Today we began shipping the Solidoodle 3! While we’ve had a few Solidoodle 3 Prototypes floating around in the willd (such as the one for Engadget), this is the first production-ready Solidoodle 3 to roll off the assembly line. Now our fully-assembled 3D printer with an 8x8x8″ build area is a reality for just $799. We began taking orders in mid-November, so as of now we’re shipping within our promised 8-10 week lead time and we expect that to continue. We’re also currently shipping Solidoodle 2′s from about 8 weeks so. This is a momentous occasion for our company, especially considering that we were only founded just over a year and a half ago! Exciting things ahead!
Occasionally we surprise even ourselves. We always knew that our Solidoodle design was accurate as well as rugged, but until now we didn’t know just how accurate it was. After countless hours of work tweaking the hi-resolution setting, we’ve managed to create prints that are so good that it’s difficult to tell with the naked eye that even they’ve been made by a 3D Printer. Even though the hi-res profile is still in beta testing and the standard resolution is still .3mm, the early results are super encouraging. This kind of resolution is a game changer for a $499 3D Printer.
The long-awaited hi-resolution Repetier profile is almost ready for a beta release. This will allow Solidoodle owners to print at .1mm resolution (240dpi) or about three times the current resolution. If all goes well TJ will push it out next week. Instead of waiting until we get it 100% polished, we want to push it out right away to let our lead users work their magic. You know who you are – Ian, Dacanh, Gordy, Josh.
Sitting in a cubicle many years ago at a big corporation, I would read Engadget for the latest hot new technology, dreaming of the day when I could break free and create new technological advances of my own. Now that day has become a reality and Solidoodle has grown beyond my wildest dreams. With each new Engadget post, like the one today, I feel a growing sense of accomplishment and pride in what we’ve been able to accomplish. I’m extremely grateful not only to our employees, but also our customers, who have put their faith in us from day one. To date we’ve shipped thousands of 3D Printers to customers all around the world. Best of all – we’re just getting warmed up.
This week’s production brings us to a total of nearly 1300 printers shipped. Hurricane Sandy briefly interrupted our operations (in terms of personnel and materials), but our factory is now churning out more Solidoodle’s than ever before. With each passing week, our process becomes more streamlined and our design more refined. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come, and exciting to see how far we’re going to go.
Hurricane Sandy brought about an unprecedented level of disaster to the New York City area earlier this week. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the victims of the Hurricane and those still without power. At Solidoodle, we’ve been very fortunate to have been spared the flooding, power outages, and wind damage that many of our neighbors have experienced. However, while our company’s infrastructure remains intact, our biggest issue at the moment is getting our employees to work safely. Hurricane Sandy flooded many of New York’s subway tunnels, rendering the entire MTA subway system inoperable. As such, many of our employees are unable to report to work. We’re currently running on a skeleton crew, doing our best to ship as many printers as possible this week. We hope to be up to full strength next week, as the mass-transit system returns to full functionality. We expect the disruption to shipping to be relatively minor, but we’re asking our customers to be patient while we regroup. We’ll provide detailed shipping estimates as soon as we know more. Special thanks to our dedicated staff, many of whom made extraordinary efforts to report to work today. This Hurricane represents a challenge, but we’re no stranger to challenges – we will pull together, strengthen our resolve, and be back up to full strength very shortly.
I’m happy to report that this week we’ve shipped our 1000th 3D Printer. Thanks to our hard-working staff of 60 people, our suppliers, and most importantly – our customers who have believed in us from day one. Our 1000th 3D Printer signifies a milestone – bringing the dream of ubiquitous, affordable and easy-to-use 3D Printers that much closer to reality. Wohoo!