December 29, 2016 at 10:04 am #23710
I do appreciate the conversation. We might actually figure it out, never know.
I have some experience with kickstarter. I am very intimidated by it for many many reasons. I was working at robo3d after their kickstarter had ended I think about 6 months after. Pretty sure I started a few days before the first shipment came in from China. A few shipments later I then went to china and tried to gets hands on and fix some issues. I learned sooooo much.
Kickstarter for this type of thing would be to buy me molds. Injection molding molds, $10k-$100k each. The original mpcnc parts were designed for molding, kickstarter was my plan. All parts were designed so 1 would fit all 4 sides to minimize the total number of molds. and I had plans to make some of them even easier to mold if I had a successful kickstarter. This made for kinda compromised parts, easy to mold but not as strong as they could be. Which I figured I could combat with more rigid plastic.
Now the biggest issues. First off an instant swarm of inexperienced users and an instant demand to hire tech support staff, $$. Second, any revision cost a lot of money, mold revisions about $10k and then all the lost parts that have been revised, $$. Mass production slows development. Large shipments and a building to house them in, at least initially, $$. Not even getting into the problems on the other side of the ocean…
At his point I feel I could make a great MPCNC mass produced kit (I do want to make a few revisions), but if the crawlbot has only sold <30 units the LowRider probably isn't the machine to try and go full hog with.December 29, 2016 at 10:18 am #23712
Fair enough on the kickstarter thing.. Though I think you could still use it for its original intended purpose — funding creative projects in a non-transactional way. Maybe offer beta access as the rewards?
Another option is to have tiered production.. Maybe have a premium model that costs money, or or sell assembled versions. This could work especially well if you did this with welded tables, since that’s out of reach for most DIYers. Or maybe use it as a springboard to custom design work and use it primarily as a demonstration of skill (this is the usual path for open source software authors).
And of course there’s the option of closing off access and selling everything directly. You’ll get a lot of flak for it (see MakerBot), but you can also make a decent income (see MakerBot again).December 29, 2016 at 10:42 am #23716
HAHA makerbot poor guys.
Tiered production is a great idea. That is how I was going to start buying molds. There are a lot of pieces I could use on both machines so one mold could serve a few purposes. assembly is anther good one, as long as it fits in a flat rate box.December 29, 2016 at 10:44 am #23717
I have told a few friends about projects like Maslow and Lowrider, and one or two have seen the potential to do digital fabrication at furniture scale and got quite excited – one person I know has signed up to the Maslow kickstarter, even though he’s never done anything like this before.
For me the potential of the Lowrider is the price and some of the other values it shares with the MPCNC.
I rate Brook Drumm as an entrepreneur, but he has hit the wrong notes for me with the Crawlbot. History is littered with people who have grossly underpriced their kickstarter projects and failed to scale, however, $3K is too much to be ground-breaking. The Mac only thing also sends completely the wrong message – that it’s half baked.December 29, 2016 at 10:49 am #23723
Mac only? Wow, that kinda sucks. Most of the software that is free to use in this Maker arena works best on PC and the Mac side is usually behind if it works at all.December 29, 2016 at 10:53 am #23724
Too bad hobby stores are virtually extinct.. This kit would be perfect for retail. Maybe someone has come up with some sort of alternate shipping startup to make this affordable?December 29, 2016 at 10:56 am #23726
Some of the kits going into south america go to a shipper in Florida. that shipper then takes them south and delivers them somehow. I thought it was odd that so many boxes were going to Florida then I did some google-fu and found it was some sort of bulk shipper. I have no idea how they handle import taxes but the buyer only ends up paying me for US shipping.December 29, 2016 at 11:04 am #23727
And just to emphasize that shipping comment. I have sold things online since the first days of ebay. Shipping has never been easy online ever. It is stupidly expensive. If any of you have any pull at any company that deals with shipping there is a very very easy way to bring in a ton of money. All shipping companies charge for plugins to popular eCommerce software. WTF? They are going to make money of of every single label printed why charge us to do that? So I have used Paypal since the beginning as they had the easiest USPS interface. Then some companies got a bit cheaper to use, then came the USPS flat rate box. No company can even get in the ballpark of price for this thing. Internationally it is at least half the price of every single carrier I have ever checked. Plus using anyone else takes a ton on time time to import the address one at a time, god forbid it doesn’t like the address then you have to send emails back and forth to the customer to correctly ship it.
Now that I use shopify USPS plugin is still free, all the others are at least $80 a year, but the USPS service verifies the address before it takes the money.December 29, 2016 at 11:11 am #23728
Yeah, they all seem pretty content with their inefficiency. Amazon is going to eat their lunch soon though. Not that they’ll me any more benevolent.December 29, 2016 at 11:27 am #23730
I’ve been reading about that. Amazon is soo screwed. As soon as that changes I think everyone will understand shipping is not free. What are they spending/loosing, b/millions per quarter on “free” shipping. That is insane to me. How would anyone invest in that business model. They must be pitching it as “we will destroy all other online companies and then start charging double for shipping when we are the only ones left”. Amazon want 10-12% to sell on there store, with the stipulation you can not sell anywhere else for cheaper, and 90 no questions asked return policy. They hold your money for 90 days. crazy. I understand my sales would go up using them but I don’t it is worth it.December 29, 2016 at 12:30 pm #23737
For sure, though there is a lot of efficiency that could be gained by moving to a distributor system… Flat rate really cuts to the heart of the matter: volume is more important than weight, and standardized packaging minimizes wasted volume.December 29, 2016 at 12:33 pm #23738
Following! This looks great. I can’t wait to get my hands on these files. Thanks so much for these awesome creations!December 29, 2016 at 6:28 pm #23901
Here’s another me too for the low rider. I’d love to help beta.. 🙂December 30, 2016 at 12:10 am #23915
I would love to see a Kickstarter, but I still want to print my parts. That’s my favorite part. I don’t want you to buy molds though, I want you to work on the designs. Maybe a Kickstarter for your new printer idea. You can have inexpensive, low level donors receive a trinket that’s easy for you to make, and the higher levels include your vitamin kits. With different levels of total support, you add more bonus stuff. Maybe more features or something. Maybe you can get some cash, for your salary, you can buy all the vitamins at once, ship them all at once, and then release the STLs (with CC licence, on TV or GitHub), and start another Kickstarter for your MPEspresso machine.
It’s OK to charge to more for the vitamins in a Kickstarter than they would be able to buy the kit from you, or from Amazon. It’s half supporting you, and half getting what I need without hassle.
I would also support you on patreon. I bet others would.
The open source thing, at least for me, is 100% critical. I wouldn’t have done any of this if I couldn’t print my own parts, and I would not help (as much help as I have, which is maybe not much) if it was not open source.
If you want to make it difficult for amateurs to remove your letters from the STL, emboss it in a curve. That is a PITA. You should also put the CC logo for no commercial on there.December 30, 2016 at 1:43 am #23922
One more thought on business models.. I know this is a bitter pill, but what if you go the E3D route and just let the piracy happen and just always stay a step ahead with some hard-to-reproduce widget? They make a ton primarily because people get tired of the crappy knockoffs and pay ridiculous amounts for the real thing.December 30, 2016 at 10:37 am #23940
Thanks. I really wish I would have minored in business…although I probably wouldn’t have went all in on this little venture if I did.
Loving the feedback, A successful business is a priority so I can keep making things. You all have me thinking about this more seriously now. I just kind of figured it would all fall into place as it comes along, but I am learning it takes a lot of work to keep things working smoothly.
Patreon seems cool, they do take a cut, but what kind of premiums would I include? I would hate to exclude anyone because they aren’t giving me money. On the donate page I have updated it with various was to help support this. At the same time paypal does have a subscription payment system, I have a monthly donation that I am very grateful for, they do take a cut as well.
As for the lowRider I spent so much time yesterday on the forums I never made it to get material. I might cut some mp3dp parts and lowrider parts to get them ready for sale on the site.December 30, 2016 at 11:13 am #23949
Just make sure what ever business model you choose that you cover your costs. You should look into something called value added costing. This system figures out true cost of doing business so you margins can be in line for sustainability.
GJanuary 2, 2017 at 8:50 am #24141
Thanks for everything. Looking forward to the low rider even though I probably won’t build one for the apartment. The MPCNC makes too much noise / dust as is haJanuary 3, 2017 at 5:01 pm #24254
Alright sorry for the lack of updates…It got super crazy with orders right after Christmas. Christmas money I guess.
I have most of the parts in that are needed. I still need to tweak the plastic parts a bit and label them with the site or logo or something.
I know a bunch of you want to beta test it but I want to try and release this thing real soon. So is anyone ready to build a table and the machine? Meaning do you have access to a CNC router to cut out a few pieces and a printer or two to print pieces. I don’t have build instructions yet so I can provide pics only at first. Also..Things might change so no getting pissed if I revise the same dam part 8 times. I’m looking for just a person or two that can get it together and make some test cuts. There are still a few tiny bugs to work out. I think I have all the “hard” to get parts in stock but you will need to get the nuts and bolts on your own for now. I don’t want to place a large hardware order to find out I need everything .25″ longer or shorter.
So if you think it will take a month or two to get around to it the beta test isn’t for you.
I am going to try and update the firmware and cut out a full set of mp3dp parts right now…all at once…so crazy. It took me hours to learn fusion and get all the CAM set up last night.January 3, 2017 at 8:14 pm #24263
BooYah!!!!! About an hour long cut, 6.6mm HDPE, 13mm/s 3.3mm cut depth with a .5mm finish pass, 1/8″ 2 flute downcut bit. Flawless! Being my first serious fusion 360 tool path I am pretty stoked, and the LowRider killed it. I have to double check the plunge rate but it was too high for the downcut in this material.
The parts have an amazing cut finish and are extremely square.
I didn’t think I needed or wanted a full sheet cnc….Well maybe it’s time to ramp up production of some kits because this thing makes big jobs sooooo much easier.
I took some video, it is pretty boring because you can’t really see anything but the machine moving. I’ll upload it tomorrow if anyone wants to see it.
Attachments:January 3, 2017 at 8:27 pm #24268
What are you using for the spoil board?January 3, 2017 at 8:28 pm #24269
How is it compared to the MPCNC in terms of rigidity? I don’t have time or room to make another full sheeter, but I’d love to beta test an MPCNC retrofit on my 4×7 build if you end up making one.January 3, 2017 at 8:40 pm #24270
I made the table a little more than 1/2″ thinner than I wanted so I could use that Styrofoam house insulation as a spoil board…it’s awesome. $7/sheet and I offset it with 1/2″ molding under the wheels. Pretty ideal I think.
It is kinda odd, it does not seem as rigid as the MPCNC but cuts better. Maybe the weight of the router helps damped vibrations.Not sure about that.
I have to say anything bigger than 2.5′ this is the way to go I think. I built the MPCNC as a cnc for small parts, 6″x6″ tops. Turns out I kept making it bigger. This thing though, jeez I am a little impressed, I thought it might have to cut slower because of it’s size…nope it can handle much faster I think. Pretty sure that was at least 1/3 faster than I do with the mpcnc because of the depths I used and that was with a very old bit, the first downcut I bought, I thought for sure I would break it so I didn’t wan to lose a new one….cheap bastard. This was the first large cut and it was super dead on. Very easy to use. I will be cutting one of my MPCNC’s down for sure now.January 4, 2017 at 1:54 pm #24342
The damn day I start printing parts for the MPCNC and I see this, which is what I wanted all along. (over excited reaction)
I need to get something built very soon as I have work waiting that I can’t delay any longer.
You asked for beta testers with access to a 3dPrinter and a CNC, how many/what type of parts need to be CNC’d?
I might just ask the local guys to CNC them for me.
P.S. Can provide engineering based feedback.January 8, 2017 at 6:15 pm #24505January 8, 2017 at 6:41 pm #24513
Maybe the next one should be the high rider, and is suspended from the ceiling, like this camera gantry. Then if you were short on space, you could just throw the sheet on the roof rack and park the car in the garage ?January 9, 2017 at 4:43 am #24534
I have been working on a mod of the MPCNC that also had a double Y rail setup similar to yours in the last couple of weeks (just scribbles on paper mostly). Very cool.
Can I get in on the alpha testing ?January 9, 2017 at 4:50 am #24535
Files are on thingiverse now.
I was just watching that video this weekend! I’ve seen something similar built with garage door tracks.January 9, 2017 at 6:01 am #24538
I just have to chime in here. We have the low rider, the high rider and I present to you the wall rider.
Not sure if I can post this here. I am in no way affialted with these guys.. I love my MPCNC and have started printing the Low Rider.January 10, 2017 at 12:54 pm #24638
Now I need to buy a 3d printer. Time to go shopping for one and get this thing printed and built. This is EXACTLY what I’ve been hunting for … hunting for years! Much thanks, and I’d be more than happy to purchase all the parts through you to get you some profit. However I can support the development of this!
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