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  1. #121
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    Wait, so we're here to crap on swissmak as being to complicated for $6000 while also crapping on snapmaker for being too simple for $800? It's 5 programmable slides plus a crappy routing spindle, a crappy engraver and a crappy extruder! That's actually a really good value and they're delivering them.

    Will it ever be genuinely useful? No. Are legos genuinely useful? Not as a building product, but they teach important concepts in an accessible package and are pretty fun. I'd venture 99% of all consumer 3d printers haven't been used more than 10 times, and I'd bet that half have never been turned on. So lay off!

    Or make a cool looking gizmo. What's the harm?

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  3. #122
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    I agree, sending half machines or kits would kill swissmak brand. I hope Perry comes back with a plan, and action, to start sending out finished machines. It looks better than almost anything else in that class. Having someone try it with mach running ebay stepper drives will send him into a customer service nightmare.
    It is an idea from a younger mind that doesn't see the soft limits that we turn into hard limits as we become lazy and busy trying to keep up with other stuff. I respect that, and like it.

    Asking for more money is completely legit, and not shameful. If it was no building or government contract would be over budget.

    We might not understand kickstarter (as a group) but it is no different than having start up funding. The payout if it works is big, if it doesn't then you get to mumble and kick dirt. I see no scamming it in this case- shop space, materials, and machines to make exactly what is stated as intention is not scamming. As far as kickstarter rules, backers can only ask for unused portion of their money back. He has done ok job keeping people up to date and explaining he ran out of money.

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  5. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by memphisjed View Post
    We might not understand kickstarter (as a group) but it is no different than having start up funding. The payout if it works is big, if it doesn't then you get to mumble and kick dirt. I see no scamming it in this case- shop space, materials, and machines to make exactly what is stated as intention is not scamming. As far as kickstarter rules, backers can only ask for unused portion of their money back. He has done ok job keeping people up to date and explaining he ran out of money.
    Kickstarter is not a difficult concept to understand, I'm sure that everyone commenting about it knows the deal.

    The biggest problem with kickstarter is that the barrier for entry in basically non-existent, people can post up whatever wishes, hopes and dreams they have conjured without consequence, and the funders, not being experienced investors, buy into the dreams hook line and sinker.

    As a result, the number of projects that reach a successful completion after a kickstarter campaign is excruciatingly low, and the number of campaigns that go horribly, terribly wrong with lots of bad blood and frustrated investors is very high.

    Since the very conception of kickstarter (and gofundme, and all the rest of them), there have been at best two or three campaigns that I have followed (not funded) that have made it to launch.

  6. #124
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    I agree that entry barrier for kickstarter et al is low, that is a positive for the intent of it. I have funded two items, got one..I accept the risk on the front end. It is in the terms that you accept risk backing a project.
    I would not back anything over 100 unless I knew more than the elevator pitch. Fun money, hope it makes someone a millionare too.

    When a project is funded the money changes hands, When inventor gets the money it is no longer other peoples money - not a hard concept, but one that is easily ignored.

  7. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by memphisjed View Post
    When a project is funded the money changes hands, When inventor gets the money it is no longer other peoples money - not a hard concept, but one that is easily ignored.
    If what you say is true then the inventor could legally just walk away and not make any effort to complete the project without repercussions, I seriously doubt that is true. I would consider it "other people's money" until he or she honors the item or service the pledge is exchanged for.

  8. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    As a result, the number of projects that reach a successful completion after a kickstarter campaign is excruciatingly low, and the number of campaigns that go horribly, terribly wrong with lots of bad blood and frustrated investors is very high.
    This is the real problem with Kickstarter. Kickstarter isn't savvy enough to vet a lot of these projects (although they do at least require a prototype for hardware projects), and once the backers have handed over their money Kickstarter really doesn't care, since they've taken their cut. If you look at a lot of the stuff that shows up there now, a lot of it is a marketing tool for new products from small to medium size, established, consumer products companies rather than true start ups. That was not the case when they started, but it certainly increases the percentage of projects that actually deliver goods.

    I think in GD's case, Kickstarter was a bad choice because it insulated his business too much from having to actually sell into the market, and his planned margin was way too low. I'm fairly certain he priced his time way, way too low when he priced the design, and that he likely would have made significant design changes if he'd been more realistic about that. Businesses live on cash flow, and he hasn't got any. I have a suspicion he hasn't paid himself this year, or that if he did it was just enough to cover rent and groceries. That said, he probably learned more in the last 12 months than he did in the last three years of school -- I certainly did my first year out of college and I wasn't running my own business.

  9. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comatose View Post
    Wait, so we're here to crap on swissmak as being to complicated for $6000 while also crapping on snapmaker for being too simple for $800?
    PM is a gigantic community with no consensus on these types of things.

    Those of us who have been in business for decades know that $6K is too low. There are way too many parts and way too much assembly time to make any sort of profit at $6K. SwissMak sold them for $4300-4700 on Kickstarter, so he took a product with no profit and chopped off another 25%.

    I'm not impressed with the Snapmaker. They set their goal at $100K and generated $7.8 million. That's just shy of a 100:1 ratio, which might impress folks who have never been in business, but it screams ill-preparedness and poor planning.

    I'd like to see a Kickstarter campaign where their goal is $2 million and they generated $3 million. That, to me, indicates confidence and experience in business. Of course, it would have to go hand in hand with a company that has experience bringing product to market, with a portfolio to back it up.

  10. #128
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    If the point of a kickstarter is to get enough funds to go from prototype to production, and they needed an order of $100k to get all their molds and tooling and designs done and be into serial production cost effectively, why should the target have been any higher? Everything past there is gravy. Kickstarters don't fund unless they hit the target, so why make the target higher than necessary?

    No argument that 6k was too low for Swissmak. Obviously. We all said as much. But I'm not sure that it would have turned out differently if the asking price would have been $12k.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    If what you say is true then the inventor could legally just walk away and not make any effort to complete the project without repercussions, I seriously doubt that is true. I would consider it "other people's money" until he or she honors the item or service the pledge is exchanged for.
    Kickstarters blanket contract has lots of wiggle room, so far Swissmak has checked off each box in exceptions for timely completion. Swissmak even has on table last option which is give backers a box of whatever parts are completed. It is not the same as buying from an established widget maker, making established widgets, at a set price. A turn mill, which seems to be smooth and thought out (not for cost -movement and controls) for 4500 is the bleeding edge special; sometimes bleeding edge people loose.

  12. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comatose View Post
    If the point of a kickstarter is to get enough funds to go from prototype to production, and they needed an order of $100k to get all their molds and tooling and designs done and be into serial production cost effectively, why should the target have been any higher? Everything past there is gravy.
    Regardless of what they say in their mission statement, the real point of Kickstarter is to force potential customers to put their money where their mouth is, rather than give empty promises.

    Imagine if this were a restaurant. The restaurateur spends all this money setting up his restaurant, hiring staff, and purchasing ingredients. All of his friends tell him what a great idea it is because they've tasted his home cooking. He opens the restaurant, but due to lack of advertising ability, the place is tumbleweeds for the next 3 months and he's forced to shut down.

    The "Kickstarter Way" is different. A bunch of people buy gift certificates before he ever spends a dime on the restaurant itself. The only "investment" up to this point is concocting a menu in his home kitchen. If and only if his campaign is successful, does he spend money renting a place, fixing up the decor, buying equipment, hiring staff, etc. Note that a successful campaign means he pulls the trigger on opening the restaurant. It does NOT mean that he begins to learn how to cook.

    Now let's say the restaurant is a hit and it's reservation-only. He was originally planning on a 1-week waitlist. Instead, he sells 78X what he originally planned in gift certificates. He knows he can't have a 78-week waitlist, so instead he gets a place 20X as big, buys 20X as much equipment, and hires 20X as much stuff. Do you think he's qualified to do this? His prior experience is cooking at home. He has absolutely no idea what it's like to manage five employees, much less 100.

    You might say, a restaurant is way different than a product manufacturing business. You'd be right. The latter is much harder. With a restaurant, an angry patron might leave a bad yelp review and maybe leave no tip. With a product based business, an angry patron is essentially going to "barf up" what he ate and send it back to you, demanding a suitable replacement, and THEN leave you a bad yelp review.

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  14. #131
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    Restaurant is manufacturing. You only have less lead time in food service. Being a line cook in school taught me more about production than working in a production shop- the pace is obscene, the timing and ergonomics you learn to the point of instinct. juggling 5 jobs simultaneously is not even worth breaking out the paper priority list now. Bossmen want a few items thrown in on the fly does not mean stopping what I am doing, and it taught me to never save work for later.
    I do think op had the self employed bug, which a lot of young people have, before spending a few years working in a demanding industry first. There is a reason very few cooks want to own a restaurant, employees is not the hang up either. If op can find a boss to hire that will deal with customers and invoices and scheduling he will be better off doing what he enjoys and has shown skills at doing - software and hardware- of the robots.

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  16. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    The more I look at Kickstarter I have to wonder if we all are in the wrong business. This guy built a machine out of what looks like 80/20 or techno-Isel, a cheap android phone for the PC and got 7,457.000.

    Maybe I should grab some Durabar and makes some gizmo that runs around looking cool.

    Snapmaker 2.0: Modular 3-in-1 3D Printers by Snapmaker — Kickstarter
    I bet someone from the outside could walk into your shop, or my shop, or lots of folks' on here shop and say "daaaamn, this guy has it easy! He just has an automatic bandsaw cutting chunks of metal, he puts them in a machine that does all the work, and he ships them to customers and gets THOUSANDS of $$ for it!! Must be nice!

    The machine you linked... there is some high-zoot videography going on there. Plus there's software - a lot of software - that needs written. Plus the mechanical design of the unit... steppers, drivers, a controller, plus all the motion hardware like screws/bushings/bearings. It is easy to look at the finished product and imagine it was easy to get to the finish line, because you aren't seeing the 100 revisions of the product that didn't work before the 101'st unit did. In addition to all that, you don't just toss your idea up on Kickstarter and sit back waiting for the money to roll in. You need to promote your product - to millions of people. That takes smart marketing. And you can't just pay some agency to do it or else you'll spend all your money on that and might still get no result. So the project you linked is as much of an accomplishment in marketing as it is in software or design.

    Of course the part we're all familiar with on this site is the making of the part, which comes *after* all the design and marketing. So it's natural we'll shit on that and think it's easy. But honestly, it's no different than some dickhead marketing guy thinking making the stuff is the easy part. It ain't. Making stuff profitably is hard. But shame on us for shitting on all the other parts of the product design cycle and thinking only our part is hard.

    I would say the same thing on the topic as I would say to the guy who thought making custom wheels is easy because the CNC machine does all the work, and you sell them for *thousands*.... "Ok, it's easy. So why aren't you doing it and making millions?".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    Not me. The fact he is young to me makes his attitude even worse. He seemed to act like a know it all and had an answer for everything, unwilling to take any advice. I could imagine someone who completed similar projects on budget and on time in the past having the attitude he displayed. Blaming tariffs takes the cake. Also as someone else said Long Beach is the high rent district for commercial property he could have located 60 miles inland and probably paid 1/3 to 1/2 of the rent. That would have easily made up for a 25% increase in materials (if that really happened) and then some. Honestly looking at the Swissmak I would question how durable it will be. I seriously doubt it was tested for an appropriate number of cycles.
    Luckily, none of US were know-it-all 20-something youngsters at one point who knew it all and thought they had the world figured out. All of us came out of the womb as seasoned businessmen who knew everything about manufacturing! Or, at least, none of us made any mistakes along the way

    Hey, shit happens. It's how you deal with it that counts. This guy has an opportunity to do something great. And while he should have known better up front - well - I'll buy several pairs of those 20/20 hindsight glasses y'all got because it would have saved me millions of dollars over the years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRT Mike View Post
    Luckily, none of US were know-it-all 20-something youngsters at one point who knew it all and thought they had the world figured out. All of us came out of the womb as seasoned businessmen who knew everything about manufacturing! Or, at least, none of us made any mistakes along the way

    Hey, shit happens. It's how you deal with it that counts. This guy has an opportunity to do something great. And while he should have known better up front - well - I'll buy several pairs of those 20/20 hindsight glasses y'all got because it would have saved me millions of dollars over the years.
    I think pulling off what he did in the short time is already amazing enough. Imagine where he will be in 15 years of he keeps up the same determination he has already had. Probably further than most of us ....

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    If I could go back to my early 20's I would be far more calculated about my business and financial decisions.

    On the flip side part of me wonders if NOT knowing what I was getting into- How tough it would be to make a consistent middle class living in manufacturing- helped me forge through one shitstorm after another.

    I hope this story unfolds with Perry on top and mostly happy customers.

    However, the 13 years in making and selling my own products says he's got a deep, deep hole to climb out of and odds are against it. IMO, he hasn't even got to the tough stuff yet. Designing, making and delivering is the easy part. Each one of those mill-turnish things looks like a customer service nightmare.

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  22. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    I think pulling off what he did in the short time is already amazing enough. Imagine where he will be in 15 years of he keeps up the same determination he has already had. Probably further than most of us ....
    I agree it's impressive, the programming aspect is well beyond my current ability. But if he goes on ripping people off he's not gonna be around in 15 years lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plastikdreams View Post
    I agree it's impressive, the programming aspect is well beyond my current ability. But if he goes on ripping people off he's not gonna be around in 15 years lol.

    It's really frustrating hearing people like you say he's ripping people off. Should look at the intent of people's actions on addition to what has happened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    It's really frustrating hearing people like you say he's ripping people off. Should look at the intent of people's actions on addition to what has happened.
    This^^^
    Ripping off implies outright stealing, who would go through this elaborate effort if the goal was to steal money?
    Despite posts to the contrary, there are not too many helpful post in this thread or the original.
    There are a few that offered to help and they deserve some kudos, others have offered useful criticism, but most are just noise and bashing( and none I believe have anything invested)
    How many younger folks care about machining?,let alone try and get a Made in USA business going? Not to mention - how many people make any machines in the US? (I get that it’s not a full blown production type machine)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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  26. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by plastikdreams View Post
    I agree it's impressive, the programming aspect is well beyond my current ability. But if he goes on ripping people off he's not gonna be around in 15 years lol.
    Quote Originally Posted by ripperj View Post
    This^^^
    Ripping off implies outright stealing, who would go through this elaborate effort if the goal was to steal money?
    Despite posts to the contrary, there are not too many helpful post in this thread or the original.
    There are a few that offered to help and they deserve some kudos, others have offered useful criticism, but most are just noise and bashing( and none I believe have anything invested)
    How many younger folks care about machining?,let alone try and get a Made in USA business going? Not to mention - how many people make any machines in the US? (I get that it’s not a full blown production type machine)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Bingo.....

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  28. #140
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    I don't get how all the people in his corner are seeming to ignore the fact he used other people's money and didn't deliver what he promised. Then to compound matters he blames the VMC being delivered late and tariffs for running out of funds, never once pointing the finger at himself. Then he goes on to propose the options of either asking for more money, shipping incomplete machines or starting what amounts to a Ponzi scheme as a resolution. Not once do I see him putting any skin in the game, like saying he will get an outside job, pull 20 hour days, sleep in the shop and eat Top Ramen 3 meals a day till he delivers machines without asking for another penny.

    Even though impressive what he has done designing the machine and getting it to function, it is going to be nothing but a mass produced prototype at this stage. Even if he gets all the machines shipped he will be in for a very bumpy road, especially since it appears some assembly will be required. What could go wrong there?


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