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Update at RoBo 3D Headquarters!

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Harry, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Harry

    Harry Team ROBO 3D
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    Hi Backers!
    It seems like we are due for an update. Apologies for the delay! I just want to share some stuff that is currently on the table here and something we, as a team, are discussing. And we also ask you for your insight and ideas as we move forward!
    As you all know, we have hired a great consultant that has been helping us reshape the business from a corporate structure standpoint and also helping us shape this business in a way that will allow us to be a big player in this amazing industry. He asked us a question when he first came in to talk with us. He said, "What is your contribution to this industry?" We looked at each other and said a..."Umm. A nice, affordable 3D Printer" to which he replied, "There will be 100 of those in a year. Now let's focus on what we can provide for this industry." We are really looking at what advantages we can create and how we can shape and grow our RoBo 3D community moving forward. We hope that you backers, once you receive your printers, will come along on this journey with us and help us with your ideas and insights. After all, you are the hub of how this business started- the Nema stepper motors to our 3D printer business, if you will. You really will be the first people to experience RoBo 3D outside of us and we really want to grow this business and make it a withstanding business for years and years to come. We have growth ideas, opportunities, distribution possibilities and a vision for this business now and we hope to share that all with you through our actions moving forward.
    On the more important side concerning all the backers, We are still in a pre production stage. The wait is still on the molded parts. We are still pre prepping tons of printers. I think we have around 500 prepped and just need the molded parts to build out so that will go a lot faster. It is a holiday in China, but our manufacturers are talking via FaceTime with us at the office and giving us video updates working hard to get these things done. All we can do is root them on...urgently!! I understand a delay is not ideal and production being pushed back is not awesome for all of you amazing backers who helped us jump start this business and the delay is strictly because the printer is being made better before it hits your doorstep. The time is very near. They just said most of the molds are done (the very long part) and parts are being tested and produced (the quick part).
    As we move forward as soon as we hear anything from our manufacturer, we will blast to the facebook, update, and forum. The time is very very near, we promise you all that. Thank you for your patience. Excited to show you our workspace and videos of us building your printers!
    Backers, we love you, we love RoBo 3D and we want to succeed with this business. Our plan moving forward is going to be amazing and I hope you all are ready to come along with us as we go from this startup into a truly amazing functioning business.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Seshan

    Seshan Active Member

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    Wow, they are still waiting on the molds to be finished. So it looks like we won't be seeing our printers till the end of May at the earliest. How could it take 3+ months to make molds D:

    I guess I will really get my Filastruder before my printer, and I didn't buy a hopper thinking I would be able to print it :(
     
  3. David Mortlock

    David Mortlock Active Member

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    It seems the Chinese holidays are getting the blame for the delays but this should stop in 2 days. I hope the one in June doesn't affect us.

    Official Chinese Holidays
    Jan 1 - Jan 3
    Feb 9 - Feb 15
    Apr 4 - Apr 6
    Apr 29 - May 1
    Jun 10 - Jun 12
     
  4. keraynopoylos

    keraynopoylos New Member

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    After reading this last update(which could be summarized to "no news-still waiting for the molded parts to be manufactured"), I wouldn't hope for an earlier shipping date than early to mid June.
     
  5. Seshan

    Seshan Active Member

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    Yeah, the Chinese holiday is not to blame for the delay. Since the parts where suppose to be here before the holiday anyways.
     
  6. Matthias

    Matthias Member

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    A delay was clearly communicated from the beginning, nothing to complain about...
     
  7. keraynopoylos

    keraynopoylos New Member

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    A delay of one month, which has now passed.

    But anyway, the delay per se is not really a problem for me. The lack of expected date does bother me though...
     
  8. David Mortlock

    David Mortlock Active Member

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    The first delay was mentioned at the end of January. This was a delay of 2 weeks.

    April 9 we were told that moulded parts would arrive at the end of April. We are now told that they haven't even completed making the moulds.

    I don't think it is worth putting out an estimated delivery time until they have all the parts in their hands.
     
  9. Leon Grossman

    Leon Grossman Active Member

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    This is yet another case of a kickstarter campaign not putting quite enough priority on information to backers. Pretty much every KS I've been on has had a lack of necessary information in their communication and irritated/annoyed/outright hostile backers as a result.

    My advice to the R3D crew and any KS campaign is the advice given to me by my boss years ago: "You know before the meeting started that you're going to be late. Call the customer and let them know."

    So, great, we knew from the beginning that there would be a delay. That's a start at setting expectations. Unfortunately, the expecation that the molded parts would be here by today is only dispelled last night during the update and it wasn't a last minute and unexpected shipping strike, the molds aren't done yet!

    I'm not a grumpy backer yet and I fully understand that delays happen but here's what I'd like to see:

    • The molds were delayed, fine. When will the molds be done? Soon is not an answer. 1 week, 3 weeks. 1-3 weeks?
    • How long will the test shots take?
    • How long to produce the production parts?
    • Really, the important one is when will they be in the hands of the R3D crew?
    • Since they've been pre-building, does this become a case where most of the backers are delayed into June but then everything can go out in a very short amount of time and get back on track or are we looking at August for June backers?
    What we (I) want is an updated delivery date that means something. The R3D guys have to have created an updated timeline. Break it down for us, put a bunch of disclaimers that state that it is still provisional and subject to change due to the complicated realities of starting a business and then let us readjust our expectations to something other than "soon".
    If I had to make a wild guess.
    • Let's pretend that the molds get approved this week
    • That shipping from china is 1 - 2 weeks
    • That test shots take 2 days plus any rework. So 2-5 days.
    • We don't know how many molds they've got going so I'm going to say 100/day, that's 10 days to make the parts.
    Adding that all together, the housings arrive between the end of May and the first or second week of June. What I can't make a guess at is how quickly the kits/fully assembled printers can be finished and put on a truck to us.
    I know I want you guys to succeed as does everyone else here. We just want to know when we get our toys.
     
  10. CAMBO3D

    CAMBO3D New Member

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    seems like they should have some molds in there hands by now. logical idea would be to make 50 for one month, ship those out.. then make another 50 for the next. ship those out.. etc....

    doesn't seem logical to me to have large run, shipped at the same time..but that's my idea, what's actual my not work out like that..

    i'm with the other guys on this one.. how about a better planned shipping date based on when you guys expect to receive these molded parts. How many have they actually made?

    up until yesterday you guys said that you still planned on shipping at the end of this month and early may. lets cut the BS here and give us straight answers.

    also this may just be a minor delay whose to say they'll be ready to ship these ina week or two. its still early may.
     
  11. Harry

    Harry Team ROBO 3D
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    Hey Guys. I just wanted to first, apologize for all your frustration, on yet another delay. First and formost, I would like to clarify if it was not made clear in the update. What they mean by delay, is this is just a minor delay that is only setting them back about a week. This is not a delay that should be setting them back any more than that, and defanitly not a month or two.

    Secondly, In the chat, someone had said ""hopefully the prebuilding means that only the earliest supporters are delayed and they will be able to catch up quick when the parts arrive." That is true, only the first backers will be delayed, all other backers will be on time, or possibly, but don't take my word, early, as a great load (about 500 printers!) are build and just waiting for the injection molded parts.

    I"m going to get some answers of questions you've mentioned above. Let me know if you have any more questions.

    If you have questions or what not, you can always talk with me, email me (harrison@tc3.co), message me on the forums, tweet to me (@hvalner). I talk with the team daily and can get any questions answered for you.

    - Harry
     
  12. Seshan

    Seshan Active Member

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    Thanks Harry, Leon has some good questions I'd like to see answered.

    But really, It's more then a week, Unless they are getting the plastic parts in by the middle of next week. Remember, they where suppose to have the parts by the end of April. If molds are not done yet, they still need to make the parts and ship them to the US.

    I'd like to see a realistic timeline, not something that is really optimistic or trying to make us feel better by telling us it's only a week delay( I really don't believe that)
     
  13. Harry

    Harry Team ROBO 3D
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    Backers,

    We are not blaming this recent holiday. This process has been a lot more than we thought it would be. Luckily, we have been able to network and meet certain people who have led us to different manufacturers for different parts and such.

    We are just making sure that we can put a great product out there and keep the business going. That is all and I hope you believe that from us. Yes, the main delays have been the molds, but also they were re-engineering the parts/molds to make them better. All this takes time. The molds are about done. That is the difficult part (getting to this point). They will knock out all the parts and we should have them soon. I will let everyone know exactly what day when we know exactly what day. We are pressing. And yes, the first couple hundred we plan on air shipping and then doing the rest via sea so we can get these going.

    I understand you all have been waiting a while. We realize we should have put our estimated shipping dates back on Kickstarter. We made a mistake. Which is why we now have a consultant and someone to help us moving forward.

    Hang in there! The road is near. We are all unbelievably eager as well. We cannot wait to build your printers.

    -Braydon Moreno
     
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  14. AutopsyTurvy

    AutopsyTurvy Active Member

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    I think the main issue with this update is that it doesn't actually tell us anything. Clarification has happened here, to a degree, but it still takes teasing the information out of the fluff. I don't mean to be overly-critical here - I know ya'll are a new company and these are normal struggles.

    Can I suggest, for future updates, that the main points can be distilled down into bullet points? For example, something like:

    * Molds are complete, and we're now awaiting word on when the molded parts will be complete.
    * All other printer parts are assembled and ready - we're just waiting on the molded parts.
    * No major additional delays expected on top of the initial delay we experienced back in (whenever that was), just providing some info on where we are now. Max delay for this is estimated to be ~ 1 week.
    * First batches will be air shipped so they get to customers faster - only the first set should be delayed and later batches should be approximately on time.
    * This puts our estimated delivery ~ 3 weeks late for the first batch and on-time for later batches.
    * We'll provide a new update with a better ETA as soon as we get further info from the company in China doing the molded parts.

    I'm not entirely clear on all of the above because some of it's from the update, some of it's from Harry, and some from Braydon above, and I've not finished my first cup of coffee besides (so please nobody quote my bullet points going "Buhhh, this is not true!" - it's just meant as an example), but... something like that, please?

    I am glad to be backing a cool young company, but tbh, I'm not overly concerned on whether you've hired a consultant or paragraphs of hopefulness, and I think I'm probably not alone in mainly just wanting a good estimate of when I'll be getting the kickass printer ya'll are producing. :)
     
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  15. Printed Solid

    Printed Solid Volunteer Admin
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    Every internet post should include that statement as a disclaimer :D
     
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  16. Ben Lindstrom

    Ben Lindstrom Active Member

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    Writing short and to the point messages while still keeping a level of excitement takes a pretty good writer. I have the honor of being the word smith for a lot of things in the community group I'm working in because of what @AutopsyTurvy is stating.

    At some point I suspect the Robo3d team will have a dedicated PR person that will be handed technical update stacks and that person will distill them down to clean simple announcements, but until then we may have to live with more of a rambling natural style. *shrug*

    Mind you I will state one advice.. The "Wall of text" approach to updates is painful unless you have a very good humorist writer. =) Having some bullet points, smaller more focused paragraphs make things much easier to read as information is broken up more.

    Mind you, I'd rather see a rolling conversation then massive news drops from the sky, but I know how painful that style can be if you are attempting to do a lot of things with little staff.

    - Ben
     
  17. Michael Stone

    Michael Stone Member

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    @ Harry/Robo team…..

    Guys, we need to have a chat…… I’m not sure your focus is where it should be.
    If you take a look at this thread, you will see comments from Leon and Autopsy. Both of these people are giving you exact examples of information your backers want to see, and I’m not seeing that info from you.

    Other Kickstarter projects (OUYA) are giving weekly updates. We should be seeing something like that from you all. We should have a set schedule with constant updates of expectations and time frames. You should be in contact with your manufacturers weekly and letting us know you are on top of things, even if you don’t have any updates to shipping dates. You also need to coordinate updates and make sure all of them go out on this website, Facebook, and Kickstarter. (Especially Kickstarter, since it emails all your backers when there is an update.)

    You all have said you have hired a “great consultant,” but I’m not sure it’s the RIGHT consultant. Maybe you need to get rid of this one and get a different one.

    From Harry above:
    See, what we all signed up for on Kickstarter WAS a nice, affordable 3D printer. You all don’t have anything to “provide for this industry” until WE have a solid product in our hands that we are happy with. No amount of consulting work or future planning is going to help if your backers are unsatisfied or annoyed by the timeframe or end product.

    If your consultant is also ignoring the idea of putting out a good manufacturing product at a decent price, I’d point to companies like Dell, Gateway, IBM/Lenovo, Sharp, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, HP….. all of those made millions/billions manufacturing electronic devices at a good price.

    You need to be concentrating on 2 things: your backers, and manufacturing. If your consultant is telling you differently, then you have the wrong consultant.
     
  18. Printed Solid

    Printed Solid Volunteer Admin
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    I think what Michael just said eloquently nails it! I've been meaning to post something similar and couldn't think of how to phrase it without coming across as a jerk.
     
  19. David Mortlock

    David Mortlock Active Member

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    Can I third that from Michael
     
  20. Ben Lindstrom

    Ben Lindstrom Active Member

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    Sorry, I don't agree with Michael. Any company that just focuses on the "now" (which is what you are effectively suggesting) with no eye to the future is dead. History is littered with such companies. I'd rather not see Robo3d be yet another one.

    Also, building affordable hardware isn't the end all. Dell and Gateway build "affordable machines" but year over year their service department gets hammered with horrible marks by all consumer rating. Because the company is so focused on selling cheap hardware. Ya they both still exist (after a few mergers, being taken private, pissed stock holders, etc), but neither are actually innovating. Which is killing both of them in the terms of actually bringing a killer product to market. Are you advocating this for Robo3d?

    The other thing I'd like to point out is we know less than 1% of how the company is organized, what their plans are in the future, etc. To claim the consultant is "wrong" or what they are going to do is "bad" is pretty much worthless as we *DON'T KNOW JACK.*

    Frankly, I suggest getting off their back and let them run their company. They don't need us being backseat drivers, and us being such things will not improve their production rate, quality, nor product at this time.
     
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