Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

Advanced

If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?

Posted by Simba 
If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 18, 2017 10:31PM
Here's a hypothetical question...
If you had access to corporate scale organization to get high quality printer parts at cost (i.e. 2, 3, 4, even 5X margins or better removed), which parts would you want the most and why?
I'm talking steppers, drivers, filament, bearings, belts, nuts, bolts, etc.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/18/2017 11:00PM by Simba.
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 19, 2017 11:44AM
Control boards!
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 19, 2017 11:58AM
Sure, which ones are you looking at?
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 19, 2017 03:27PM
Linear Rails(guides) with thru holes on carriage.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2017 03:28PM by MechaBits.
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 19, 2017 03:54PM
I can easily see the need here...Mgn9H raw price is around $14 for 500mm with most of the cost being in the rail ($8.50) They're not marked up much where they are available but the bigger issue is their availability is extremely low.

Also note Mgn9 rails are hardened so well you can not cut them with ordinary tools like a bandsaw. You need a tile cutter or abrasive cutting wheel with high horsepower to make a clean cut. That's why most often the length is specified by a buyer and the part isn't too condusive to an afterthought of a process - this is a professional part product.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2017 04:05PM by Simba.
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 19, 2017 06:06PM
Ruby Nozzles
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 19, 2017 07:51PM
Quote
Simba
Sure, which ones are you looking at?
Duet Wifi.
Would love to have one but for 170 bucks or so its a bit out of reach so im forced to use the cheap Ramps combo.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2017 07:52PM by Floyd.
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 19, 2017 08:18PM
The obvious answer is.... the part with the greatest markup, which is probably the most expensive. Why do you ask?
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 19, 2017 10:34PM
What exactly does "at cost" mean? Whose cost?


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 20, 2017 12:55AM
Quote
MechaBits
Linear Rails(guides) with thru holes on carriage.

I second this one. In the US, these are crazy expensive, and I HATE delrin and shower door rollers!

Then, maybe cheaper Rambo boards. These controllers ROCK!

DLC
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 20, 2017 07:05AM
MG9H doesnt fit the bill, and I'm not sure any do, there must be some but I dont know what they are, THru Holes in the Carriage, all the way through so you could bolt them from opposite side or together...so holes need to be 20x20 not 20x15 or other odd combo, I think most manufacturers are missing the trick, it would save on parts & be more useful.
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 20, 2017 11:54AM
I think you could sell like two or three precut lengths of linear rail and cover 90% of hobbyist needs, but I'm not sure you can undercut Chinese aliexpress sellers on price. Motion components are dirt cheap from China and you can get almost complete customization if you message the right seller.

A high end control boards would be a good candidate since scale would bring down the price quite a bit, but they tend to have short shelf-lives before getting superseded by new versions.
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 20, 2017 11:56AM
I work for a significant North American 3D printing company, I have access to all the real pricing info (mostly from China), and thought of an idea to extend the bulk pricing for one product to the reprap community, essentially piggy backing an order to get the cost down. There are certain products that are obnoxiously marked up. For example we get bearings for $0.10-$.22 a piece that I see routinely sold for $5 a piece. For other products the AliExpress price is not too far from ours.While as a businessperson I understand the mark up

Also I'm personally fed up with some of the misinformation I've seen floating around about actual prices or reason for available products and want to bridge the gap

At cost means the raw price we pay to get the product with no profit or margin added. There's still another 30% or more markup at the manufacturer side itself but you couldn't ever access that I don't think.

I was thinking stepper motors originally or trinamic stepsticks but surprised to see little comment on those.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2017 12:09PM by Simba.
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 20, 2017 12:03PM
I have the pricing on all the raw controllers however Duet3D is a major reprap contributor and it's not right to undercut them! No margin for Duet would mean no development of the reprapfirmware base, it could potentially end their project.

The same could be said about any board that contributes to the smoothie project. Both have an extra mark up to support the developers. Look at how MKS has affected them. The real prices are below $40.

In summary I don't think it right to undercut these products prices because they're the most central contributors to the reprap project, it would benefit you in the short term and hurt open source in the long term. Some of these guys work full time on the projects and without funding development would slow to a disorganized crawl imo.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2017 12:07PM by Simba.
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 20, 2017 12:18PM
Quote
Simba
I have the pricing on all the raw controllers however Duet3D is a major reprap contributor and it's not right to undercut them! No margin for Duet would mean no development of the reprapfirmware base, it could potentially end their project.

Thanks for your support! It's not just the continuing firmware development that sales of the Duet funds, it's also the costs of providing customer support (mostly on the duet3d forum these days), the costs of testing boards, the hardware development costs (we've done 2 updates to the Duet WiFi design, we've updated the thermocouple and PT100 daughter boards, and we're already working on the next generation controller), and the generous warranty policy. I spend most of my working day doing Duet support and firmware development, and I couldn't afford to do that without the income from sales of the Duet WiFi and Duet Ethernet.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2017 12:19PM by dc42.



Large delta printer [miscsolutions.wordpress.com], E3D tool changer, Robotdigg SCARA printer, Crane Quad and Ormerod

Disclosure: I design Duet electronics and work on RepRapFirmware, [duet3d.com].
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 20, 2017 03:35PM
I agree. I was just answering his question.
Motors, bearings and the lot are fairly "cheap" for a build. The brains are the most expensive bit.
The Duet is a GREAT board and I understand the price. I make things for a living so I know.

Its just I can buy quite a few cheap Ramps that "work" at the price of one Duet.
Just part of the conversation, not looking to hang you out DC
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 20, 2017 05:16PM
Quote
Simba
For example we get bearings for $0.10-$.22 a piece that I see routinely sold for $5 a piece. For other products the AliExpress price is not too far from ours.

I guess the question is why would people pay $5 for a 20c item. If people realise how easy it is to get stuff from AliExpress, that should probably put the $5 bearing suppliers out of business. OTOH, some people value their time (and their printer's time) highly; they're prepared to pay $5 for a bearing in their hand *today* rather than wait 2-6 weeks for it to come from China. With some planning, these people could maintain a stock of bearings. But this means having some capital tied up, and some storage space.

Quote

At cost means the raw price we pay to get the product with no profit or margin added.

That is a very generous position to take; essentially *you* won't get paid for your time in ordering and shipping parts, nor for your costs in stock-holding. Some companies allow employees to buy on those terms. But I can't see your company's accountants agreeing to that, unless you can show that the company gets significant benefits from donating it's time & money to the US RepRap community at large. And probably the 3D-printer repair community. And the skateboard repair community.

[Edit] While you're at it, how about setting up the same thing here in New Zealand? Shipping costs from the US to NZ are outrageous.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2017 05:19PM by frankvdh.
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 21, 2017 11:58AM
Yes it is mutually beneficial. Reprap community benefits and company gets good PR and related sales. Classic loss-leader approach, main difference being an intent to only break even so we can sustain it, and maybe even get ourselves a slightly better margin over time.

I can tell you why companies charge 25X on a product...you'd better believe it's because people don't know better, and trust a name. It's simply not the case even with the internet that everyone wants to pay with a new AliExpress account to get cheap bearings with a delivery date of maybe 3 weeks +- 2 weeks. Most small bearings on these sites will be cheapened, the end result usually being they fall apart or have high friction...so you have to buy and test lots.

Also key to understanding manufacturing and why I'm posting is that there are misunderstandings about such quality differences. A bearing is not a bearing! There are dozens of classes (abec rated, p0-p6 clearances, ball types, and greases) - different qualities you aren't aware of most likely.

In fact most bearings you get from AliExpress are suited for ceiling fans - ground raceways with no chamfer and rough ball bearings. They may not feel gritty but they have thick grease and are smoothed by rolling only up to weak tolerances. They have no chamfer or tolerance for press fits, and the shields (zz) will fall off. Thus they're intended only for higher weight loading and inserting a screw. The grease ages over 1-2 years and so does the steel, which isn't even well chromed and will rust if not continuously treated with new grease.

On the flip side a high end bearing may be stainless steel with very precise and accurate ratings (p6) with 5-8 microns variance, designed for precision press fits, made easier by chamfers turned into the edges. The hardness, concentricity, surface polish direction, variance are all critical to getting a concentric press fit that won't fail - or your device will be press fit differently each time and induce a wobble or even come apart over time. Such bearings often use high quality aircraft oils, refined so they don't have odor (carcinogens), and have a beautiful polished shine, and shields that don't fall off. The oils will not age and may be sealed by professional means.

The first bearing is $0.10 and the last is $0.75 raw cost. You pay for what you get, so I wish people understood these key differences better. When you buy a $5 bearing you might be getting something between the cheaper and best ones I described here. $10 will get you the best one, and sometimes even then, especially on Amazon, someone is ripping you off - both charging a lot and giving you low quality. So there is justified cheapness and market inefficiency (lack or knowledge or general naivety and assumption making).

Also never underestimate the impact of force stack up from friction in a 3d printer. You could be loosing DOZENS of percent of your motor force in frictional losses due to cheap bearings - the result is your prints skip and you lubricate your printer often - not a high end solution.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2017 12:06PM by Simba.
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 21, 2017 08:46PM
Quote
Simba
Yes it is mutually beneficial. Reprap community benefits and company gets good PR and related sales. Classic loss-leader approach, main difference being an intent to only break even so we can sustain it, and maybe even get ourselves a slightly better margin over time.

I can tell you why companies charge 25X on a product...you'd better believe it's because people don't know better, and trust a name. It's simply not the case even with the internet that everyone wants to pay with a new AliExpress account to get cheap bearings with a delivery date of maybe 3 weeks +- 2 weeks. Most small bearings on these sites will be cheapened, the end result usually being they fall apart or have high friction...so you have to buy and test lots.

Also key to understanding manufacturing and why I'm posting is that there are misunderstandings about such quality differences. A bearing is not a bearing! There are dozens of classes (abec rated, p0-p6 clearances, ball types, and greases) - different qualities you aren't aware of most likely.

[snip... extensive information about bearing quality]

Your expertise would be extremely valuable to someone like me. I had no idea about all that stuff, and have no way to distinguish a "good" new bearing from a "bad" new bearing. I'd be happy to pay more for quality, but I don't trust the vendor, so I always buy the cheap ones because at least then I won't get ripped off on price. I also have no way of knowing whether a complete printer or kit that I buy has been put together with the cheapest bearings they can find.
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 21, 2017 10:53PM
Doing "something for nothing" is no way to run a business.
Loss leaders are fine if you are manufacturing something like, for example, inkjet printers.
I have had no issues with Chinese bearings over the last 5 years - never replaced any of them on my equipment (there probably are some crap ones online though).


_______________________________________
Waitaki 3D Printer
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 21, 2017 10:59PM
Quality Nema17's are exactly what I'd be interested in. Preferrably high torque and low coil impedance..

The printer I'm currently working on isn't using linear bearings so I'm not sure that would be up my alley but if you did put together and order for the reprap community I'd probably thrown down for some for possible future projects.

Regarding the previous discussion regarding controllers, I found Duet boards to be a bit out of budget for me (I am a fan of DC42's work though) and went with a ramps based solution.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2017 11:02PM by obelisk79.
Re: If you could get any part AT COST - What would you want?
September 22, 2017 04:50PM
Cheap aluminium extrusion... Very hard to get in the UK. V slot is available but its made from cheap aluminium. Cheap mounting plates would also be useful if people are to start switching from printed parts to metal. (eg, nema 17/23 mounting plates, or plates to mount screws/rods).

Other hard to get items are lead screws and ball screws as well as matching high quality nuts/bearings to pair with them. I would also agree on high quality motors.

I already use DuetWifi, and considering the cost of ramps+arduino+half decent drivers, I think they charge an extremely fair price.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login