Bad Quality Control

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by Captain_E, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. cez

    cez Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry you had a bad experience. My printer was received by myself July 7th so roughly the same time as you. I had a few set backs, couple of missing bearings and sadly a cracked panel. All replaced by E3D 24hr courier the next day. I cannot fault the customer service. My only experience building a 3d printer before this was a Prusa i3, so nothing this big or of such complexity. Im a 3d artist by trade, I had no prior knowledge in engineering to aid me in my endeavour, pretty much a newbie. My experience building my Bigbox was that of mind bending enjoyment. I've loved every part of this build and met some amazingly talented people along the way. The manual is not that complicated as long as you read ahead and have a eye for detail. Any questions I had were met with enthusiasm by a fantastic online community, my thanks to those people. I love my printer, I've learned so much. Building it myself has made me a smarter person. I feel a glow of pride every time I look at it in my workshop. Greg and his team are talented people for designing such a great machine and making it affordable. I for one can't wait to see what the future holds.
     
    #21 cez, Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
    Greg Holloway likes this.
  2. Captain_E

    Captain_E Member

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    I started out enjoying the build, even through the first few printed parts that didn't fit (one broke during drilling) I remained optimistic. The wheels fell off when it became every printed piece and the number of missing pieces mounted. A Wiki that covers 75% of the permutation of parts except for the revision/version I was shipped. No documentation as to what I was shipped (revision/version wise). No documentation saying QC your parts (Wiki or in the box) prior to any assembly. I don't mind having to go to a forum to look for answers, what becomes frustrating is having to sift through fanboy posts of- it is you, not the BigBox/Wiki, all while not answering the question. Another aspect that is frustrating is when I see people in forum posts saying write up your changes for the Wiki and post it or send it to so & so and they will post it. Um..... that is fine for derivative projects (non-E3D designed parts), for something that is being sold (post crowd source funding, I believe the preorders were) as a "finished" product (assembled or not) this is not a good practice in any world. While this is my first 3D printer build, it is not my first CNC build (laser, router, hot wire cutter) all designed & built ad hoc by myself and a colleague.

    I will give E3D this, shipping is freaky fast (can't be cheap either). Roughly 24 hours from notification that the BigBox was being shipped to it arriving at my door in the states is impressive. Support provided by Greg et al has been on par with what I would expect from a company selling a product like this.

    What it boils down to is if you want to retain customers and stay in business moving forward, especially as the 3D printer market matures beyond its infancy, you had better provide value and a reliable product. This experience will make me think twice about buying a E3D printer in the future for business or personal use. I can't imagine I am the only one.
     
  3. cez

    cez Well-Known Member

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    Again :( sorry you had a bad experience, it must have been really disheartening..

    To respond to your points, I knew which version I was shipped as it was on my invoice. Inside the main box there was also a large packing check list which said V1.1 at the top. With regards to the box contents I found check lists quite quickly. First line and page of the build wiki there's a link that says Bill of materials under the sub heading what's in the box. I thought it quite forward thinking of them to make this digital. As everybody building this will have access to a PC and it saves on paper.

    I agree the build manual could be arranged in a more utilitarian manner. Certain sections had me wondering but I soon found the answers. The product evolved quicker than they could update it I think. But again I was fine in the end, you don't need to be an engineer to figure these things out lol, common sense will do you just fine. I followed the manual, It's built well and it works fantastic :)

    I see no problem in writing update requests for the wiki and sending them in. I signed onto this knowing it was an open source kickstarter project. Its crowd learning and I like the fact that all these eyes are looking out for errors and better ways of doing things. Everyone contributing to making it the best it can be and benefiting themselves from the shared knowledge.

    I'm sure now E3D have taken a break in production they will be back in full force. It must have been an overwhelming amount of work and great pressure on them given the uptake for this printer. Its been a great tool for my business, I'd be happy to re invest in a second machine in the future
     
    #23 cez, Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  4. Captain_E

    Captain_E Member

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    It is just frustrating as there was a lot of hype around reviews that were premature and looking back setup in overly ideal environments. This lead people to promote the BigBox as something it may not have been suited to be initially. I understand E3D can't control what reviewers say, but this lead me to purchase a BB and deal with the consequences of that choice. I don't want to ever say deal with the consequences with respect to a new piece of equipment I buy.

    Mine too said it was V1.1 but my issues started around the x-carriage and a few other parts that were not the versions shown on the Wiki (in July, not sure now) and looked like nothing on there. At the time there were many questions about these parts on the forum with the aforementioned fanboy responses. Looking back on it now (have not looked at the build manual in a while) I am guessing the issues with the manual came from no delineation between V1.0 & 1.1 and any iterations in between. As to the BoM, no part numbers, no revisions, or date codes- it is worthless. I did appreciate it all being online. Like I said I would have hoped by the pre-order stage (which I think both of our orders were) that they would have sorted their KS issues and moved to a less frenetic manufacturing environment instead of the haphazard chaos of crowd funded products.

    Maybe this is just the world I work in, but if I would have produced and shipped this to anyone of my customers, best case scenario a good old fashion (pre-HR existing) chewing- worst case losing them as a client along with the reputation that comes with that.

    I am sure there were some people at E3D that needed a long vacation after the final pre-order shipments went out.
     
  5. Proto_BB

    Proto_BB Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with this. My BigBox (1.1) dual hybrid was the first 3D printer I had even seen in the flesh. I built it from the kit following the instructions. I did not find it overly difficult - but it probably took me longer to assemble than most. Since then I have settled on Torwell PLA as my main printing filament - which ended all jams and poor prints. I use my BigBox for printing patterns that are then sent to the foundry and cast in iron. These prints usually take up the full build platform. Think 200x300. Some even have to be printed in multiple pieces - as they are too big for the build plate. Some of these individual pieces can take 48 hours to print.

    I will be the first person to buy the new dual head setup when it's released. All in all my BigBox experience has been extremely positive. I have had my problems (one rail was too long - angle grinder fixed it, stepper drivers dying - $2 fix, poor quality filament) but as far as the big picture is concerned it's been a great printer that produces extremely nice prints.
     
    cez likes this.
  6. Spoon Unit

    Spoon Unit Well-Known Member

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    Some pictures would be awesome. This sounds fascinating.
     
  7. Spoon Unit

    Spoon Unit Well-Known Member

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    For my part and my BB experience, I can say it's been a ride, but an enjoyable one. I think it took my 5 pretty much solid days to build having never built something of such complexity before. Mine arrived late March I think, so back in the 1.0 days. The manual was something that you made notes about as you went along, promising to update the Wiki later. At the time, this was very much KS territory and I felt happy to figure it out as I went. I did keep everything in the original bags as I went and, apart from struggling to find one or two bits which turned out to be in some other bag that went well.

    I don't think I had a single part that was delivered that I was unhappy with. My "bar" at the point was the little M3D printer and every part I received looked like it beat the pants off the quality the M3D could produce. I mean, printed holes were ROUND, which at the time was a revelation as the M3D just couldn't do it (for me). As I assembled it, I also marvelled regularly at the ingenuity of the way the parts went together and the thinking that had gone into printing parts which could later be tweaked to fit (the idlers). I got a lot of ideas for how to model objects to be printable just from that exercise.

    Wiring the electronics was fun and pretty much went without a hitch.

    My first problems started when I could tram things up, only to realise I hadn't actually got the screw in the nut in a couple of parts that were going to be horrible to get to. A couple of hours of dissassembly and reassembly followed. Painful though that was, it made me feel quite fearless about opening things up and and refitting them. As @cez also intoned, I feel some degree of pride when asked about the printer and I can answer that I built it myself. The M3D was not something you could tinker with. Something off? You're screwed because you can't get into the machine (easily) and parts are not easily upgraded or replaced.

    I ran into similar problems to @Henry feldman with the machine forgetting it's levelling, but that's completely gone since I switched to RC7. There again is another pro/con. Being able to flash your own firmware is great, but it means that everyone is having a different experience, adding one more variable to getting a great print. @tohara's plugin really helps with switching the firmware back and forward; this is one awesome contribution to getting the BB in shape and keeping up with change while feeling comfortable that you can switch back to old settings on a whim.

    This forum with it's many regular contributors is also a big part of getting the most out of the BB. Useful contributors are too numerous to mention lest I forget someone, but you know who you are if you're someone regularly reading as responding to questions and taking part in crazy modifications.

    So, aside from various frustrations with things, overall I'm delighted with the BB and with the consistency it provides for me. @Captain_E, I hope you'll eventually get over your issues and enjoy it as much. If the parts didn't fit together, I would have demanded a new batch as I wouldn't have had someone else I knew able to print them for me.
     
    cez likes this.
  8. mike01hu

    mike01hu Well-Known Member

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    As with many others, I have had an easy ride with the BB hybrid dual and have produced u to 200 models. The build experience was "entertaining" due to the very mixed up build manual but my engineering experience pulled me through. Issues in operation have been levelling or at least maintaining it between print jobs but not insurmountable, the major issue has been filament performance but even that has now become less of an issue.
     

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