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The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...

Posted by Mrfus 
The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...
March 29, 2016 09:28PM
I'm not sure if someone else already talked about this subject here at the forum or if I'm posting on the right area but I was just wondering what are your thoughts about the current situation of the 3D printing market (focusing on the desktop market).

At the start (well not start, start, but I will say on this "first months") of the year we saw two companies who were solid and good representative examples of "3D printing at home" pulling the plug on their desktop models, 3D Systems killed the Cubify brand ($900 more or less if I remember fine) and Solidoodle just cease operations completely... Accompanying these cases also have the situation of MakerBot that is showing low numbers on revenue and is being forced to reduce their workforce.

While I don't think that the community of DIY 3d printing and experimentation will be impacted by this, I can see some consumers getting back to the idea that 3D printing it's out of reach, too expensive or too complicated.
Re: The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...
March 29, 2016 09:45PM
The consumers (and speculators) finally saw through the hype and came to realize that 3D printing isn't for consumers because it is too complicated, too difficult, too unreliable, and for most, too expensive. It is a niche market that can only support a few players.

Most of the 3D print designs at sites like Thingiverse and Youmagine are for objects that are so specific or so mundane no one would pay money for a design so they can print it. For just a couple dollars you can buy a huge variety of iPhone cases of much better quality than you can print, and don't get me started on Yoda heads. People whose primary entertainment comes from watching American Idol don't need a 3D printer for anything. They don't need drill presses or table saws either.


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...
March 29, 2016 11:35PM
I think 3D printing is less out of reach price-wise than it used to be. I do agree that it's still too complicated for Joe Public.

Of course the original players are leaving of the desktop market... they can't compete. Who is going $900 for a printer that you aren't sure is useful or interesting when you can buy a cheap Chinese one for $200? The number of people who can afford a $200 printer must be 50 times the number who can afford a $900 printer.

There's no fortune to be made by someone who invents something new in 3D printing; within a year there will be Chinese knockoffs being sold for a quarter of the original price (e.g. Diamond hotend). So innovation will continue to be driven by enthusiasts and experimenters.

But I think the big corporates are very alert to the possibilities. For example, consider the increasing number of car plastic parts (clips, handles, fuse holders, caps, etc) on Thingiverse. I think that sort of thing is the driver for the motor companies being so keen on the TPPA, and the control of IP rights that's central to it. If the motor companies have their way, it will be illegal to print your own part to (for example) replace a broken plastic indicator lens; you'll be forced to buy the $500 FoMoCo module. Or, if Ford decide to no longer stock that item, your car will be obsolete. This is analogous to the desperate fight by the music/entertainment industry to prevent (and when that failed, control) the distribution of their products via the Internet.
Re: The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...
March 30, 2016 12:51AM
Most of us were 2d and 3d designers as hobbyists or pros before 3d printing became a reality. When they went from $20,000 to $1,000 we were first in line to get a machine that could make our dreams and designs a reality. We're the same ones that were the first to use a cassette player as a floppy drive. Look where that led. We're only a few years into this thing and look how far we've come. It's kind of gratifying knowing that we are laying the foundations for what will come through sites like this. We are the Beta test. Very exciting times.
VDX
Re: The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...
March 30, 2016 03:44AM
... now is the time to "proffessionalize" 3D-printing with "serious" materials like ceramics and metals, what's mostly done by SLS (Selective Laser Sintering).

So let's see, how/when this will be transferred into the DIY area ...


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...
March 30, 2016 05:54AM
'someone' has forgotten that reprap is not 3d printers... that’s just where they are stuck at the moment..

The death of these companies is quite irrelevant
Re: The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...
March 30, 2016 10:30AM
The cheap $200 printers are what guarantees that 3D printing isn't for the masses. They cut so many corners to get to that price that the machines don't work worth a damn. People buy them and discover that they suck and don't know what to do about it and that's the end of that. Consumers pay $1000 for mundane appliances like dish washers. They should be willing to pay more for a reliable 3D printer except that unlike a dish washer, most people don't have any use for a 3D printer.


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...
March 30, 2016 12:37PM
Everyone makes valid points and everyone is right. Like i tell all my friends who ask me about 3D printers: It is not for the masses just like CNC mills. You don't see CNC mills in every house and those have been around longer winking smiley


Printers: Heavily redesigned TwoUp with E3D V6 and Robo3D R1+ with Chimera/Cyclops
Re: The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...
April 01, 2016 10:37AM
Quote
the_digital_dentist
Consumers pay $1000 for mundane appliances like dish washers.
In the current economy, they decidedly aren't. The only reason people are paying over $300 for appliances is because they've grown up with them and are 100% in-touch with the utility of them. Almost all of the appliances we consider mundane were in the consumer arena for at least a generation before they were commonplace. And for the most part didn't take off until a stretch of widespread prosperity, which we haven't had since the beginning of the consumer 3D printer era.
Re: The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...
April 02, 2016 09:03AM
Quote
Mrfus
While I don't think that the community of DIY 3d printing and experimentation will be impacted by this, I can see some consumers getting back to the idea that 3D printing it's out of reach, too expensive or too complicated.

Part of the problem is certainly that only very few of these experimenters see simplicity and reliability as an asset. Look at all the trouble appearing over and over again, but nobody solving it. 10 firmwares combined with 5 slicers, with 30 controllers and all people do is to, well, experiment, until it reaches a "works for me" status.

Look at all the RAMPS still floating around with inadequate MOSFETs. A typical example. Bought cheap, then kludges like SSRs added. Look at these all-inclusive firmwares which "feature" 2, 3, 5 additional redundant M-codes to solve the same problem. Look at how people use RaspPi's now to get reliable printing, instead of making the plain old serial connection reliable. There's apparently no cure for this problem. "Cheap", "start from scratch", "fork", "add on top" seems to be the ineviteable name of the game, "remove", "solve", "iterate" get forgotten.

The fewer "features" a printer has, the easier it is to use, the more fun for grandma (and other inexperienced people) it is.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2016 09:05AM by Traumflug.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...
April 02, 2016 12:30PM
Is the Simplify3D software going to become more affordable anytime soon?
Re: The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...
April 03, 2016 02:20AM
Quote
MrBaz
Is the Simplify3D software going to become more affordable anytime soon?

I hope not.

You see I want them to make big bucks so they have an incentive to keep making the product better and better. If they lower the price that means they need money and that usually means they would cut corners and release fewer updates and add fewer if any new features. I hope it goes up in price with great new features and even better quality.
Re: The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...
April 03, 2016 05:54AM
The impact of Solidoodle and Pinshape going away is about zero. Their impact was about zero when they were here, how could it be otherwise?


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: The impact of Solidoodle and Cubify going away...
April 03, 2016 09:37AM
Quote
the_digital_dentist
The impact of Solidoodle and Pinshape going away is about zero. Their impact was about zero when they were here, how could it be otherwise?

So it's interesting that in the last few days I put up my first design on thingiverse, pinshape and youmagine. Thingiverse is generating significantly more trafic, pinshape is coming in second and youmagine is almost non-existent. I think the pinshape traffic was artificially boosted by the news that they were closing down, so maybe it's not a fair comparison. Pinshape has it's irritations, but I think they were trying pretty hard to engage with the community and provide a useful service, so I'm glad to hear that they have found a way to keep operating.
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