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techzonecommunications.com as a seller

Posted by devtty1 
techzonecommunications.com as a seller
October 29, 2011 09:33AM
UPDATE: 03/13/12 - In summary, this thread should warn you to avoid doing business with techzonecommunications.com. Also avoid doing business with ebay seller reprapsmurf as these are the same people and while reprapsmurf seems to be interested in doing a legitimate business, the fact that they have left so many of their techzone customers high and dry, you should expect the same results with reprapsmurf

My recommendation is not a hasty response. If you read thru this thread, you will note that I have exercised a great deal of patience and empathy. It has always been my position to give techzone the benefit of the doubt

However, after almost 5 months of poor communication, faulty parts and no customer service I have no choice but to draw the conclusion that techzonecommunications.com is not a legitimate business but rather a scam.


On Oct 21 I went to www.techzonecommunications.com and ordered their laser cut mendel. My credit card was charged on the same day

But here it is Oct 29 and I have not heard anything about the order nor am I getting response using the web sites "Contact Us" link.

As it happens, I have Kimberly's yahoo email so I sent an email directly to that email address but have not heard anything in response

It's been 8 days with absolutely no response from anyone representing techzonecommunications.com

Does anyone know about techzonecommunications? I used google checkout and it appears like I can file a complaint with them but I don't want to.

Please, someone help me with information about this operation


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2012 04:37AM by devtty1.
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
October 29, 2011 09:41AM
There are several topics about the on the forum. Here's one of them [forums.reprap.org] You can search the forum to find more.

They have had communication and quality problems before, but I've bought electronics from them a couple of times and always got what I ordered in the end. Though it could take a fair amount of time.

Edit: Only really bought from them twice.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/29/2011 11:03AM by Nudel.

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Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
October 29, 2011 10:06AM
Thanks Nudel

I bought from them because in previous direct queries, they had been responsive and helpful and from reading some of the forums they seemed to be helpful

But I am a bit concerned about the "no communications" after 8 days. So in your experience, are they communicative?

I don't mind waiting but I would sure like some assurance directly from Kimberly or Lambert

I will re-post to this thread if I learn new information
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
October 29, 2011 12:17PM
I order parts from them all the time. I wouldn't worry. They are very busy. They are slow sometimes on responding to e-mails. Here is another e-mail that you can try. lambert@lambertandrus.com I usually find it takes about 7-10 days for them to get to your e-mail.

Jeff Christiana
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
October 29, 2011 01:01PM
Hey Adventure!

thank you! that's what I needed to hear. That's consistent with what I initially thought but I did get a little (ok, maybe a lot) panic'y
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
October 29, 2011 05:17PM
Got an email from techzonecommunications.com and all is "OK"

looking forward to joining the reprap world!
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
October 29, 2011 05:59PM
Good to hear, welcome to the community! smiling smiley

Be warned though, RepRap is dangerously addictive...

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Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
November 01, 2011 04:24PM
On Oct 19th I ordered and paid through google checkout for the All Metal 50:1 Extruder and as of 2nd Nov
I have not heard from ThechZone. I have sent three emails requesting how the order is going and have
received nothing I am getting very worried about this order.
I have shoped at TechZoneCommunications.com before and had no problems so this lack of response now is very unusual.
I have also read some very bad posts about TechZone recently and this disterbs me, I hope i they respond
soon I need an extruder now.
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
November 10, 2011 11:37PM
CassArt, can you update on the status of your order?
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
November 10, 2011 11:48PM
I finally received my order on Nov 9. It was sent Nov 5. Nov 5 is 5 days later than techzone email communication told me they would ship it.

Somewhere I read the following advice: "when you 1st get your kit, test the electronics then start building the frame". The point of this was so you could be working on the kit while electronic issues can be worked out over time. The alternative is to spend your time putting the unit together and then at the end, find out you have controller card issues and then wait idle while they get resolved.

So that's what I did. I went straight to the electronics and tested the controller with the stepper motors. techzonecommunications.com has put together a respectable wiki on the reprap wiki altho it is lacking photos. However, since it's a wiki, it's reasonable that I (or another customer) could post some of the missing pics so I don't fault techzone for that.

It does seem as tho I have a defective board. That's my opinion as of now. I QA test hardware and software for a living and am well versed in the art of root cause analysis so I do believe I'm correct. However, I will leave room to be wrong as of now.

I sent an email via the techzone web site today (Nov 10) specifying what I perceive the problem to be and have asked them for advice. I also posted a video on the web and pointed them to that video in order to see what I was talking about when I decided there may be a problem with the control board.

There are a couple of minor pieces missing from the kit so I've emailed techzonecommunications.com via their web site and asked them to send those parts. In effect, grinding the build to a halt as the missing pieces belong in the center of the "front" and "back" units. IE, I can't put it together and wait, I have to put these pieces on first and then can complete these units.

I will keep updating this thread as my experience progresses
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
November 15, 2011 03:52PM
i received a response about the missing part about the day after I sent the email. techzone said they would ship the missing pieces so I expect the package some time this week.

On Nov 15 I got a tech support reply to my query about the faulty controller card. turns out all those years of experience in QA and still have a lot to learn because the behavior I'm seeing is to be expected. oh well. ... always learning. the reply was detailed which I really appreciate and I can't complain about the turn around time cause it really isnt too bad. 3rd business day when I got it and thats reasonable

I'll resume my build on receipt of the missing parts and update this thread as I have info to report
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
November 15, 2011 04:01PM
Hi devtty1,
I have canceled my order for the extruder.I could not wait any longer i needed a extruder to continue my work. TechZone is having trouble fixing problems with the extruder motors.
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
November 15, 2011 09:33PM
Cassart, thanks for the update. I know thats frustrating. future readers will appreciate it too
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
December 23, 2011 02:20PM
This is just an update to this thread for future readers:

It's Dec 23. I'm working on my mendel slowly and things are progressing as well as can be expected.

I did discover that the belts that techzone sent were not quite right. I had the right belt for the Z axis. There are 2 other belts in the package. one belt was too short to be useful on this particular build. The other belt was long enough to be cut for use in one of the X/Y axis. I cut it for the "Y" axis.

Initially I sent an email asking for clarification on the use of the belts. Email response was not lightning fast, but Kurt did respond (he was in India at the time, so I can certainly allow for delay etc). When we finally determined I did not get the right belts and needed the correct belt sent, I requested the replacement be sent in time so I could work on it during Christmas break and to let me know when it was shipped. More than enough lead time for it to arrive by Dec 23, but it hasn't arrived yet and I did not get any info on whether it was shipped or not. I sent an email today asking if it has been shipped. It could be in todays' mail but that's really my last chance to get a good head start on finishing this build over Christmas break. Of course, it is Christmas shipping season so that isn't helping but as mentioned, there was plenty of lead time to get it.

As for the build instructions, they are a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. Given that it is a wiki and it's open to improvement by others, I bear some of the responsibility for the low rating. I'm hoping to get this mendel working and then sell it to buy another. If I do that, I intend to use my experience to improve the wiki. I'm actually enjoying the build process. Fire up the ol' TV and watch a football game or old movie while putting things together. That's tops in my book.

A couple of issues I had that the wiki didn't provide info for:

1) when the Z axis gear is attached, the frame no longer rests on the work surface. Rather, it rests on the 2 gears making it unstable by about 1/2". I knew I could resolve it by adding feet to the 4 resting points of the frame, but I couldn't figure out from the wiki if I had done something wrong. I wasn't able to glean info from the photos

2) putting the belt on the Y axis requires two wooden pieces to be attached to the extruder mount to secure the belt ends. These wooden pieces should be attached prior to assembling the extruder mount, otherwise, if you wait till the wiki tells you to install the belt, you won't be able to get the nut on the back side of the wooden pieces. Again, my fear was that I had done something wrong but couldn't find any clear explanation in the wiki

3) I haven't found any clear description of mounting/using the endstop. I did read (somewhere) that I could fry something if I don't do it right but not much information specific to my mendel that would prevent me from doing it wrong.

4) there are a lot of pics on the build wiki. That's good. You can zoom in on them which is good too. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to find the context of a particular picture. IE, when it shows a close up of a particular section, you don't always know what the photo is showing.

In summary, I would say you are safe to do business with Techzone. If you are objective, I think you will find that any faults they have are easy to explain and are not due to greed or laziness. I would say that for the cost of the kit, I want better accuracy in the delivered kit and I would like better instructions. I expect they will get better with the accuracy and maybe I can help improve the instructions.
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
December 23, 2011 02:29PM
I should have browsed the forum prior to making my previous post, but I didn't. I browsed it *AFTER* I made my update post.

In light of what I read browsing the forum, I can say that doing business with techzonecom.com will be frustrating, but will ultimately yield a finished product

any issues I have are insignificant to the experience others are having with other vendors and compared to bot-mill or mendel-parts

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/2012 11:52AM by devtty1.
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
December 24, 2011 07:06AM
If the belt you have is longer than half the required length you might be able to do this to get up and running: [hydraraptor.blogspot.com]

Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
January 04, 2012 11:50AM
I picked up a Mondo kit from TechZone and I have to say that I'm really disappointed in it and in TechZone in general.

1) Shipping: shipping USPS priority mail (generally 2 days) took 6 days in this case. Now I know that they don't control this part of the equation per se but it was the start of the frustration.

2) Build Instructions: The build instructions for this kit are crap. I understand that this is a "new" kit but they first started selling this in May/June of 2011 and the instructions are incomplete. And when I say incomplete I mean utter rubbish. Sure it's a wiki page but for the most part it's nothing more than a collection of images without any text. Now this could be acceptable IF they included all the pictures. Unfortunately about 15%-20% of the images are missing.

3) Parts: So when a user purchases a kit, that user generally expects all the parts to be included. Especially when the kit is being promoted as a complete kit. This is not in fact the case. I've had to manufacture a couple of belt clamps that weren't included as well as sourcing miscellaneous nuts/bolts. I've also had to manufacture a mounting board for the electronics.

4) Support: I've used the contact form on their website and have emailed Kurt direct and have yet to get responses back on the missing parts. To me, this is unacceptable.

Having said all this, I've been able to overcome most of these obstacles as this isn't my first 3D Printer build and I've got a pretty decent workshop here at my house. I've also learned a lot more about 3D printing during this process. I also learned that I never care to give any more money to TechZone if at all possible.

Tony Guntharp
Co-Founder SourceForge.net
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
January 04, 2012 10:42PM
thanks for the report fusion94

you covered well every circumstance I've encountered (with less verbiage too)

any future readers need to heed this thread before buying. I can confirm (and have reported in this thread) each item fusion94 has mentioned but for me, they arent deal breakers and I dont like them but given the difficulties of this niche, choose to minimize them.

I did buy an extruder for an additional $180 because the techzone docs arent adequate for me to build my own. That vendor shipped so quick I had to duck. I will start a similar thread for that vendor soon

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/05/2012 12:49AM by devtty1.
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
January 05, 2012 10:40AM
I also had similar issues with techzonecommunications.

Shipping took over 20 days. This However they did control. They failed to tell me that they didn't ship it for 14days after the 3 days they had promised. They gave me no warning... they just took forever to ship it. When I decided to email them Their excuse was "we're working on some new firmware", this was in august.... the latest firmware update they have on their website was from February. So obviously they were not working on firmware or they just never uploaded the new firmware to the build instructions.. either answer is unacceptable.

Looking back I think I would have ordered from another seller. I just had 3d printer envy and I needed one right away. Yes the build instructions were awful, parts didn't fit, a lot of it i had to improvise.
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
January 05, 2012 09:50PM
is anyone currently running sprinter on their electronics? i am going to call them tonight for some assistance regarding the matter. i made the switch but it isnt acting correctly

Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
January 06, 2012 12:54AM
looks like no email response and no phone now. no luck
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
January 06, 2012 12:09PM
In the interests of full disclosure:

I have gone back and edited some of my comments. I toned down my support of techzonecom.com as my experience with them continues to change
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
January 13, 2012 10:04AM
I still don't have a completed machine as of Jan 13

This is due in part to my choice to go slow and build carefully but it's also because email support from techzone.com is not quick.

The last email I received from them was Jan 5, related to an issue I had asked about on Jan 3. Unfortunately, that particular email was not real important. Later on Jan5, I sent several emails somewhat related but each one different with another "never mind" email ... IE, the things I thought were a problem were easily solved via IRC#reprap

But then I sent one with a subject of "read this first". I know Kurt is busy so I was hoping to not waste his time on issues that were already (and easily) solved. Shortly after my "read this first" was a "read this second" email. In summary, my Y-axis was chattering constantly and I asked for the parameters to use for the configuration.h file. As of Jan 13, I've received no response to these emails.

Last night, while trying to get the firmware set in the configuration.h file, I heard a "pop" with a puff of smoke coming from the monolithic board. The y-axis stopped working completely. I took out the magnifying glass and a light and on close examination, there is now a non-standard pit in the IC that is on the Y-axis stepper board. It's possible that I caused the problem cause I was tweaking the X,Y,Z, E stepper values trying to get it to print. However, given that the Y-axis chatter had started a week earlier and at that time I had done nothing to the firmware, I'm not convinced that I'm the cause of the problem. But I will leave room to be wrong.

I sent an email later asking them what I should do. Given that the Y-axis is now dead, my "read me first" and "read me second" emails are a bit moot ... at the very least not as important as resolving my dead Y-axis problem.

It is possibly that the Y-axis stepper board would have died of it's own accord, but I personally don't know how to know beyond reasonable doubt if that is the case.

As for the kit itself, I kinda like the wood that is used for the structure. But wooden gears on the stepper motors are not feasible without some significant design changes. I've used all the gears that they sent me and have had to buy some plastic ones from lulzbot.com. 8 tooth gears are too small for this type of wood. They chip and break too easy not to mention that after only a short use-cycle, quit rotating with the stepper shaft and it just spins rather than turn the belt.

at this point, I would recommend that a person interested in building a mendel, not purchase the kit from techzone. Buying some parts may be a good experience, I don't know, but buying the whole kit from techzone is likely to be an exercise in frustration.

Given my experience, I'm already shopping for other vendors for replacement parts and won't buy them from TZ again. 2 vendors that I have dealt with so far are lulzbot.com and myhobbies.byethost11.com. If you search the forum for "lulzbot.com as a vendor" and "myhobbies.byethost11.com as a vendor" you can read about my experiences there.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2012 09:01AM by devtty1.
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
January 16, 2012 01:38PM
I also was able to fry my electronics that came with my kit from TechZone. To begin with it was pretty shitty quality and I was already looking for a replacement. I've ordered a full set of RAMPS from Ultimachine that should arrive this week.
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
January 21, 2012 11:30AM
So my RAMPS kit came in. Wired it into the Mondo and amazingly all the motors moved. Unfortunately the NEMA-23 that the kit uses to drive the Y axis has a ton of chatter on it. I also cannot find any specifications for this motor so it was hit or miss in dialing in the DEFAULT_AXIS_STEPS_PER_UNIT. After a few hours of experimenting with the settings I've decided to cut all the rods down and convert this kit into a standard Prusa and replace the NEMA-23 with a NEMA-17. For the most part I should be able to reuse the rods, the fasteners, the extruder and hotend (although I need to replace the thermocouple with a thermistor) and 4 NEMA-17 motors. Nothing else (frame, electronics, build platform) is able to be reused.

I'm really not thrilled with this kit but thankfully I've got a few Prusas running so I can print all the required printed parts.

If you're reading this and considering using TechZone Communications as a supplier the only advice I can give you is to not waste your money and go with a more reputable vendor.

Tony Guntharp
Co-Founder SourceForge.net
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
January 21, 2012 01:13PM
after the troubles i have had as well, it has taken me a year to get good quality prints from my techzone kit as well. I would like to second fusion's Note detailing the purchase of their products
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
January 22, 2012 08:30PM
I'd like to chime in with my issues with TZ as well. I received a TZ huxley kit as an X-mas gift from my g/f, it came from an eBay seller. I assume based off of the information on the listing and that the seller had to "contact the person who ships out the kits" that they are in some way associated with TechZone although I don't know this for sure. When I ended up having issues, they also directed me to TechZone's customer service.

The kit showed up on time. No issues with shipping.

Unfortunately there were several other issues to deal with. First, it was missing half of the required nuts/bolts for assembly. One of the Z-axis cogs was broken. The X axis belt was too short, and several printed pieces were warped almost to the point of being unusable.

The assembly instructions were horrible. I'm an engineer and design/build electronic chemical sensor systems for a living, and I found myself "engineering" every aspect of the kit. It wasn't as simple as following instructions, it was more like heres a picture of the parts needed for the X-axis and heres the finished x-axis, now figure out the intermediate steps. I managed to put it together thanks mostly to other RepRap-ers who had posted there builds, Thanks guys!

All of this I could deal with. I realize this is a kit and it is not a finished product and is meant for "experimenters" and serious hobbyists. The real problem was when I plugged in the electronics for the first time. The Z-axis stepper controller literally went up in flames. I didn't even get a chance to adjust current, it just started on fire as soon as I connected the 12v power supply. (see the attached pic)

Kurt from TZ advised me to send back the board for a replacement, so I did. I haven't received my new board so I will keep you all posted. Like someone else mentioned, I too bought a RAMPS 1.4 kit to replace the Monotronics.

I did go ahead an replace the hot end since I saw nothing but complaints on the huxley forums about it.

All in all, I would probably not recommend this kit. Unless you are in desperate need and don't mind the aforementioned hassles. Since I received mine as a gift, I won't complain too much, but for $650, I had much higher expectations. I haven't had any problems with the seller themselves, but the quality of their products that I have dealt with is lacking.

P.S. New to the forums, look forward to everyone's help once I start printing.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/22/2012 08:31PM by Entropy.
open | download - photo.JPG (564.1 KB)
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
January 22, 2012 11:57PM
You're going to need to replace the hot end as the current TechZone hot end and companion daughterboard won't work w/o a lot of effort on your end with the RAMPS.

Yeah those little stepper motor chips get hot as hell. I burned a perfect square in my finger while adjusting a trimpot. For a few dollars more the could have put heatsinks on there. I also found out that supposedly the monotronics board doesn't support microstepping but I find that a bit hard to believe. Regardless I've replaced mine with the RAMPS 1.4 and am very happy with it. Plugged it in and it just worked. You should be happy with yours as well.

Tony Guntharp
Co-Founder SourceForge.net
Re: techzonecommunications.com as a seller
January 23, 2012 11:07AM
Actually, before I even put my kit together I ordered a new hot end. I read all about the issues everyone else was having in the Huxley forums. I did manage to make some modifications to the TZ hot end in order to try and keep the nozzle from popping out.

I've worked extensively with the Arduino micro controller boards. I have found that even in a professional setting they are a quick and easy way to prototype. I actually considered making my own CNC controller board with it before I saw that some brilliant individual already worked it all out for me with RAMPS. And since I already had a MEGA laying around, along with the majority of the components for the shield, I figured it would save me some money going this route.

I'm sure I'll be asking a lot of questions when it's time to fire that bad boy up.

I feel I have to chip in here too. I wish I'd seen this post before ordering my kit. I didn't order it directly from techzonecom, but through a UK reseller. It was not sold as a techzonecom kit, perhaps if it was I'd have done a search and found some warning signs.

Initial problems were with the delivery. I was originally quoted 3 weeks, but it ended up being more like 10 weeks.

When I finally got the kit, I started to plough through the instructions on the wiki. As other people have mentioned, these are not the best, but this is still a new hobby, so I can give some leeway there. I was rather looking forward to improving the instructions if I could. I had to build, and rebuild, the frame a number of times due to unclear instructions or pictures. Not a biggie tho. The biggest issue is with the hotend instructions seeing as they are now shipping something totally different to that which is shown in the instructions, except for one image towards the bottom.

As I got further into the build, I started to hit problems. First of all, there were nowhere near the correct number of nuts/bolts/washers. Also, as happened to Entropy, when I first plugged in the controller board I was greeted with a burst of flames from it. I also discovered the A/D adapter for the hotend was missing, and the X axis belt was about 10cm too short. Some of the printed parts were a little warped and rough too.

So, I contacted the UK reseller who basically told me to just talk direct to techzonecom, but did send me some spare nuts so I could carry on the frame construction. Techzonecom were not very good at communicating, but finally sent me out all the replacement parts, or so I thought. When I got the parts through, they'd missed out the circuit board. I also discovered that the replacement belt to replace the too short X axis one I initially received, was still too short! Thankfully, in the meantime I'd got tired waiting and ordered a belt off eBay.

I finally got the replacement electronics through this week (taken over two weeks), and I'm endeavouring to get the printer working. This is my first printer, and as soon as I've got it working, I think I'll be building a new one for myself. I'm not expecting great results to be honest from this kit. The electronics build quality especially is not what I'd expect from a commercial organisation, even in such a new field as this. Why the stepper drivers are surface mounted, rather than being removable is beyond me, and some of the parts are so crammed in that others have been pushed out of the way. So far everything seems to be working, except for the x axis which is being very awkward.

Sorry to waffle, but I had to have my say. I'm not impressed at all with the quality of either the product or support. I would not recommend anyone to buy a kit from them unless they can improve things drastically.

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