BigBox Status

Discussion in 'BigBox General Chat' started by Christian Riesen, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. Christian Riesen

    Christian Riesen Active Member

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    I would like to ask from the E3D team to make some sort of statement (preferably on the blog and maybe on Twitter) about the status of BigBox.

    As context, I wanted to buy a new printer in Summer. Some people at the company I work at agreed to chip in together so we buy it as a group. Come August we had the funds and I wanted to buy the printer. It was on the page the day before, but when I wanted to buy it, it had vanished. The spare parts were still there, but that's it. Since then, I only found by accident something buried deep in another thread about the intents of E3D for that move. No new information has been forthcoming though.

    I have ordered a few things form E3D and am very happy with their fulfillment and the high quality of their products. Spoolworks Edge is my go to material. The V6 makes my Prusa i3 such a reliable machine to work with. I'm excited to see what comes next.

    For now, all I would like is to have some explanation of what's happening and what's coming. A rough timeline would be appreciated as well, even if you have to update it (and then please do update it) that's fine too. What isn't fine is the total lack of communication on this issue.

    Can I ever buy a BigBox again?
    When could I buy a BigBox again?
    If not sure, when should I check back roughly, and not visit daily to see if something changed until then?

    The alternatives are still to have the parts cut for me somewhere, and source the other bits myself, but I'd rather go and support E3D directly if possible, both for their and my own benefit.

    To everyone else, please make your wish for information heard here to show how we need more info from E3D. Thank you.
     
  2. Paul Begley

    Paul Begley Well-Known Member

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    I agree, as a customer and BB V1.1 owner I want to know what is happening to the product. Although I'm happy with it, I want to know that it will or won't be supported going forward. What is the roadmap for the product. Many people have asked about my printer and how they can get one.
    One reason I went for a BB was the backing of an established name behind it, as a complete newbie to 3D printing, that was important.

    How can existing customers get replacements parts e.g. Glass build platforms etc. I know there are many alternative options, and maybe that is the only option going forward.

    I know there is plans for the IDEX, but apart from the community efforts around the originally released designs, I've not seen much of an update

    It's a great printer and I'm very happy with it, although I've got nothing to compare it with. The building was fun and you learn a lot. And I'm still glad I went for this than any ready made printer. There have been a few niggles, but thats part of the fun (most the time), -the hackability is a great benefit, hence good to know what E3D's plan is as I don't want to deviate too much from the original, if they are still thinking this is a viable product that they will continue to support.
     
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  3. Christian Riesen

    Christian Riesen Active Member

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    Thank you Paul, this is exactly why our group has selected the BigBox as our printer of choice, and there is no real alternative in that space. Your comments simply validate the choice we made and reaffirms that this is what we would like to purchase, if given the opportunity that is :)
     
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  4. Chris Toast

    Chris Toast Well-Known Member

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    I've got to agree with the general sentiment. My BigBox has been a trooper and I'm hoping to get many many years of use out of it. But if e3d/BigBox can't provide a long-term roadmap, I'm afraid that I may have made a mistake. This is a product worth sustaining, supporting and growing and it is important that e3d either refocus its commitment to long term success, or license the production and sustainment to a worthy vendor (looking to you fillastruder?). I'm beyond happy with what the BB has brought into my workshop and hope to see the platform continue to mature outside of the fractured maker/DIY multi-threading.
     
  5. Miriam

    Miriam Active Member

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    Hi,

    Greg is working on setting up dual x carriage - in the post on Nov 10 with the link below he mentioned kit for this may be available in 2-3 month , I suspect that BigBox Dual v1.2 or v2.0 will be available around the same time.
    See: https://forum.e3d-online.com/index.php?threads/bigbox-dual-x-carriages.2184/page-16#post-24455

    Regarding possible alternatives:
    Original Prusa i3 MK2 has a smaller build volume but other than that it has excellent reviews.
    makerfarm pegasus appears also to be a decent alternative with large build volueme.

    Miriam.
     
  6. Christian Riesen

    Christian Riesen Active Member

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    Thank you for pointing that out @Miriam, I did find that post as well, but even your url says "Page 16". This kind of info should be front and center and once a month a small update on the progress wouldn't be too much to ask, even if it was just a tweet. What I'm saying here is that the absence of a clear communication is bad. Hidden in pages of forum threads is not a good communication method for something as intrusive as taking a product off the page. In the mean time even the main menu and the homepage have been altered to reflect the absence of BigBox, so there was time to do that, but not to communicate the change.

    This all might sound accusatory, but it's not. I'm still blown away by the products I get from E3D and the excellent handling of my orders. If the communication would now match that rest, it would be absolutely fantastic and I could tell the people of my company to just go to the page and see the updates as they happen.

    I do have a Prusa i3 mk2 at home and that thing is amazing. Have looked at the Pegasus and in comparison I still like the BigBox better, but it is a solid offering. It might be my go to if there is nothing forthcoming about the BigBox.
     
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  7. Dr Jeep

    Dr Jeep Well-Known Member

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    I started a the future production thread in August, we are no nearer to any sort of official announcement from E3D now than we were then, and aside from a bit of development on dual x axis going on the BB team seem to have shrunk down to just one active member and a whole load of community driven support.

    Dual X needs a mirrored titan (though it didn't *need* to be that way) which we are waiting for before they can release an official upgrade path.

    I've speculated (through some beermat maths) that the KS/Preorder production wasn't financially sustainable so *if* and at this point given the lack of anything coming out of E3D I think it's a big *if* they go back into production with the BB then it'll need some rework to bring down the production costs. It doesn't scale into full blown manufacture very well as currently designed/constructed. I'm not even taking into account that a lot of the electrical and motion components were Chinese sourced and post brexit we get less yuan for our pound, that's probably resulted in an effective 15% hike on the steppers/rumba/PSU/display board etc etc.

    The primary success criteria of a KS project is that it can build a sustainable product, the BB team focused on delivering the backer rewards and did a good job IMO, but ultimately as a KS project, it failed the moment they discontinued the product after the preorder run.

    If there were enough people wanting to buy the V1.1 then everything needed to launch into production is available for anyone to reproduce....it's just that based on my maths you wouldn't make any money unless you made it quite a bit more expensive, which is probably why there isn't already a Chinese clone on ebay.

    My theory is that E3D have the same problem. If they were serious about making a printer again in the near future, they'd have announced their plans before December to stop people giving up and investing in alternatives for xmas presents.
     
  8. Dr Jeep

    Dr Jeep Well-Known Member

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    They kinda have.

    The hardware build is under a creative commons licence so nothing whatsoever stopping anyone from picking up that and going into production or even modifying it. As long as they maintain attribution to the source, they don't even need specific permission from E3D

    E3D don't even seem to have registered the trademark, unless my search foo is failing me, so you could even call it a BigBox and use the same logo if you wanted to be evil.

    The firmware is under GPL (extended from Marlin's GPL) so as long as you make your firmware source available under the same licence, no barrier there.

    S3D profiles have no licence terms attached as far as I can tell.

    Only thing I am not sure about is the build manual, but really you'd want to redo that anyway :D :D
     
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  9. Christian Riesen

    Christian Riesen Active Member

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    Personally, I wouldn't mind paying more, even 20% would still put it square in the area of being a much better deal than so many other printers out there. The entire thing is built well and open for hacking, with an active community, that's what makes it an attractive platform for me (and I suspect others as well). The communication bit still needs work though :)
     
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  10. Dr Jeep

    Dr Jeep Well-Known Member

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    With the assembly of the kits still in the UK as it was for the KS, and making some assumptions that the Yuan situation won't improve after we sign article 50 in Feb, by my figures it'd need to be 40% more to turn a sensible profit.....As I say beermat maths and that's assuming there aren't any quick wins in terms of optimising the design or sourcing of the kit parts, so I could be wrong here.
     
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  11. Christian Riesen

    Christian Riesen Active Member

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    Either way, that would be something to be communicated by E3D. If communicated clearly, then people could state if that was worth it for them, or not.

    All I got so far was this: https://twitter.com/E3DOnline/status/806048348016934913
    And that was 8 days ago too. Maybe E3D runs on Valve Time?
     
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  12. Christian Riesen

    Christian Riesen Active Member

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    Well, here we are, 2 weeks later since the start of the thread and the tweet above and still no update. Please consider a small update. If you need help with this thing, let me know I happen to know a bit about writing and communicating :)
     
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  13. Greg Holloway

    Greg Holloway Administrator
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    There is something coming. We are a little over run in the build up to Christmas but we will have something for you shortly.
     
  14. Steven

    Steven Well-Known Member

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    Now that's a teaser... even some pictures would help calm the crowd.

    I don't see anything new on the website, so I'm confused by "the build up to Christmas"... Christmas 2017?
     
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  15. Dr Jeep

    Dr Jeep Well-Known Member

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    hehe I wish they'd employ you then, comms was really the only bad thing about the KS campaign and really the only bad thing about dealing with E3D as a customer. :)
     
  16. elmoret

    elmoret Administrator

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    He's likely referring to all the Black Friday/Cyber Monday stuff, plus folks buying for Christmas gifts, etc. I know as a distributor we have been extremely busy.
     
  17. Greg Holloway

    Greg Holloway Administrator
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    kitten.jpg

    Here is a picture of a kitten for you.
     
  18. mike01hu

    mike01hu Well-Known Member

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    Ahh, nice one Greg! Happy Christmas!
     
  19. Christian Riesen

    Christian Riesen Active Member

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    Thanks for chiming in Greg. The issue is "something" and "shortly".

    When I wanted to buy the BigBox I was told that there were two upgrades coming (the sock which wasn't announced yet and the new temp sensor design), so I asked the people who put money together if they were willing to wait. Nobody was in a hurry and those who would like to print something small I offered to do it on my Prusa i3. And then you guys pulled the printer, 4 months ago, without a word.

    I'm not just saying "I want to help" so here are example sentences I would have liked to have heard in the past 4 months. Feel free to use any of them that are actually applicable:

    • We intend to bring BigBox back.
    • There is an upgrade we are doing on BigBox and we estimate it will take us [insert time here] to finish. We will update you on the progress in [insert a quarter to max a half of above time frame above].
    • The printer is not viable anymore because of economic changes [brexit] and we are looking at a new price of [new price here]. Would you be willing to pay that amount?
    • We have a shortage of [insert part or material here] and are working on fixing that. We foresee to be back on track by [insert date here].
    • We no longer intend to make the BigBox. Here is a detailed list of the components we are using in the kit with potential links to distributors or resellers.
    • Nothing has changed since the [first|last] update. We are [on track|two weeks behind] and will update you on our progress in two weeks time again.
    • We are about [insert number here]% done with what we are doing for the BigBox to be public available again. We expect to bring news of it in [insert another number] [days|weeks] time.
    You might notice, most of these don't say much, but contain your intentions and keep us as customers in the loop. We can deal with delays and missed deadlines, if, and only IF you communicate those deadlines and try to communicate the change of such a date before it happens.

    I work in software development. Everything that is above two weeks planning is a coin toss for me. So the more often you communicate, the easier it is to live with changing dates. The closer you get to a date, the more precise you can say it (in days instead of weeks) and while you might end up using 3 times as much time as you originally thought, as you have progressively updated those what are waiting for it (aka your customers, including me), we will not fault you for the delay (well some always will, but they also complain about good things, so ignore that) and be content as they got updated and not felt forgotten throughout.
     
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  20. Gail Jo

    Gail Jo Member

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    Agree with everything Christian said. I am looking to add a printer to my fleet and looking forward to some real news about the BigBox. So far all the response coming from Greg and e3d is "something is coming" and that has been repeated time and time again. Please give a reasonable timeline or updated plans. I don't see how holiday season has any effect on the BigBox's side of the company as there is no product being distributed from them. Correct me if I am wrong. From the last real update I can find it seems Greg announced 2-3 months from November? Is that still the estimate? Please have a little respect for your loyal customers to be a bit more descriptive and not hang us on a string. As poor as Tiko is with their execution of their printer, their communication is light years ahead of anything coming from BigBox and upfront about their status and delays, which is quite disappointing.
     

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