1s printing things, but the prototype not actually doing anything.

    Things may be different if the R2 and C2 (previously RMini) weren't things that had been promised and concept modeled for two years prior to the kickstarter coming up. But it's hard to take anything that's been said by Robo employees within the last couple months seriously since it's the same thing that's been said every other week since Fall of 2014.
     
  10. WheresWaldo

    WheresWaldo Volunteer ( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)
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    @daniel871

    Dan, Dan, Dan, you are still under the mistaken impression that Robo wants you to be the customer for the C2 and R2. Investors want growth and building larger a larger customer base. It simply doesn't matter what was promised in 2014. All that matters is what it looks like in 2016, the average consumer is not as smart as you give them credit for. They don't care about kickstarters or Reddit or trade shows that show nothing actually working. What matters now is how many can they sell to the big blue box stores, to the red and blue warehouse stores. It will be their job to push it onto the public. Just make more of those predefined kits available and look at all the stuff I can do with my new toy. The consumer is buying just that, a toy not a tool. You are still looking at this as if it were a tool.

    I am sure if you took the total number of worldwide sales of the R1 in all it variants and compared that to the number of people that actually participate on Robo's Facebook feed, Reddit AMA's, subscribe to their twitter feed we are probably speaking a percentage in the low single digits. In order to grow and remain financially stable Robo will seek out all those consumers that want a toy that gets used once in awhile. People who don't build complex models on their own, and would rather just download some tchotchke or two from a file repository and just print it in their Robo PLA. That is the majority of the consumer market. That is where they want to be. They don't really need you or I and as soon as you realize just how unimportant we are, you will stop all the bashing and see the C2 and R2 for what it really is, a pure consumer play.

    Full disclosure, I don't consider myself the average consumer but I don't give a shit about Reddit AMA's or trade shows or Kickstarters either. I could care less about any of the complaints on their Facebook page, nor do most average consumers.
     
    #110 WheresWaldo, Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  11. Ed Ferguson

    Ed Ferguson Active Member

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    Waldo – I agree with the majority of your post.

    Where I disagree is the narrow definition of the consumer market.

    $600 and up is a lot to pay for a machine to just make downloaded tchotchke’s or Yoda busts or whatever.

    I think people want a 3D printer so they can push their ideas into reality.

    For some, it may start out as a toy, but the ability to learn and experiment with designs and ideas means it’s not limited to being a toy.

    Many successful people in the computer and software industry tell similar stories of how they received a Commodore 64 (or insert any hobby computer name here) in middle school and used it initially to play games. Then they graduated to writing simple programs. Then they started doing productive work and forming the basis of a college education and a career. Guys like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs began with crude computers, developed a vision, dropped out of college, and the rest is history.

    For myself, I have backed a Robo R2 on Kickstarter. I based my decision on the excellent and accurate prints from my son’s R1+. He has printed parts that I designed for use in application-specific fixtures for my business. My R2 will be a tool, not a toy – a business expense that I expect will pay for itself in 12-24 months, just as my CNC lathe and milling machines have.

    So I think the 3D printer consumer market is broader than stated. It will range from educators to parents to inventors to designers to small business owners like me. Basically the same kind of folks who enabled the personal computer revolution 30 years ago.
     
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  12. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    To add to this, Shapeways, 3dHubs and other avenues exist where people can just pay a nominal fee to have their random tchotchke or toy printed for <$20 vs. paying >$600 for a use once-in-a-while toy printer.

    Also, that 3d printer by Mattel for the people that are literally looking to print toys that will retail for $300.

    It doesn't have a heated bed, but it's also only $300, fully enclosed with a similar CoreXY design to the C2 with an integrated software package, and deliberately marketed as a tchotchke printer.

    The problem with "they're just looking for the consumer market" ignores the fact that your average consumer is not going to be willing to spend $700-$1,200 on a "I'm only going to use this once in a while" device.
     
  13. danzca6

    danzca6 Well-Known Member

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    #113 danzca6, Oct 5, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
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  14. WheresWaldo

    WheresWaldo Volunteer ( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)
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    My main point still stands, we as first adopters and/or enthusiasts are just a small fraction of the community (consumer market) that Robo wants to cultivate. They do not have to impress us, just all the talking heads in the media and on YouTube.

    Aside: Of all the people involved in this conversation I bet I am the only one that bought their printer at a real brick and mortar Blue Box Store.

    I do want all to know, that I too am disappointed in both the C2 and R2, think they are way overpriced for a printer shipping in 2017 with a few cobbled together parts and a pretty ribbon tied all round. I am sure the packaging will be all pretty too. I also do not fully trust the "I saw it print and it exceeds our..." statements that only come from Robo employees. I would love to see and use one in person or at least see some of the more popular Youtube channels do a video review of the thing.
     
    #114 WheresWaldo, Oct 5, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
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  15. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    I, for one, would *love* to see Thomas Sanladerer or Maker's Muse or the 3D Printing Nerd review one of the new Robo printers.

    It'll never happen though. None of those guys ever even reviewed the R1 beta or R1 or R1+ or R1+Plus.
     
  16. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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  17. danzca6

    danzca6 Well-Known Member

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    I agree. What I find odd, and I may have mentioned this before, is that Robo sent Joel and Chuck Hellebuyck R1+ models to review recently. Very late in the R1 game for these reviews IMO. Chuck just released his a couple weeks ago and Joel is still getting caught up on all of his reviews. With it being so close to the R2/C2 release I was really hoping Robo would have sent early releases of these printers out for review so we could get a unbiased review and/or demonstration about the time these hit the shelves.
     
  18. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    Was he the guy that basically said "Eh, it's an okay printer"?
     
  19. danzca6

    danzca6 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, pretty much cut Robo's ABL implementation into pieces. He said he visited the forum for help on some of his issues, but must not have actually created an account and asked questions. Some of his issues I was like "man I could have helped you with that". I guess they are under the gun to do a fairly quick turn around of a review on top of all of the other things they do in life. So yes a not so favorable review of the R1+ just before the R2 launch. Maybe a good thing maybe not. Just wished it was the R2/C2 he was reviewing.
     
  20. WheresWaldo

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    Joel and Thomas will come to the same conclusion, overpriced in today's market so why would anyone think that it would be a good idea to send one to either of those guys!

    More likely they would probably send one to a tech section of some glossy magazine like Good Housekeeping (do they still exist?) or another of their ilk, since it will get a guaranteed rave review and reach a wider audience. A rag like that will show it printing a toy and then rely on faith when they say it can be used for 1000's of uses.
     
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