$500 for an Up! Mini!

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Rootz
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$500 for an Up! Mini!

Post by Rootz » Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:45 am

Well, I guess that anyone who's considering buying an Up! plus 2 will be happy to hear about 3D Printing Systems giving away an Up! Mini with every plus 2 and their 40% discount on the Mini at $632AU is likely to be attractive to some potential 3D printer buyers.

I, however, have seen the resale value of my 15 month-old Mini tumble in that time by at least 75% and I've gotta say, that sticks in my craw. If £1000 a year is the price to pay for staying up-to-date in 3D printing, I think I'll be moving over to the better value, more predictably priced, upgradeable open-source machines.

I wouldn't mind so much if pp3dp actually participated in their own forum but the fact is, we've been left to sink or swim and the largest proportion of activity in this forum is from experienced Up! users trying to help less experienced users because PP3DP seem to have no interest in supporting it themselves. And even that activity seem to be on the wane. No doubt because they're bored with addressing the same old problems over and over again.

And just before an Up! fanboy chimes in, let's not forget that if the processor fries itself in one of these s**tboxes, THAT'S IT! May as well use the thing as a doorstop.

If you are on the lookout for a reasonably priced, fairly easy to use 3D printer then allow me to save you the time of trawling through this forum in the hope of getting an impression of the products. They print well. The software stinks, especially if you have a Mac. The filament is overpriced by a significant margin and you can't expect the manufacturer to take any responsibility for their product. My advice? Save your money and buy an Ultimaker.

If you don't want to tinker with your 3D printer. Simple. Spend your money on something else. There's no such thing as a plug-and-print 3D printer.

Tiertime-Joseph
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Re: $500 for an Up! Mini!

Post by Tiertime-Joseph » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:14 pm

Hi Rootz,

Thanks for your opinions, and on behalf of Tiertime, the manufacturer of UP 3D printer, I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts here.

Please allow me to explain some of your concerns.

1. We have a team of 3-4 people who take shift monitering this forum, to keep this forum free of SPAM, to collect opinions from different users, and to answer private questions when some users request.

We want all Uppers enjoy freedom here in the forum. People can come and share ideas, exchange tips, and even say bad things about UP, as long as it has a point, we just leave it there and do nothing. Some extreme cases, some popular posts are discussing and sharing ideas about some other 3D printers, we did not jump in and interrupt.

It is not that we do not participate. We chose to keep a distance from conversations, unless some issues are raised, like your post.


2. You do not like the price dropping. Please believe me, I do not like it either. It means big profit cut not only for us, but also our very hardworking distributors. Dropping price is a strategic decision to compete in this extremely competitive market, and it is not our intention to piss off our loyal Uppers.

3. There are no perfect product, and we are working hard to improve and create better ones.

We are very well aware of many issues that this forum has been constantly complaining about. Some of them we chose not to follow, for example, temperature control.

Some other complains are well accepted, and our technical team is fixing problems, and designing new products. It is only because of our limitation of resources, man power that we can not answer our customers requests in a timely manner, for which we are sorry, and we will do better.

4. If you are facing technical problems, like having your processor fried, please contact your local authorized distributor. If your distributor does not answer, you are more than welcome to contact support@pp3dp.com directly. We take full responsibilty of our products.

However, using impolite words does not make your point more convincing. Please choose proper words next time when you post. You have been warned.

Finally, thank you again for your opinion.

Now back to printing.

Cheers

Joseph

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DrewPetitclerc
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Re: $500 for an Up! Mini!

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:45 pm

I would like to take the time to personally thank Joseph for his response and I agree completely with his assessment of Tiertime's involvement here on the forum and appreciate greatly their restraint in how they monitor this forum.

As an early adopter of the this wonderful new growing technology it is just common sense to understand that it is still a developing technology and there really are no true "plug and play" 3D printers, no matter what any marketing salesmen may try to tell you, once you investigate all the opportunities out there you will see that even the $20,000.00us machines have issues and limitations and hidden costs.

When I first purchased my "UP Plus" it was $3,000.00us and I was happy to pay it for the mechanical superiority I saw in their design over other models on the market at the time, then less than 6 months later the price was dropped to $1,500.00us for the same model, did I complain? NO, I have common sense telling me I adopted an early developing technology and these are the realities.

After using my printer for awhile I wanted to open up the capabilities, so I began the process of improving the design and sharing all my designs here on the forum and asking for nothing in return, now my "UP Plus Pro" can use a wider range of materials and more consistently produces high quality parts, some of this advancement has been due to my better understanding the function of the printer and its limitations thus I can plan my designs better before attempting to print, all of this comes from a common sense approach to this technology.

I'm sorry you (Rootz) did not understand this and have sense of misplaced outrage, I hope you get a satisfying resolution of your issues.

Thank you again Joseph and Tiertime for a great experience in this technology and I look forward to the next designs of FDM technology from your labs.

Regards
Drew
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

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scubamatt41
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Re: $500 for an Up! Mini!

Post by scubamatt41 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:05 pm

Joseph.Guo wrote:it is not our intention to piss off our loyal Uppers.
However, using impolite words does not make your point more convincing. Please choose proper words next time when you post. You have been warned.
I guess "piss off" is not impolite eh?

Thanks for taking the time to finaly let the UP community know there is somebody alive behind pp3dp!
Why create a category were the UPcomm can ASK or REQUEST upgrades etc, and do f@ck all?

It would be more consistant not to react at all eh? Because you said what we already know. Your not affraid what your info could do for your company eh?
The 3d printer community is moving towards cheap SLA printers. You mist out of creating better UP printer in the mean while. Now you are not only dropping in price but sales will nip you in the butt!

@drew, no offence but because THEY made no improvement(s) what so ever you had to!

justmy2cents
Always breath out on the way UP

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DrewPetitclerc
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Re: $500 for an Up! Mini!

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:08 pm

scubamatt41 wrote: @drew, no offence but because THEY made no improvement(s) what so ever you had to!
Dear scubamatt41,

You are mistaken in thinking Tiertime did not make any improvements based on my designs, several improvements where adopted after I created them in the "UP Plus" and they also implemented updates to their software that were suggestions from this community, these could not be "easy" fixes if someone understands the coding complexities.
I had the honor of being mentioned in the manual for the early "UP Plus" thus helping owners to better understand and improve the machine on their own if they desired.

The "Mini" unfortunately was never reviewed by myself before hitting the market and what little I saw of it at trade shows led me to believe that sacrifices in mechanical design where made to lower the price and so I stayed away from it and I encouraged my peers towards the "UP Plus", so the company I work for has 4 "UP Plus Pros" and more than 6 engineers have personally purchased and upgraded based on my designs their own "UP Plus Pros" for home personal use.

I believe in the saying "There are NO problems, only Solutions waiting to be found!"

All of this being said, we come back to the real truth, if you want to print and you use common sense, if you use the approved materials in a proper way and you follow the instructions as stated, you can make great things.
"When you push the limits and fall off a cliff how can you blame the cliff for being there?"

I hope you have great success and look forward to the new designs I'm sure Tiertime is bring next to us all.

Regards
Drew
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

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KCSteve
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Re: $500 for an Up! Mini!

Post by KCSteve » Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:19 pm

I'm with Drew in this one. 3D printers have come a long way from where they started and are now consumer items.... barely.

Right now they seem to be about the same stage of development as cellphones in the late 1990's. Major improvements are coming at a fast and furious pace and anyone who buys one as some sort of investment really needs to rethink that strategy.

Joseph, I'm glad you popped out - wish you guys would do it a bit more. I appreciate your leaving the forum as open as you do, but I think we could live with a bit more activity on your part.

I noticed you said you don't really look at Temperature Control threads - I really wish you'd take at least a quick look at the one I started recently as I think I may have hit on something that would benefit your sales and as well as us, the users. Be nice to get a response on that one, even if it's that I'm incorrect.

I got the UP! Mini knowing that it's imperfect and has limitations. In my humble opinion right now it's (one of if not the[/I) least expensive printer worth getting. I'm sure that if I continue with 3D printing I'll outgrow the Mini but the key is that by the time I do I'll know which better, more capable, and more expensive machine is right for me. Odds are good that the Mini will still be usable as my secondary printer.
Enjoy!

KCSteve :->

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josejuako
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Re: $500 for an Up! Mini!

Post by josejuako » Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:01 pm

Honestly I understand both sides, but here if you need to see that owners put UP attention to forum , after turning my 3D printer and find that the software has no temperature control platform head and I felt frustrated.

  I liked this machine ?.

1) Maintenance is very easy.
2) When an object goes well, it's really good!.
3) The cost is reasonable.
4) Everything I make I sell my UP without problem. But to do to get it touched me do it without help, only Drew ( others 4 no more ) , is one who has appreciated and is committed to improve this machine.
5) It is very accurate and allows me to make good things.


I do not like it?.

1) Lack of support from the manufacturer, is the first time I see a sincere concern for the fall of the forum and sales.
2) Here we have had to troubleshoot the hardware to keep the money from buying and learning in the field of experimentation.
3) I have seen machines that sell more expensive, I wonder if buying a more expensive solves the waste of time and material.
4) have never solved the problem of something important temperatures and have ignored what I see and will not make it in the future.
5) I think they have lost and will continue losing because there are already 3D printers better quality at a lower price, this is to ignore this forum.
6) In advertising the show as a professional printer and not true.
7) The volume is very small.
8) The cost of inputs is very high in relation to other printers in the same range.

However I am grateful and I like buying this printer, if I had bought one in the same era would use not as I see that are still having more problems than owners of UP.

I have 4 years whit UP owner .

Thanks.

Jose

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Rootz
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Re: $500 for an Up! Mini!

Post by Rootz » Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:20 am

Many thanks, Joseph, for your reply. It is good to hear from you. I might say that frustrations may not run so high if Tiertime were to take a more active part in the community. As with any company Tiertime must endeavour to strike a balance between devoting resource to future sales and to current users. I truly sympathise with you in your quest to rid the forum of spam but I'm afraid that, in my opinion, if you are spending more time doing that than ensuring that current users are happy with their purchase, you must simply not be devoting enough resource to the forum. If you do not communicate, people will think the worst. If you do not respond quickly and comprehensively to complaints, people will get the impression that you don't care.

I am a professional Engineer of over 25 years standing with experience of and direct involvement in between at least 2,500 projects so I feel I am well enough qualified to distinguish between understandable teething problems and shoddy work. If a product has a known problem with a known cause and that cause is not addressed, then either the personnel developing it are either mismanaged or inept OR a decision has been made that the problem is simply not important enough to devote resource to it. The fact that the Up! Mini extruder stepper motor is continually energised for no apparent reason, contributing to heat build-up in the extruder and exacerbating a situation that causes malfunctions, leaves me despairing. Surely, this can be addressed with two lines of code and yet the problem is left uncorrected for years! I'm sure Drew, that if you were made aware of a similar situation occurring at WD, you would jump on it, PDQ. Once again, this situation simply gives the impression that Tiertime places a higher priority on future sales and market share than it does on the satisfaction of users.

At some time, Tiertime made a conscious decision to take the proprietary path and, while I have no objection to that, it seems that the company simply fails to appreciate the fact that, by taking the more profitable proprietary route one needs to devote more resource to customer support. The two factors are inextricably linked. That support needs to be proactive and direct. You cannot always expect people to contact you when they have a problem, especially if you have given the impression of being unresponsive and while some distributors are very capable, you cannot expect your resellers to support your products for you.

While I'm sure there are users who can justify the time they spend debugging your product, I, and I'm sure most of your owners, cannot. My printer ENABLES by hobby. My printer is NOT my hobby or else I would have chosen to take the Open-Source route to start with.

Finally, please. Anybody who thinks that 3D printers are amazing technology. It is not rocket science. In fact, most 3D printers are far less complex than the average home paper printer and involve far less development. One needs only to look at the plethora of printers that are available to realise that it's actually a pretty easy product to make. The challenge is to make them cheap and reliable in relatively small volumes

Tiertime-Joseph
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Re: $500 for an Up! Mini!

Post by Tiertime-Joseph » Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:24 am

Hello Rootz,

Thank you for your comments.

We will do more.

Cheers

Joseph

roller
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Re: $500 for an Up! Mini!

Post by roller » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:55 pm

As someone with a lot of 3D printing experience before coming to an Up, someone who has working as a senior technical advisor for 20 years, has now moved into design (because I can better express my skills ... and someone who primarily runs on a Mac ... and finally someone who has put a lot of effort into supporting others in this community (as I know Drew has also) I think I can add a reasonably educated and enlightened point to this discussion:

1. I think Rootz would be happier if he had a Plus and not a Mini. The Mini still carries major design flaws - primarily that the bed still not hot enough which would be a buck to fix at assembly (using an 80C heater module instead of 50C). I raised this with a Rootz like rant nearly TWO YEARS AGO. Still not fixed ... still comes up as an issue in these forums all the time. If anyone was paying any attention and trying to improve the product I am sure this modification to the design would have made it through ... for the extra buck!

2. The Mac software is incredibly rubbish. Horrible. Frustrating ... and only going to do harm. The latest version was clearly not tested and I've yet to find a Mac it works with (6 tested so far on 2 different Ups). If you are not going to do a good job with this software and keep it up to spec with the Windows software, don't bother. I think you get much more bad publicity from the frustration (my Uni killed the idea of Ups based largely on the poor experience with the software which they tested exclusively on Mac). Alternately, spread it among the community of power users for beta testing BEFORE you release it. Let us test it for quite a few weeks so we have time to find the issues and have time to do it when we wont mind screwing up our printers.

3. The Up Plus is great value and the Mini better so but the market is moving fast and this will drive prices down especially if the features aren't moving forward. I'm sorry Rootz but buying into this technology at this time is always going to see massive depreciation. The market is catching on removable support - unless there is a bigger Up soon the printer will be marginalised. I understand there may be a parent company reason for this but maybe it will mean PP3DP falls out of the market entirely.

Tiertime/PP3DP needs to listen far more intently to it's users and respond more directly. If they did they would be a market leader because they have one of the best products ... IF they ironed out the bugs, resolved the supply channel issues especially with filament and had the printer working in front of the public. Every bug kills a sale... oh how many times I've demoed how wonderful my printer is but had the demo display how woeful the software is (my Macbook is a picture of health and stock standard-ness because I don't have time for issues).

4. So while I agree with Drew that there has been efforts to improve certain design issues many have been overlooked:

- Mini bed heat
- All printers get hot extruder steppers and so are unable to print PLA (maybe OEM works) which means the listed claims is an outright lie. In Australia this earns you an automatic right to a refund even years after you bought it (we have pretty tough consumer law). Lowering the holding current, upping the torque spec of the stepper or even thermally insulating the drive gear might be possible solutions.
- The prints start to print on the hot corner of the raft. This oversight in the algorithm means there is always a sticky corner in raft removal. How does this get missed time after time despite it's been mentioned quite a few times.
- Some of the parts are priced liked they are made from gold. Eg. The heater bed cables. The one with the heater and sensor on it is $50 - reasonable. The other half of the pair (mainboard to sensor cable) is also $50 ... nothing but a cable ... standard ends ... $50. What?! Especially when it's a flawed and regular failing part. These costs to repair are bad advertising for your product going forward. It would be nice to see mainboards cost less.
- The forum has big issues. I cannot access it half the time, the performance is slow (many complain about this), the software (phpBB) is set to defaults so it ignores common terms like PLA and ABS ... this is a performance setting but means the same questions are asked a million times and still there is now official FAQ to cover these questions (the first FAQ should be "No you cannot print PLA out of the box if your print is bigger than 30 minutes). The forum needs proper hosting.
- The people who put a lot of time into this forum Drew, Julia and a number of others ... should be consulted on changes ... these are the power users and experts in your user base. Sign them up with NDAs and kick around the ideas and features you are thinking about ... a lot of features you add are useful but not too the majority of users. The majority is where your market is and where the money is. Makerbot is doing well by addressing it's user base and communicating well (at least as they where cementing their market lead). Get in touch with your users and listen to them, take action.

Rant over :) Sorry if there is poor grammar/spelling but I am supposed to be reviewed the design proposal for a new WAN and doing my site mapping for uni so I didn't review what I wrote... oops.

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Rootz
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Re: $500 for an Up! Mini!

Post by Rootz » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:11 am

Many thanks for a very balanced contrib, Roller.

All of your points are well made. I can't help but think nobody would have cause to start a thread like this if those in a position of influence over these matters saw things with your clarity and insight.

Two words Tiertime would do well to Google: User Experience.

If you ever decide to start a 3D printer company, please be sure to let us know! :-)

Cheers!

A

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Re: $500 for an Up! Mini!

Post by gloga1 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:56 am

We have had two up Minis for 12 Months and thrashed them still working strong helping to design engineering awards so can't complain, It devices become old by the time they are manufactured and as long as there is a part supply I am happy.
Price coming down can only be a bonus we only expect to get 3 years from these printers like any IT device and then its time for e recycling. Anything is better than what happened with out last 3D Printer which was orignally built to sell cheap printer to the masses then brought by a big company and then killed off the next month. Parts what parts. For the home user yes its annoying but only property appreciates in value.

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