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Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?

Posted by wesjanik 
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 10, 2011 06:57PM
I just weighed my fully assembled axis kit with power supply, hot bed, 1lb of plastic filament. It came in at 19.6 lbs. Keep in mind this does not included packing material and the extra nuts an bolts left over after the build. I posted a video on my youtube channel. Here, should be up in a few minutes.

-John, San Diego, CA


MrJohnEcker on Twitter, Gmail
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 11, 2011 02:58PM
Thanks for the vid and information MrJohn!

Today I received an email from botmill with a short message that there is a second package. But it's not clear if it has been shipped or what it contains. So I have no idea what to expect next week.

If I receive the machine next week I'd like to have some extra PLA so I can start to print, and if it is not included I'd like to be able to make an order for some PLA from another supplier TODAY so it also could be here next week.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 12, 2011 01:08AM
Check at Ultimachine.com. You can only order if an item is in stock and they ship within a day of ordering. I've ordered three times so far and I've never been disappointed. They have many colors to pick from too.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 12, 2011 04:18AM
Sounds like a good idea. Will do that to be sure I at least have PLA when/if the machine arrives and is usable.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 12, 2011 09:27PM
I've sent a few more e-mails to both Fred and Gil. Nothing back from Gil but Fred sent this-

" My understanding is that they
changed a supplier that provided us with some below par pieces and now
they are waiting on a shipment from a new supplier.
Unfortunately it looks like it will take a few more days. I hope you
understand and be patient about it.
If by any chance you cannot wait for few more days-you can return all the
parts received by you in good order for a refund."

So, I will wait. I am busy working with a Prusa set I ordered from Spacexula. It will probably be printing before botmill even sends me the parts.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 14, 2011 06:18PM
Today I received the Axis from Botmill after 7 weeks of waiting. It is advertised as "plug and play."

Unfortunately it is far from that... If you have seen any of John's videos, I've essentially received what he has, except partially assembled.

Incase you missed some of his informative videos take a look at what you can expect from botmill:

I'll post pics and unpacking videos soon...

I feel duped (but not surprised).

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2011 07:30PM by Adrian.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 14, 2011 08:50PM
@adrian - I'm sorry to hear that. This was consistent with my experience with Botmill when I bought what was supposed to be an assembled kit where all I had to do was install the electronics and the belts back in November.
I really wish I had found this forum thread before ordering from Botmill myself. I seem to have encountered all the problems folks here have been noting in one combined package of frustration.

From the moment I received their Axis kit and immediately reported there was no packing list to confirm exactly what parts I had gotten, I found one thing after another missing, malformed, wrong, or substituted without instructions or explanation. The extruder pack is a complete mess. It looks like a random mix of parts from several different extruder versions including some unknown to mankind. (three leaf springs, anyone? I have no clue...) There are no pin-out sheets for any connectors, wiring, or electronics, none of which conform to the instructions they've cloned from the RepRap home site. There were no drive belts. The printed parts are a mess with most wobbly and warped and with none clean enough to put a bolt through any hole. Many kinds of bolts, washers, and rods are missing or wrong-sized. Why, even the freebies were wrong. They included a free hex key set, but it was English units when everything in the kit is metric!

Their customer support is atrocious. When they deign to even reply to a message it's obvious they've only read or understood half of it and have no memory or record of any previous messages. They don't seem to have any notion of a customer issue case log. (do they even have a rudimentary customer database?) They make promise after promise but ultimately do nothing. This could have been a very good product. So many other RepRap kits seem incomplete. But it seems like there are no mechanisms for even the most basic quality control and no customer support protocol beyond pretending to be well-intentioned. It seems pretty plain that if these folks were any farther in over their heads they would need JIM suits.

For a month I tried to be patient. I know even the best intentioned can have an off day and I know from first-hand experience the problems that crop up starting a new business. I want to support this nascent open manufacturing community. I fully expected there to be some minor bugs with a kit based on such rapidly-evolving open tech, but this is ridiculous and they just keep digging the hole deeper with worsening indifference and unresponsiveness. Now I see in this forum that this has been a consistent pattern of behavior. I've given them final notice today. Immediately send me hard evidence that they are rectifying all these problems or this thing gets shipped back and I file a fraud report with the credit card company. Sadly, I doubt even that is going to matter much to them looking at their blithe responses to comments here.

I hope folks here will excuse the venting of a random stranger. I'd appreciate any suggestions as to where to shop for a kit now that I'm obviously going to have to find another source for one. It seems good RepRap kits are still scarce in the US.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 16, 2011 05:31PM
I have just posted my BotMill experiance as a separate topic [forums.reprap.org]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/2011 05:31PM by epatel.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 16, 2011 05:46PM
According to Gil's facebook they test the Gliders before shipping.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2011 04:43PM by MrJohn.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 16, 2011 05:49PM
That's interesting considering how many photos we have seen of half the bolts not being tight on a glider when it arrives and horrible off jigging.

Of couse testing can mean anything you want it to.

Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 16, 2011 05:50PM
That makes me feel like I got punched in the gut...
I really wish the Glider I received was remotely operational... Still a long way off from being operational as they are shipping replacement/missing parts, I am very frustrated!
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 16, 2011 05:53PM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2011 04:42PM by MrJohn.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 16, 2011 06:25PM
Check this out, I am so frustrated as what I received was a non functioning mess. I am in communication to get the missing/replacement parts which they claim to be shipping tomorrow, heck what they are printing could be my replacements!


angry smiley
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 16, 2011 07:22PM
Adrian Wrote:
> Check this out, I am so frustrated as what I
> received was a non functioning mess. I am in
> communication to get the missing/replacement parts
> which they claim to be shipping tomorrow, heck
> what they are printing could be my replacements!
> [www.youtube.com]
> =player_embedded
> angry smiley

You should send the whole unit back and demand that they send you a working plug-and-play unit as advertised. You can contest the credit card charges unless they do this.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 16, 2011 07:23PM
Update March 17: Gil has contacted me and is trying to make things right.

Botmill, I know you are watching this thread.

Yes I am GeoDroidJohn from youtube. That is no secret. I am one of several disappointed customers you have. I post here, on youtube and in the IRC. It's not hard finding others that feel scammed by your products. How is it that you have no positive or negative reviews of your items on your own site? What you need is transparency. Tell us what is taking so long. Explain yourselves. Make your company about the people not the product.

Why do I post my experiences with your company and lately start leaving snarky comments on your channel?

Because the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

You didn't ship the filament that was supposed to be included until I asked for it. You didn't ship my kit because you where waiting on motors because of a delay due to the Chinese New Year? Please, China does not stop working. Ever.

My pissed off tirade will end once I get everything I paid for. I was patient for a very long time and even gave you the benefit of doubt here in this thread. It takes a lot to push me this far.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2011 04:40PM by MrJohn.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 17, 2011 09:09AM
Dear RepRap Community,

First off, we would like to thank you for all the support you have given us.
Please note that recently we have made several changes to our plastic pieces
as well as assembly process.

Our plastic pieces where being made by a manufacturer molding and
casting and the first batch was fantastic. Unfortunately one shipment
contained sub-par components and we have stopped to deal with this supplier.

We are now getting plastic pieces from a new supplier and as of the last two
weeks we have also started to print the parts directly on our BotMill 3D
printers again. We have them working almost 24 hours a day printing our
perfect sets.

We would like to apologize for any inconvenience or delays this may have
caused. For the few customers that had issues with some plastic part(s)- we
are replacing with the new pieces. For some customers who are still waiting
for previous orders-they are all going to be shipped in the very near
future-we are catching up fast to fill the backlog of orders.

In order to show proof of quality, service, and attention to detail, we will
now start to give progress updates with pictures and videos to every client
that has purchased an assembled machine as well as pictures and videos to every client who purchased a kit so they can see their pieces being made directly on our machines. Along with every printer we send
out will be printed instructions as well as a USB that includes promotions,
an accessory price list and order form, copy of instructions in link format, and more.

There are only a few people who received faulty items. In short, we are
communicating with all and will resolve all.

We truly hope that this can rectify any past issues and look forward to
moving ahead with new advancements in this industry.


BotMill Team

Follow us on twitter @BotMill
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 17, 2011 10:24AM
It's interesting that the video on youtube that botmill is showing on a recently assembled glider as of March 17 is yellow while the actual unit that they're selling is black or tan according to their website. It looks like the unit they were showing a couple of months ago in another video not one that was made with the plastic parts that they're currently shipping and that they show in their how-to videos. Also, in their website they show an assembled red Mendel with white Adrian geared extruder for the Glider even though that's not one of the choices.

Botmill should start by being truthful in their advertisements.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 17, 2011 11:44AM
Hi brnrd ,

We will be updating our website in the next couple of days to reflect any changes. The black pieces as well as many other colors are now being printed on many printers here. Originally we didn't want to do it this way due to time even though the quality is superb, however, we realize that it is the only way to go.

If you have an questions, please feel free to email support@botmill.com.

BotMill Team

Follow us on twitter @BotMill
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
March 21, 2011 10:55PM
I got my second set of parts from botmill today. They are much better and I can see any problems with them. They are perfectly clean and definitely no sanding or drilling will be needed. Good job botmill!

I'll update if something pops up.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
April 25, 2011 03:31PM
So far, I have every reason to believe that BotMill is nothing more than a scam.

I placed an order for a Glider 6 weeks ago and have not heard any word from them since (although they did take my money). Now, when I try to log into my account on the site to check on the status of my order, my email address is mysteriously "not found in their records."

Seriously, Botmill, you have to treat your customers much better than this.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
April 25, 2011 06:34PM
Wow~ Botmill responds pretty quickly. I just got a phone call from them saying that they were sorry for the month+-long lapse in communication and offering a personal assurance that I would get my product soon. Also, they said that the login issue was a temporary glitch that would not affect my order.

The personal phone call certainly qualifies as excellent (although reactionary) customer service, and based on the fact that I actually got a call back, I think it's safe to say that slow as they may be, Botmill definitely isn't a scam.

I will update more on this after I receive the product and get a chance to test it out.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
April 27, 2011 07:56PM
I dont have experiene with botmill but Techzonecom was quick in shipping, after I asked them how long itll take before ordering they said 4 days so I ordered. After which I was missing a lot of screws, and had the wrong power supply!. I was also told the only tools I'd need are allen wrenches which is soo wrong. I had to purchase the following:

a metric measuring stick, wire strippers, and a heat sink, a syringe of polyurethane glue, a dremel drill, hot glue gun, ir thermometer, maybe a soldering iron (i didnt use one).

They do give lots of tech support if needed and help through it. I melted my xaxis and yaxis motor carriage and they are sending me a new one.

I think we need a reliable company on this. I'm ready to take on some kit assembly if I know where to order the cheapest parts from. I really like the monotronics on the techzone kit too: [www.reprap.org]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/27/2011 08:36PM by owism8.

Fred ottley Works for Botmill .. now
Update on the Glider I ordered:

I would not recommend working with Botmill. At All.

I received my Glider about a week ago and had to leave country for a conference shortly thereafter, but from what I was able to glean from taking at look at it the day i got it was:
- there was no USB stick included, which isn't that bad but it certainly makes it not plug and play. (and also not as advertised)
- bolts were loose and some pieces attached haphazardly, also not that bad.
- a few of the stoppers are in the completely wrong position. That's troubling, but the thing should still work (assuming everything else is still okay..., but who knows since it will probably take me at least a week after i get back in country to get it running and fully tested).
The bottom line is that it's definitely not plug-and-play ready.

All-in-all, I'm pretty upset with Botmill. Not necessarily because the product wasn't as advertised, but mostly becuase when I filed a complaint with the product i received not being anywhere near "plug-and-play" ready (which they advertise), all they did was say "okay, you can pay the $100+ shipping costs to return it to us for a refund." This means I either just wasted $100 of mine for nothing at all and a waste of time, or $400+ (depending on how incomplete/unfunctional the product is) on receiving the parts of the Mendel without it being functional. It's particularly upsetting since the whole point of paying the extra costs was to save me the time of having to fix/assemble, but now i'm going to have to do it anyways because their product is so horribly not-as-advertised.

Definitely would NOT recommend working with them. They put on a good show of pretending to care by calling you just enough so that you won't post nasty things on their forums but when it comes down to it, as soon as they get their money, they could care less about what you think of their product or false advertising claims.

Hope this helps,
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
May 16, 2011 05:13AM
We have been shipping many orders this year to many satisfied customers. We have had some supplier problems months ago and fixed production glitches months ago. We always give personal attention to every single customer that buys from us. Anyone knows that we answer all inquiries with a personal dialogue and take care of our customers. Anyone that has any issue whatsoever can always reach us and all here will make sure all issues are resolved to full satisfaction.

Best Regards,

BotMill Team

Follow us on twitter @BotMill
I purchased a Mendel kit from Botmill and I have recently (finally) completed the assembly. It is true that the unit took longer to arrive than I expected, but all of the parts required were included to assemble the Mendel. The heated bed was missing, but they sent one out to me when I contacted them. After making one part, my unit died on me (no Temp feedback). Since it was Sunday, I figured I was poked for the day but I logged onto the Botmill site and was pleased to see that their tech support was online. Tech support helped me troubleshoot the unit. In the end, it turned out that I made a mistake on assembing the unit. In the process of trying to repair my mistake, I broke the thermistor. Botmill is sending me out a replacemnt w/o charge.

I purchased from Botmill because I'm not very good with electronics or software. I knew I was going to need support and I didn't wan to go it alone. All in all, I would recommend Botmill. But, you have to match your expectations with the price you are going to pay.

My company has a professional machine. They have great service, great tech support, they send techs out within 48 hrs to fix the machine. But the machine cost $500,000 and about $30K/year for the maintenance contract. I have invested about $1,500 so far. I don't think it's reasonable to expect $30K service for $1.5K - but I think Botmill gives superior service considering what they charge!!
Hi, everyone,
For my experience with Botmill until now was good communication but very late with delivering. I have placed an order for a Glider on 24 March and on this day which means two months later (8 weeks). I still haven't received anything and no shipping order either. I live in France so even if they would send it today, it would probably take two more weeks for to arrive. This is really not handy. I have to go abroad soon for work and I wonder how to manage the reception of the printer. I bought by Botmill a complete plug and play printer because like many others, I don't have time and I'm not sure I could achieve the construction from a kit. They have changed their website a month ago and since then, there is a log in issue which means there is no possibility to follow the process of the order. They did state on this forum that we could see the progress of the building of our printer...But at the moment I follow no progress. So I definitly hope NOT to have to go through problems. I will let you informed.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
May 24, 2011 09:09PM
After stumbling onto this thread I'm almost beginning to regret placing an order with them. So far I've been getting some updates by incessantly nagging them but I haven't gotten a response back about a tracking number yet (they've been reasonably responsive so far, I placed my order April 8th). Supposedly the printer I ordered should be shipping this week but I guess we'll see how on time they are. Mostly I'm annoyed at the fact that its taken them over a month to fix their database issues despite their assurances that they're working on it.
Re: Anyone Have BotMill Feedback?
May 25, 2011 09:29AM
This calls for a better company. Who amongst the Reprap community is dedicated enough to provide this service?

The most important thing is development of good hot-tips.
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