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  1. #101
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    7 days after creating an account and completing the "onboarding" process, today I received an email with a "survey" and a "quiz".

    As a business owner and potential "partner" I have to say so far I am extremely disappointed with xometry. The survey are all the exact same questions that I answered online during my "onboarding" process. It is a canned multiple choice quiz.

    Some of the questions are very poorly written, I am amazed a company as large as them have questions worded the way they do. Like "What kind of shipping machines do you have?" There are 3 options, and other, no option for "none". And you have to select one.

    I managed to get one question wrong on the quiz. Guess I need to quit my day job...
    "When a print and a CAD are both provided, which should you refer to for discrepancies?"
    All geometry and dimensioning will automatically default to the CAD model
    All geometry and dimensioning will automatically default to the print
    From their Partner Guide:
    "However, if a blueprint is provided, all tolerances of the print supersede the CAD model tolerancing."

    These are the things that kept me out of the really good schools....

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    "What kind of shipping machines do you have?" There are 3 options, and other, no option for "none". And you have to select one.
    Maybe you should have attached a picture of yourself?


    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    I managed to get one question wrong on the quiz. Guess I need to quit my day job...
    "When a print and a CAD are both provided, which should you refer to for discrepancies?"
    All geometry and dimensioning will automatically default to the CAD model
    All geometry and dimensioning will automatically default to the print
    From their Partner Guide:
    "However, if a blueprint is provided, all tolerances of the print supersede the CAD model tolerancing."
    That one baffles the mind as most of the Cad files I have seen have oddball dimensions on them and the adjoining PDF's which are only available half the time are almost always incomplete. The last job I did was a lathe part dimensioned down to 4 decimal places everywhere (no way did it need the assumed +/-.0005 all over). There wasn't a listing for block tolerances, also no listing for corner breaks and fillet radii. It has been months since I tried to talk to a live human there, but when I did it seemed they were under staffed and getting a call back from someone in the know took forever. I just use my best judgement on tolerances when they are not listed.

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  4. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    Maybe you should have attached a picture of yourself?
    Ha! I didn't think of that! That would have been great.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    That one baffles the mind as most of the Cad files I have seen have oddball dimensions on them and the adjoining PDF's which are only available half the time are almost always incomplete. The last job I did was a lathe part dimensioned down to 4 decimal places everywhere (no way did it need the assumed +/-.0005 all over). There wasn't a listing for block tolerances, also no listing for corner breaks and fillet radii. It has been months since I tried to talk to a live human there, but when I did it seemed they were under staffed and getting a call back from someone in the know took forever. I just use my best judgement on tolerances when they are not listed.
    So I am starting my test part after another half hour phone call and a couple emails. I told the person I talked with that for a company that wants to score me on my communication, they were failing. I questioned several documents and information, to which the response was basically, yeah that document is wrong. He was kind enough to let me know that their business model doesn't actually expect you to talk to anyone. Everything is conducted by email.

    Finally the most important part that everyone should know. When I spoke to the representative I told them I would not waste my time machining their test part. In two places on their website it says I can send parts in. I am happy to send parts in. The parts I would send in are far more complex and difficult to make. His response was that they really prefer I make their test piece. I told him that I would not spend $70 on a piece of stainless to get paid $55 to make their test part. He laughed and said No! The test piece pays much more than that. I told him their documentation shows $135. He said that must have been an old document I was looking at. I received it the night before. Oh... well someone will get back to you with updated information. Turns out that the "price" is supposed to be $560 for their test part... hmmmm

  5. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    Finally the most important part that everyone should know. When I spoke to the representative I told them I would not waste my time machining their test part. In two places on their website it says I can send parts in. I am happy to send parts in. The parts I would send in are far more complex and difficult to make. His response was that they really prefer I make their test piece. I told him that I would not spend $70 on a piece of stainless to get paid $55 to make their test part. He laughed and said No! The test piece pays much more than that. I told him their documentation shows $135. He said that must have been an old document I was looking at. I received it the night before. Oh... well someone will get back to you with updated information. Turns out that the "price" is supposed to be $560 for their test part... hmmmm
    Ehh bullshit! It was $135 a couple months ago when I looked in to it. I told the dumb broad in an email the same thing you told that dude.
    And, her response was: "that's just the way it is. take it or leave it"
    They are obviously getting tired of people letting them know they are crazy if they really put the price about where it needs to be.

  6. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post

    So I am starting my test part after another half hour phone call and a couple emails. I told the person I talked with that for a company that wants to score me on my communication, they were failing.

    They have a scoring system on a 100 scale. They offer bonuses for certain jobs, to be eligible for the bonus you have to have a score of 80 or higher. The bonuses average around 8%, they seem to climb if a job sits on the job board a while or expires and comes back.

    4 things effect the score, who knows how it is weighted and when I inquired about how the scoring was tabulated I got the old "We aren't privy to that information." Right now I have a 94% overall with having a 78% on communication and a 65% on engagement. Obviously the two 99% which I figure is max for on time and quality far out weigh the other baloney. I suppose they expect you to comment on every job that hits your board. You also have to give updates after you take a job, I always did that.

    For the record I guess I lucked out doing a couple Maketime jobs before Xometry bought them, so I avoided their vetting process.

  7. #106
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    Strictly out of curiosity, I think I might try these ass clowns out.

    Im quite confident that outside of large shops that wouldnt be quoting on xometry, I have a very capable and competent operation.
    That being said, one of my better customers informed me that they will be going to China for the gravy work I do for them (to save 15%) tonight while delivering parts...

    Oh well... Ill either rework the Chinese crap (its acutally pretty good... spit) or get me a hotdog cart on the beach.
    Not going to work for free.

    "Oh, but we'll keep you on for the rush stuff, and the EDM work"

    Yeah, and all the engineering knowledge i've gladly shared over the years pro-bono.


  8. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    They have a scoring system on a 100 scale. They offer bonuses for certain jobs, to be eligible for the bonus you have to have a score of 80 or higher. The bonuses average around 8%, they seem to climb if a job sits on the job board a while or expires and comes back.

    4 things effect the score, who knows how it is weighted and when I inquired about how the scoring was tabulated I got the old "We aren't privy to that information." Right now I have a 94% overall with having a 78% on communication and a 65% on engagement. Obviously the two 99% which I figure is max for on time and quality far out weigh the other baloney. I suppose they expect you to comment on every job that hits your board. You also have to give updates after you take a job, I always did that.

    For the record I guess I lucked out doing a couple Maketime jobs before Xometry bought them, so I avoided their vetting process.
    Good to know, I appreciate the information.

    Quote Originally Posted by macds View Post
    Strictly out of curiosity, I think I might try these ass clowns out.

    Im quite confident that outside of large shops that wouldnt be quoting on xometry, I have a very capable and competent operation.
    That being said, one of my better customers informed me that they will be going to China for the gravy work I do for them (to save 15%) tonight while delivering parts...

    Oh well... Ill either rework the Chinese crap (its acutally pretty good... spit) or get me a hotdog cart on the beach.
    Not going to work for free.

    "Oh, but we'll keep you on for the rush stuff, and the EDM work"

    Yeah, and all the engineering knowledge i've gladly shared over the years pro-bono.

    It has been hard for me to slide into the "not my problem" group of machinists. When I started out in the trade working for my grandfather, everything was based on giving the customer the BEST tool for the job. That often meant that he would send a design back saying it wouldn't work how they wanted, and often meant he would completely redesign their tooling. Long involved discussions about processes to better refine the tool. Every aspect was considered.

    I have a couple customers that almost get snotty with me when I ask about a part or tool. I had one that when I had a bunch of questions about their part they said "do whatever you think is best". I never heard anything back... so I guess I made the right choices?

    Most of local manufacturing to me are big places that won't employ a one man operation like myself. Cost of making me a supplier and what not.

    My hope is that Xometry can fill a void for keeping the spindle turning when I am in the middle of product development, I need some cash for tooling or a project, with LESS bull shit and wasted time than dealing with local places.

  9. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by macds View Post
    Strictly out of curiosity, I think I might try these ass clowns out.
    You can't, I've tried. No Canadian companies allowed. We were a partner company for MakeTime when it was being developed, and then they sold out to a larger co (just as planned...). I believe the business case for Xometry is to gather as much data as possible, analyze it then sell it. Their rating systems and survey questions show Xometry doesn't have the manufacturing knowledge to gather meaningful data IMO. The other point above about building a relationship with a customer is worth repeating.

    They claim mould manufacturing lead times of 10 days from receipt of a solid model of the moulded part. I called 'em up (and out...) and they stick by this. Fixin' to put their claims to the test. This is supposedly backed up by their "network" of capable shops which allows these quick lead times- why wouldn't I just call up the shop they're using? Xometry: What value are we adding?

  10. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    I need some cash for tooling or a project, with LESS bull shit and wasted time than dealing with local places.
    Working on shipping job # 6 and will set-up job # 7 later today. It looks like after job 5 they have now changed their inspection requirements.

    If you aren't on a "Quality Performance Improvement Plan" you no longer have to turn in a first article inspection sheet which of course you have to create yourself using their template. It says you can now "redline" the print with inspection results and upload it. I wonder WTF "redline" means? Do I get to scribble on the print with a pen and upload it?

    Back to BS and wasted time. The secret to that is to use your best judgement and wing it. If the job has too many questions that you can't use an educated guess on it is best to pass. They take forever to get back to you. To sum it up, the person that has a good stock of materials or a close well stocked material yard that sells remnants (a lot of short lead times, and low quantities), and or a person that can do in house finishing (anodizing, passivating, heat treat, bead blasting, etc) will have an advantage.

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  12. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    Working on shipping job # 6 and will set-up job # 7 later today. It looks like after job 5 they have now changed their inspection requirements.

    If you aren't on a "Quality Performance Improvement Plan" you no longer have to turn in a first article inspection sheet which of course you have to create yourself using their template. It says you can now "redline" the print with inspection results and upload it. I wonder WTF "redline" means? Do I get to scribble on the print with a pen and upload it?

    It literally means what you think --- you "redline' (red inkpen) spots on the drawing that need reviewed, or are not correct (this from a multi-billion dollar company I worked at)...


    Back to BS and wasted time. The secret to that is to use your best judgement and wing it. If the job has too many questions that you can't use an educated guess on it is best to pass. They take forever to get back to you. To sum it up, the person that has a good stock of materials or a close well stocked material yard that sells remnants (a lot of short lead times, and low quantities), and or a person that can do in house finishing (anodizing, passivating, heat treat, bead blasting, etc) will have an advantage.
    Do you not have a local metal/material supplier? We have an Alro 'outlet' here (10 minutes from my house, 15 from my work) that will cut stock while you wait, and/or sell you remnants/ bars/ tubing/plates/ etc...

  13. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Do you not have a local metal/material supplier? We have an Alro 'outlet' here (10 minutes from my house, 15 from my work) that will cut stock while you wait, and/or sell you remnants/ bars/ tubing/plates/ etc...
    Another one of my many handicaps living in this part of the Confederacy. Two metal suppliers are in the same spot near Richmond 45 miles away, they are literally two miles apart. BMG Metals once family owned went through a lot of changes when bought by a foreign company. They no longer sell less than full bar lengths, no matter what the size. Remnants are no longer sold. They have no minimum order for will call but now charge $20 minimum for cutting and don't allow you to cut a bar in half yourself in the parking lot. They will deliver orders over $150.

    The other supplier, Ryerson will sell any length, but anything less than a full bar gets quite a mark up and they don't have a serve yourself remnant section either. They have a $150 order minimum even for cash will calls, they won't deliver to me no matter what the order size.

    I even have issues with online suppliers as they all use UPS, that won't deliver here even with minor flooding or during 1-2" snow storms. They will leave the packages at USPS to complete delivery, sometimes that can add a week.

    I used to be 9 miles from a Metal Supplies and Services | Industrial Metal Supply location, trying to adapt has been a PITA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Do you not have a local metal/material supplier? We have an Alro 'outlet' here (10 minutes from my house, 15 from my work) that will cut stock while you wait, and/or sell you remnants/ bars/ tubing/plates/ etc...
    Like Dualkit, I have two material suppliers, both about 45 min away. Fay, and Alro. Maybe Alro treats you differently, or you buy a significant tonnage more material than I do, but I can buy just about ANY material from McMaster, pay UPS, and still be cheaper than Alro, never mind the cut fee, never mind the hour and a half round trip. Their prices are NUTSO expensive, unless, your buying a significant amount of weight. Oh, and even though they delivery nearly every day to where I used to work, 10 minutes from my shop, they won't deliver to me.

    Fay has reasonable prices, will deliver for free if I buy enough, but only Tuesday's and Thursdays. I used to buy everything from them, my grandfather was friends with the man who started it, hell, was probably one of the customers that helped get him off the ground. No one there knows who the owner was now... their turnover is seemingly weekly. Now they are owned by some international equity industrial fund. They do not stock any tool steel.

    Fortunately, unlike Dualkit, Fedex and UPS are regular and quasi dependable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    steel.

    Fortunately, unlike Dualkit, Fedex and UPS are regular and quasi dependable.
    Fedex is very reliable here, problem is I can't remember the last time someone I bought from used them. You will see their trucks out and about during poor driving conditions that keep most people off the road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    Like Dualkit, I have two material suppliers, both about 45 min away. Fay, and Alro. Maybe Alro treats you differently, or you buy a significant tonnage more material than I do, but I can buy just about ANY material from McMaster, pay UPS, and still be cheaper than Alro, never mind the cut fee, never mind the hour and a half round trip. Their prices are NUTSO expensive, unless, your buying a significant amount of weight. Oh, and even though they delivery nearly every day to where I used to work, 10 minutes from my shop, they won't deliver to me.

    Fay has reasonable prices, will deliver for free if I buy enough, but only Tuesday's and Thursdays. I used to buy everything from them, my grandfather was friends with the man who started it, hell, was probably one of the customers that helped get him off the ground. No one there knows who the owner was now... their turnover is seemingly weekly. Now they are owned by some international equity industrial fund. They do not stock any tool steel.

    Fortunately, unlike Dualkit, Fedex and UPS are regular and quasi dependable.
    Nothing special that I know of. Couldn't say about pricing, but it is an outlet place, not the "real" one in Tampa. I think they are used to (or that's the business model) dealing with Harryhomehsop guys that need 1 piece of 1/2x2/4 stock LoL.... We mainly use them for emergency or one off jobs. We regularly order from the one in Tampa for full bars and stuff.

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    Having read the whole thread, it seems to me that xometry is trying to be sort of like "mcmaster" - in the "get what you want shipped yet today, price secondary consideration" sense.

    But custom parts are much more difficult. And they're apparently not as good at it.

    As for the characteristics of the designs - well, I'm not a great machinist, nor mechanical engineer, but I can design and make parts that work. Trying to support FTC teams, various charitable projects, etc., it's clear a lot of people have a lot to learn. (I was very much a software engineer, and I still see things every day that wouldn't have passed muster in 1998.... So apparently these issues are not unique to aluminum widgets.)

    Now another comment - a number of you have said things that can be summarized as "I specialize in making reasonable sized batches of 1st rate parts for fair prices" and of course Xometry is really about a different class of work (which some others of you have success at.)

    Think now of the buyer - who is in general not as skilled as most (any) of us. Because of they were they'd be doing something else. But in any case, what they want is ONE or maybe THREE, good enough to keep the project going forward. It's like hiring an Uber - I paid the asking price, I didn't hold a gun to the driver's head to take the job, I just want to go get my car at the shop.

    I *personally* work constantly on maximum *schedule* speed from need to part. By schedule I mean from time on staff call we agree that this is what we want to day I go visit and we try out the part.

    Lots of prototype/student/contest/charitable etc projects will be like that. (Hence the 3d print that looks like it was designed for cast iron, for no apparent reason, now RFQ'd as a solid from aluminum, when it really ought to be a fabrication out of sheet steel. It's like teaching FTC students....)

    It could well be, oddly, that the most profitable jobs are posted by people who actually know what they are doing....


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