by Matt Strong
The TangiBot is a clone of a popular open source 3D Printer. The same performance and features at a roughly 33% discount.
This project's funding goal was not reached on September 8, 2012.
See full bio
Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
"Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal" -- Pablo Picasso
I have some mixed feelings about simply cloning the Makerbot, yet I am sad to see this project most likely won't be funded. I have yet to buy my first 3D printer but I am anxious to do so. In the end I think any project, this one included, that expands the 3D printing universe is a good thing.
I have pledged $50 as I just don't have much funds. I would have bought two if I had the money but even knocking a third of the price off a comparative unit I still can't affard it :(
Thank you for your support. Every dollar helps. Don't apologize for contributing what you can.
I'm here through Engadget and just signed up for KS (even though I've been following it for more than a year now) to support you with what I can. Only pledged $10 because I really am not into 3D printers yet and that is what I can support currently :-(
I'm supportive of what you're doing. I believe this will open up 3D printing for many cost minded enthusiasts. Even though I don't know whether you'll be delivering the printer or you're here to make a quick buck, I believe in the idea of bringing down the cost of 3D printers to bring it to more homes. I don't understand the hate towards this project from the 3D printer community. I understand many of their valid concerns with respect to the spirit of open source but on whole, this could turn out to be a better for them that someone is trying to bring down the cost so that 3D printing can be more widespread and opens up the rather small 3D printing world to many. This is generally considered a bad practice in open source software but I don't think that the analogy works for a product where capital, material and manufacturing costs are involved. If there is a market for good and non expensive 3D printers and market decides that this is well within the spirit of open source, let it decide how the future plays out. It will not serve better for long term to keep the prices artificially higher so that a well known open source contributor and manufacturer is not offended.
This is only my opinion and understand that many will strongly disagree. I'm a well intended supporter of open source technologies and agree that contribution and improvement and not cloning is the best thing to do. But it is not entirely the worst thing to do. If it succeeds, it just validates the need for cost effective 3D printers which no one was ready to do even though, as Matt says, it achievable. Hence everyone need to calm down and let community decide whether they need to support this project or not.
Thank you for your support and kind words. It is always good to hear from people who think alike. Feel free to call me Matt. I hope it is OK to call you Chad ;-)
Mr. Strong, as a supporter of open source technology, I am glad to see someone actually using it as it was intended. The whole point of sharing your design / code / schematics with the world is so that people will USE IT. I hope that people will get over themselves with a falsely placed sense of "Defending" a group that willingly, knowingly, purposefully shared their designs with the world. I have backed you, and wish I could pledge more. I wish you the best of success in your work. The goal of making 3-D printing something than anyone can do is a nobel one, and one that I believe is shared by the originators of the design. Thank you for what you are doing.
"The TangiBot is the best 3D printer on the market. The awards this design has won and the popularity of its open design is a testament to that fact. Here is a quick list of the benefits of buying a TangiBot"
Careful with your wording there, the TangiBot is not the best 3D printer on the market, the design may be. It's just false advertising. An unproven implementation of a design can't be claimed as award winning. Just because a knock off company sells iphones from china doesn't mean their iphone is the best phone in the world and its award winning.
I'm assuming the TangiBot is yet to win any awards, thus its rather deceptive wording. A better way to put it would be "TangiBot's design is based upon the best 3D printer on the market".
John & ptorrone,
I appreciate both of your points of view. John, you have been one of the minority voices in support of my project. I appreciate that… a LOT!
I have read all the criticisms and I made changes where I can. ptorrone had a valid point that I should use the MakerBot name less.
Reliazing that we are not all going to agree on my project, I want to do things in the best way possible. I respect ptorrone’s comments. He is one who has spent a lot more time in the open source community than I have AND I can incorporate some of his suggestions and still pursue my end goal.
In other words, I want to see this project funded but at the same time show that I am a community member who has something good to offer.
Thanks again (to both of you),
@john ecker - matt should do whatever *he* feels is right. i wrote about how great it is when people use open-source to kickstart their kickstarters!
i had suggestions to make this kickstarter better (so did many others). for mine, none of them had anything to do with open-source if you look at my questions and comments. i think matt has done a great job answering questions, responding to good feedback and participating here. obviously kickstarter had an issue with the FAQ here as well (see matt's comment below).
back to the topic :) matt, i think this version of the kickstarter is a $500,000 better than the one first posted. i'll follow up with you 18 days from now!
Matt, I think you are going to have to do whatever Phillip Torrone (ptorrone) tells you to do. He is pretty much the gatekeeper.
From his profile-Editor at large - Make magazine. Creative director - Adafruit Industries, contributing editor - Popular Science. Previously: Founded - Hack-a-Day, how-to editor - Engadget, Director of product development - Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director - Braincraft.
Cloning a proven design with a wide market and doing it more efficiently might be "legal" but I guess it's not in the spirit of OSHW...kinda like "Backing" a project and using every bit of leverage you have to crush that same project.
Sorry. I think you misunderstood my request. I am taking the feedback seriously. You have said a few times that you feel I lean too much on the MakerBot name. I just wanted to know if you still felt that way after the changes I just made.
hey matt, it's not up to me - it's what *you* feel is right, you should chat with kickstarter and makerbot :) i just had suggestions to eliminate a lot of the problems i saw with this kickstarter i backed.
I have done my best to remove the MakerBot name from the project description. Let me know what you think.
thanks matt! i will drop you an email in 18 days!
I do appreciate your comments. While I am not going to take the time to re-film and edit my video I will take a look at the project text today.
I received a message from Kickstarter this morning stating that my project had been removed from the Kickstarter browser because of an FAQ I added a day or two ago. In the FAQ I was trying to explain that selling a product takes a lot more than simply shipping it out the door. It takes customer support, shipping and receiving, warehouse space, etc. I have modified the FAQ to be clearer and I am sure that my project will back in the browser shortly. The old FAQ made it sound like the only thing I was trying to do was launch a business. When in fact, I am trying to ship a product which requires setting up certain business practices.
If you would like to speak to me one-on-one for your article please send me a private message and I will send you my cell phone number.
checking back in - it looks like you changed *a lot* of the kickstart page, links, updates and more - i think you're heading in the right direction!
i still think you still need to ease off leveraging and using the makerbot name/brand/reputation/quality for your $500k goal. i also think kickstart might eventually ask you to change how you're asking for a half-million dollars. here's why...
specifically, you wrote "Recently I had the thought, “If I can’t decide what type of product I want to grow a business around how about making a product that makes stuff?” I am currently pursuing this dream full time." and you also wrote "Please keep in mind that I want to build a business not just make a quick buck by cloning an open source design."
since a lot of the answers to the questions folks had here were answered by saying you're building a business with the funds (not just a project) - this might be an issue.
rule #1 on kickstarter:
"A project is not open-ended. Starting a business, for example, does not qualify as a project."
(they also say "No "fund my life" projects.).
next up, since you worked at a company that was very good, perhaps overly, of protecting their trademark and name ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cricut#Third_party_software ) have you talked to a trademark lawyer about the TangiBot logo and name? they might say you will not be able to get it - if this kickstarter is going to keep going and you're using the funds not only for a project but to make a business, it's fair to the backers to figure this out so the backers know you're on solid ground, they're investing in your business too it seems.
these are just my opinions and suggestions to help make this a better kickstarter, i'm a backer too :) you made a lot of changes to the page(s) and responded great to the community. i'm working up an article on MAKE for this after this kickstarter is over, thanks for answering many of the questions here!
it will be a follow up to this one:
Hi Matt, thank you for your reply. I'm sorry. I didn't watch "100% compatible with all MakerBot Replicator Parts". Are the following images similar to clear acrylic TangiBot? Can I watch clear acrylic TangiBot before a project is finished?
I kind of like being the 42nd backer.
I am just a simple person trying to create some very advanced things on this ball of dirt you all call Earth in this galaxy. I find it appalling that the some of the people here are not as positive as they should be.
Pretty much at this point in your planet's life about 85% of what will be created has been created already, are the designs used on a daily basis no, no they are not. I don't fault Mr. Strong at all for trying to be more efficient and still make a buck or two for future endeavors.That pretty much is how things work around here. Things don't get made for free, something is traded some how, some way, be either in materials, time, or knowledge.
Some of you are much much smarter than I and should be channeling that energy into either helping, or making your own items, or express your views for a buck or two and then let those that want to try.
I personally am a technology gobbler, look at my profile I put my money where my mouth is.
Mr. Strong, I intend to follow your project closely and I will place a few of my bots to begin their research on you, as I find it interesting that when the status quo is upset/challenged, its quite interesting to me to see how humans react. I do wish you well on the project as I really don't like to fund projects that dont make it.
I have thought about making a small change so that the critics could say I was “giving” and not “taking” but I think that somehow they still wouldn’t be satisfied. After all, isn’t offering a TangiBot in acrylic “giving?” This is exactly the same thing that the extruder project you mention did. They took two ideas and put them together. I don’t see any sort of outcry from the critics on their project (I hesitate to mention the extruder project because I don’t want to draw undue criticism to their project).
As for the money many people have asked what it will all be used for. Some have even accused me of being able to pocket a quick $250K as soon as the project funds. Please keep in mind that I want to build a business not just make a quick buck by cloning an open source design. Here is a quick list of some of the things the money will be used for.
Planned losses on international shipping.
Custom company web site, logo, branding, etc.
CC and banking fees.
Customer service portal.
Full time support staff (phones, email, and technical).
Replacement parts inventory.
Inventory for more fully assembled machines that all have to be pre-purchsed by 3DTangible LLC because we currently have no credit history – if there is no money to buy more production 3DTangible cannot do business.
Brick and mortar location for operating business (with a lease guarantee).
Shipping and receiving.
R&D expenses to build on open source and give back to the community.
General Office Expenses.
I hope this helps put things into perspective. I am trying to build an organization not just a machine. If all I wanted to do was make a quick buck I could lower the funding amount. I am not in this to make a quick buck! If I can’t do it right then I won’t do it.
The TangiBot is a clone of the Replicator. In other words, all parts on the TangiBot are exact duplicates of the Replicator and can be interchanged.
I would tell you to buy a TangiBot but I am a little biased ;-)
Oops... sorry about the typo on your name Kurt ;-) It should read "Kurt" not ThKurt."
For those of you who don’t know Kurt like I do let me introduce him. He is the VP of Product Development at VPI Engineering (http://www.vpiengineering.com). If this project funds, VPI will be heavily involved in manufacture of the TangiBot and future designs of new machines.
I have worked with VPI for the last 7 years. They have been contract developers and manufacturers on many of the projects I have developed over that time. VPI is the best engineering firm I have ever had the pleasure of working with. They are experienced, hardworking and above all trustworthy. When they make a commitment it means they will deliver.
Be sure to check out the link at the bottom of their home page that says “divisions” to see the extent of their capabilities.
I was always interested in 3D printer. And I thought that I wanted it. You have been called Makerbot Replicator clone. Also you said, the same performance and features. The use of accessories manufactured by Makerbot Replicator is possible? Why, TangiBot are similar to the design of Makerbot? The appearance, details...
I am penny wise and pound foolish? Should I buy a Makerbot than to save $500+? Please someone advice me... Thank you.
Why not silence the critics and make the improved Makerbot extruder from this project http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/qu-bd/open-source-universal-3d-printer-extruder-dual-ext the standard with TangiBot.
I could get behind an improved Replicator and as you said earlier in the comments combining two existing products is easy. I still think you're asking far too large a goal here; ask yourself, if you raised $400,000 with this kickstarter, would you be able to complete the project without cutting corners but also without wasting money on extras? The project is good, the marketing is bad - Want help reworking your approach? I'm not too expensive ;)
I really do wish you the best of luck, it's an act of will to try and make something like this happen.
Thank you for your support. I understand the knee jerk reaction by some people. Makers are a passionate group. I agree with you. Competition is a good thing.
Thanks for the heads up about IndiGoGo but don't rule out my kickstarter yet.
As for your question about leaving work, I did leave with funds to start a company. However, the funds are limited and when you are working with a fixed budget time is always your enemy. In order to not end up having to pull the plug on any of my ideas I am trying to generate a cash flow as quick as possible.
And don’t worry about your late night grammar. Even in the middle of the day I have to cut and paste things into Word so that I can spellcheck it ;-)
This is an excellent project as competition is always good. Unfortuantely there are many who like to protect their own ventures and feel attack is the best defence. Im sure Makerbot would like the competition.
I have worked with Matt for several years. He is the real deal. He knows his stuff and he has the stamina to see this through. I can independently verify his abilities, his team and his CM's. You have my pledge and support. I believe this will be a huge win for consumers.
Wow, sorry for the crazy run on sentences. It's quite late.
Just wanted to mention you'd probably find a better reception with your project at IndieGoGo, which is doing larger and larger projects with each month that passes.
To one of your earlier comments, you said the TangiBot was the best you could do on short notice - Why did you only have short-notice to prepare the kickstarter proposal to start your business? You mention you left your previous employment by choice to tackle new challenges - Did you quit without any funds to carry you and your family through the inevitable transition period, especially since you apparently didn't start working on this project until very recently?
Sorry for all the questions, I've backed quite a few creators and two 3d printer projects on Kickstarter (and got my money back from one of them after some very poor communication, blown deadlines and broken promises) and your project is definitely unique, I hope you can re-jigger your approach and give it another try (or a lower goal)
Keep in mind, Kickstarter goals are minimums to fund, not a funding ceiling. Do you need $500,000 to have an existing open source design manufactured somewhere with third-world labor? I'm very skeptical. I know you want to fund R&D for your future stuff (i.e. feel better sitting around thinking up ideas because you've been pre-paid) but that's what over-funding is for, and projects that shine on Kickstarter get that in spades.
Good luck with your future projects
Adam B. Levine
Adjunct Engineering LLC,
I in no way plan on pushing off support to Makerbot. I am building a company and in doing so I plan on supporting my own community.
The comments so far are very interesting and raise many thoughtful points. The one question I have is this:
"How is market pressure for a cheaper alternative created?"
If there are limited options, then the market is forced into a limited supplier situation, where the costs move to what the market can bare, not what the average consumer is willing to pay.
I chose to support this project because the replicator has some of the best printing tolerances around. This project allows me to acquire the 3D printer of my choice, as well as help establish one more competitor on the market.
The fact that Matt wants to set up his business as a traditional mass manufacturing process, as opposed to the small scale manufacturing methods, is just one more reason to support him. The 3D printer market can only benefit from another manufacturer that has a different view on the consumer desires.
@Mike: I got my start by creating something original, and communicating it clearly to the world, and being open and honest about the entire process. You are also welcomed to check the comments on my project page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ttstam/openbeam-an-open-source-miniature-construction-sys/comments
If you don't understand the difference between this, and doing a knock-off, no amount of reasoning will convince you.
"I, for one, am glad to see the KS community voting with its feet"
Well I don't know much about a kickstarter community. I usually end up here because I saw the project referenced elsewhere on the net. What I have witnessed though is not some community reaction but an organised campaign by a club of individuals who call themselves a community.
A very vocal group who have much influence on what information is presented to a large audience. Pretty much the same way evil governments past and present influence public opinion with vile propaganda.
These people who cry about Matt abusing the OSHW system have no qualms about in turn abusing the kickstarter system by signing on as a backer and posting accusative remarks and then removing their backing. I'm sure that was not the intentions or even rules for use of kickstarter. If it is going to come down to this kind of behaviour on kickstarter and the administrators do nothing to modify this behaviour then I don't see much of a future for Kickstarter.
As for this argument about makerbot supporting Matts product. If they have not a system in place that ensures they know they are dealing with a genuine customer then phooey on you. A business usually requires registration or serial number information in order to provide any backup. If you fail to implement this don't blame your competitior.
From your blog Terence showing exactly your intents and others.
"Matt should be honored, because, this is the first time I’ve made a (refundable) pledge to a project just so I can leave some comments. Actually, judging from the comments, others, including MakeZine’s Phillip Torrone, is doing so as well."
Shame on you for abusing the system that gave you a start.
Anyone wishing to confirm this will find Terence's remarks here
@Mark S. " I now believe that the various "backers", if you can technically call yourselves that, have tanked my chance of getting a cost-effective 3D printer. Thanks heaps!!"
No. Mr. Strong setting the target to an absurdly high $500,000.00 is tanking your chance of getting a cost effective printer. The amount he's asking for is equivalent of 10 cents per dollar in the technology section pledged towards this project for the entire FY2011.
If cost is the only thing you've cared about, as pointed out by Josh, there are other lower cost printers out there. If "punishing" Makerbot is what you care about, well, I'm sorry you'd feel that way, and it's a shame that you'd put money in for spite instead of putting it towards something else that will drive innovation in the field.
Google for "Tangibot" on Google, Google Plus. Majority of the comments have been negative and question the ethics of this project here. I'll give you a little hint: If you have to defend the morality of your actions in your kickstarter campaign's description, you are in for one hell of a tough slog.
I, for one, am glad to see the KS community voting with its feet and dollars the way they are.
I had said what I wanted to say, but since you specifically called me out..
In my opinion this project is unethical by directly cloning the work of others without improving on that work. Just today a very Replicator inspired printer showed up on Thingiverse. Its roots are obvious, but I don't consider it a blatant clone. They put in the work to make their own design. It is their design even if it was obviously heavily inspired by the Replicator. They also are not trying to hijack the Makerbot branding for their own marketing purposes and they are not trying to push off support onto Makerbot. Because of those things I don't take issue with them selling their kit. It's their kit after all.
If you find my comments here unethical then I ask you to take a look into the motives behind my comments and the motives behind this project. Yes I design 3d printers, but my demand is well beyond what I am capable of producing. Tangibot is just not competition for my project. I have posted here because I believe that this project is unethical. The Kickstarter comment system allows people to publicly post, but it also allows project owners to publicly post responses. It is all very transparent and I think it is smart that Kickstarter chose to not allow comment moderation.
btw. Don't worry about the current price of 3d printers being out of reach. There is huge price pressure from many competitors. The price can only go down.
@Adjunct Engineering LLC (and others) You seem to have a very personal (passionate) view on the open source aspect of the project. In the "spirit" of not knowing you or your motives, i don't think you should be saying why Backers do or don't want to support a project. I think the correct "ethical" way to approach your concerns would be to go direct to the project creator and voice your opinions offline (instead of paying to make negative comments). Someone looking in on the public comments might consider your approach to be somewhat sabotaging of this project, which wouldn't seem to be in the KS spirit? I have supported various projects and my motives range greatly as to why. In the case of this project, I wanted a 3D printer, to make my own creative projects with it. I don't live in the US, so I don't care for home-turf manufacturing. All I want is (in this case) a cost sensitive product compared to other similar products. I need to think of the dollars, as I have probably backed about $250+ in freight alone over the past 6 months (on various projects). I now believe that the various "backers", if you can technically call yourselves that, have tanked my chance of getting a cost-effective 3D printer. Thanks heaps!! I have token supported projects previously, but I thought when I added my opinion on the project it was in the spirit of adding to it, not beating it down. Really disappointed if this is the type of project hoohah that is going to prevail for techo-maker-type project people. Don't back it if you don't like it. Simple. Let the rest of us make our own choices.
Thank you for your support. As my project states, the TangiBot is just the beginning for 3DTangible.
I respect your decision to hold off buying a printer. You are correct; there is so much room for improvement both in price and in form and function. I look forward to working a long time in the 3D Printing market. There is so much room for innovation and I know I have much to offer. Attacking the price problem is simply where I decided to start.
If you happen to have 50K friends that feel the same way you do I could really use their support to ;-)
At some point I hope you will join the really fun world of 3D Printing.
I wish you success with this Matt. I've held off buying a 3D printer because the makerbot looks a work in progress still. There is so much that needs improving on the replicator. I know if you enter the market it can only make 3d printing more accessible to the masses. I had a look at the company you previously worked with and see you know how to make a product happen. Anyway this apparent smear campaign being waged here and elsewhere on the net has moved me to become a backer.
A nice video on the unwritten rules of opensource hardware.
"In fact, most consumers don’t care how a product is developed."
You're selling your project on kickstarter.com not walmart.com. I think backers here do care that that their funds go toward the ethical production of their reward. Your project may be complying with the legal "letter of the law" of opensource, but you are certainly not complying with the ethical "spirit" of opensource.
I appreciate everyone’s point of view here. I am taking it all into consideration.
I have to admit, I really appreciate John’s point of view because it is the minority voice here on my Kickstarter project comments. His voice is equally important to this conversation. Like I mentioned before, it would be really interesting to hear Makerbot weigh in on this discussion.
My project is really geared toward the consumer. Consumers are not made up exclusively by developers. In fact, most consumers don’t care how a product is developed. They only care that it works, works well and is of high quality. The masses take this one step further. The masses are highly price sensitive and want to get the biggest bang for their buck – they require a low price. Open source serves to develop ideas into reality. This is what every engineer/maker loves – to see their ideas work. Open source doesn’t always lend itself to bringing a product to the masses.
Mass production takes a lot of capital investment. In a way, open source and mass production could be considered diametrically opposed to one another. Because of the capital investment required to setup mass production, investors want to know that their investment is protected from competition. So there is an interesting question we must all ask ourselves.
If the open source community develops a product AND proves there is a market for it, would you rather see it taken to the masses by:
1) A company that uses an open source design that is bound by the same open source rules?
2) A company that takes a product that is early in its life cycle but with a proven market, develops their own closed system with funding from deep pockets, and leapfrogs the whole open source movement?
I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer here. There are simply different results based on the choice made.
As a market opportunity for hobby/consumner 3D Printers grows it will attract the attention of big organizations. This WILL happen. Ask yourselves what would happen to open source 3D Printers if a big company like developed a high quality, easy to use 3D printer that cost less than $500?
I do appreciate everyone’s input. It has been good cause for reflection. Perhaps someday there will be something called “open manufacturing” that will be the answer to all of this ;-) Until then, I am sure this debate will continue all over the “open” space.
I know that $55 will not cover all my international shipping costs but rather than try to figure out exact shipping costs I am will to eat some of the costs. I took a look at what some others were charging for international shipping and charged roughly the same. I will ship it to you using the best method possible while trying to keep the costs as close to $55 as possible. This might mean that the shipping method is the “slow boat.” The TangiBot will be packaged using a double walled corrugated outer box using a regular slotted container design. The TangiBot will be located a few inches inside the outer box using single walled corrugated crush zones (similar to corner pads but allowing for more box damage while protecting the TangiBot. All packaging is custom.
Right now the plan is to bring everything to the US and the ship to customers. Depending on where all the customers end up being located in the world I might be able to drop ship directly from the factory but I cannot promise this.
I plan on stocking replacement parts, plastic and other items post Kickstarter. I hope to lower the price of the plastic as well. I am well aware of the cost difference between bulk ABS pellets and ABS filaments. Admittedly, reducing the cost of the ABS will not become a focus of my time until after machine production starts.
Thanks for the links. I have a list of improvements that will be made during manufacturing but I happy to incorporate others.
Matt, perhaps you could answer some practical questions:
How do you plan to ship international for $55? This seems ridiculously low for guaranteed world-wide safe transit.
Who will you be using to ship?
How will you package to avoid damage in transit?
For international shipping, will you ship everything from the States? Shipping from China seems to reach me faster and oddly enough I seem to incur lower import charges for items from China.
Will you stock plastic and parts post the Kickstater? If so on the plastic, do you have any plans to source reduced cost material? This would certainly be welcome considering the current cost / Kg.
Finally you mentioned some build improvements like using threadlock on screws, did you pick this up from the EEVBlog review / update? If not I would suggest having a look, specifically at the tear-down video. I'd certainly be interested in a machine with better build quality than Dave's...
I'm not trying to undermine his project and the cost to post is minimal. I'm trying to both inform people about other options that are available and raise what are in my mind valid concerns. Strong's "selling" point is that his bot is just like a Makerbot but cheaper. Wouldn't you steer people away from Makerbot even if it was "cheaper"? If people are looking for a lower cost 3D printer, would you let them go buy a Makerbot? Are you a fan of this project simply because it undermines Makerbot? Or are you a fan because it actually adds value and would be a good project/product for people to purchase who are interested in 3D printing? Does this project have merits above and beyond the fact it's undercutting Makerbot? My strongest points were that regardless of the printer Matt Strong is selling I would be concerned with the ability he has to give good 3D printing support and his level of experience with 3D printing.
Are those not valid concerns? Does that not give Matt an opportunity to explain more? Give more information about his team, his plans? Wouldn’t that help him garner more support? Given the attention to this project I wanted to share my voice. Is that a bad thing? Just as you shared your opinion on all the printers I pointed to I felt I should share mine. Did I say that this design is horrible and Makerbot/Tangibot is evil and or Bre/Matt is a jerk etc. ad nauseum? No, I simply stated a few facts and voiced what was in my mind--a rather reasonable concern.
I am very passionate about 3D printing and Open Source Hardware and Software. I care deeply about highly technical and intense people working together not motivated by ego or greed but by the challenge of creating something that benefits not only themselves but humanity as a whole.
Remember “Please be sure to make an informed decision before you buy a TangiBot. I don’t want anyone to feel buyer’s remorse because they didn’t make an informed decision.” How was anything I posted not simply helping in this process? I bear Matt no ill will, nor do I apparently feel as emotionally charged about Makerbot as you do.
Ross, The fact you paid to post comments here that undermine Matt's project tells me you are passionate about protecting Makerbot's interest.
Consider how often Makerbot themselves refer anyone to the lower end printers as you have done. Never. Bre Pettis saw a RepStrap (a reprap starter kit) and saw $$. Now to the tune of at least $15 Million. (By the way the dollar sign goes in front of the value.)
Now let's look at all those printers you listed, starting with Solidoodle. Almost no one has one at this point. A lot of people are complaining they are tired of waiting much longer than 10 weeks. Even CNET doesn't like it. (http://reviews.cnet.com/3d-printers/solidoodle-3d-printer-2nd/4505-33809_7-35288066.html)
Also, about the FORMER Makerbot Chief Operating Officer starting his own company. What do you think that lends to Makerbot? They are on track to be the biggest home 3D printer company and one of their Officers leaves the company to start a low cost machine; sounds to me like he didn't like the friendly face covering the greed of Makerbot.
To top it off one of the co-founders of Makerbot left (or was forced out) because he was too idealistic and probably wanted to sell the Replicator for less. Zach Hoeken (a founder the Reprap Project BTW) http://www.hive76.org/hoeken
Now as for Printrbot. It's pretty easy to see the Brook Drumm was bashed just as bad as Matt Strong here. Everyone hated him for not releasing the source files until well after the campaign ended and he started SHIPPING orders. Although he did design his own bot and started that trend of the Wallace and other open top printers. So, I give credit there. (Note: he's stopped selling the true Reprap Printrbots and is only up-selling the laser cut versions now. !($)($)!
Now for my favorite, Makergear. I am a Makergear fan boy. I love their product, prices, people and support. This project will certainly compete with them and their new M2 beautiful printer Although; I'd rather have their M2 than any Makerbot or clone.
The Up! Printer is a nice printer but I have no experience with it other than seeing there are cheaper printers for less money.
LOL Makibot? You are going to list Mikibot? Go to that IRC you shared and type in Makibot- Kthx- "Makibot is Chinese Vapor"
That guy is base China and is costing off his own crowd-funding for a far inferior product that no might ever see.
Matt Strong has sent the building to a country where he can cut cost, save time, build a better machine. Hey just like every serious USA tech company! Most of you bashing him have a smart phone in your pocket. What if those builders decided to make the phones in a Brooklyn walk up for 40% more? Would you buy a $769 Droid 4 instead of one made in China for $549? No.
True innovators will innovate. Matt can't push everyone in the world to stop building new stuff and making it opensource.
Truth is, Makerbot will porbably lower their prices eventually and Matt won't be able to compete anymore. Hey, now everyone can really afford a Makerbot and the project has reached its goal.
Building a supply pipeline takes a lot of work and money. Matt seems qualified to carry out his task and with a 500 thousand pound weight on one's shoulder's has a way to pushing you forward to overcome obstacles.
I know from my own personal experience here on Kickstarter. Many of the same people, or at least the same type, bashed me for my listing. Told me I couldn't fulfill my reward and that I would fail. Well, I didn't fail. I thrived. I contributed. I help others. I went out of my way to make all of my Backers happy and kept them informed. Since then a few have personally contacted me to apologize. My project was funded, successful and helped everyone.
I'd agree we need more information about the team. Are they a logistical team stateside or a China based manufacturing team?
Matt, I think you are doing a great job of answering question and staying cool-headed about it too. Keep it up and fight the good fight. It's easier to stay positive and have a good attitude than be angry that a multi-million dollar company was undercut by their own design. A design they were forced to stay with to maintain their customer base, just to turn around and use that base's money to market to a dumber consumer with a large wallet.
Made in China doesn't mean worse quality. Makerbot provided the plans. Matt found a way to make available for less without cutting corners.
Hell, you want an improvement? Enclose the "enclosure." It's almost the first thing anyone every does to a Makerbot, any of them. http://www.youtube.com/watch…
The clear acrylic frame will be cool. Keep the sides closed and make a door on the front. Do that Matt and you've "improved the design. Now the haters can shut their traps.
Ross brings up an important point. Please be sure to make an informed decision before you buy a TangiBot. I don’t want anyone to feel buyer’s remorse because they didn’t make an informed decision.
To everyone considering backing this project,
This project is based on leveraging the work of a strong and vibrant community that believes in openness and contributing to the greater good of the group. This project is only improving on costs alone and is contributing nothing to the group as a whole. If cost is what you are worried about I would point you towards several, cheaper and similarly priced printers that come from more established companies that could provide you with a 3D printer before these Makerbot clones arrive in their container.
6x6x6 build area pre-assembled metal framed printer, starting at just $499
~10 week lead time, strong mailing list and support from the founder who used to be the COO at Makerbot
6x6x6 self assembled starting at 549$
6x6x6 assembled printers starting at 799$
8x8x8 assembled printers starting at 999$
Strong support and contributions to the reprap community as a whole
Lead time ~4 weeks
Self assemble kit Prusa kit 799$
Self assemble Mosaic, metal frame, 1299$
Lead time ~2-4 weeks
Up! printer with a metal body, commercial grade software, 1499$
New model ~799$ coming soon
If you are really adventurous
Small A4 sized printer ~350 delivered
In development, but should be released soon.
The 3D printing community is active and passionate and welcomes everyone interested in being part of it. I'd suggest hitting up IRC #reprap if you have any questions about what kind of printer would service you best. Personally, I have reservations about what Matt Strong has done. This type of legal but predatory behavior will only serve to diminish the desire of the true innovators towards releasing their designs and will begin fracturing the community. This kickstarter has generated a huge amount of discussion amongst people who are developing open source 3D printers.
To Matt Strong,
Ideas are cheap, implementation is difficult. You have given little evidence you (or your mysterious "team") can deliver on your very very large promise dealing with a technology and a product that you yourself admit you have very little experience. I worry for your future customers attempts to find support. 3D printing is difficult and is nowhere near plug and play.