3D Printer Kit Ordering Woes

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Beth Stackpole
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From kit to packaged solution
Beth Stackpole   7/21/2011 7:51:37 AM
Interesting to hear the details on your buying experience, Todd--certainly not one that the average consumer is going to want to go through. While many of the 3D printer companies are aggressively promoting the technology's appeal to mainstream users, there is still work to be done to package these things as a standard off-the-shelf piece of equipment, akin to a computer printer or monitor. Hard-core hobbyists and enthusiasts may like the idea of a 3D printer kit, but general users sure won't.

Richard Amarosa
User Rank
Re: From kit to packaged solution
Richard Amarosa   7/22/2011 10:00:40 AM
The word is there will be a new BFB ordering site uploaded in the very near future to address the UK ordering woes for Europe. It appears that BFB is listening to customers as their customer base is changing from hard core "technogeeks" to a wide variety of interesting users.   We (tecedu.com) have been selling the kit (RapManUSA) in the US for 2 years to a ever increasing diversifed customer base. Most of our customers are academic institutions with an ever increasing users from the hobby and commercial sector.  

Douglas Smock
User Rank
Poor Documentation
Douglas Smock   7/21/2011 8:37:02 AM

It's interesting that even an experienced hand like Todd struggled with the acronyms and abbreviations. Maybe the "Makers" consider that part of the coolness of 3-D printers.



TJ McDermott
User Rank
Sounding more and more hinky
TJ McDermott   7/22/2011 12:22:17 AM
The order starts to sound more and more hinky.  No AmEx, then the company cannot confirm two orders or not?

Not the right feeling you'd like to have with the purchase.  Does the company know you're writing for Design News?

User Rank
bcarlson   7/25/2011 12:20:40 PM
With 2BOT, you don't have to deal with any of these issues. You contact the disturber and they handle all your needs.. explaining the different types of materials, the cost of the ModelMaker and materials, and they show you how to run the machine. In all, 2BOT does not sell you the machine and you have to figure it out on your own. They are always there if you have any problems, questions, etc. www.2bot.com/product-info

User Rank
Thanks for the honest appraisal...
TeamBFB   8/3/2011 1:31:18 PM
Todd, thanks for your honest review of our ordering process. You have absolutely hit the nail on the head of all the things which could have significantly turned your ordering experience around - and I'm pleased to report that we have been working away in the background for quite some time now to present a much smoother and informative web experience.

To name a few of the improvements:

- simpler navigation
- less acronyms
- more explanations and friendlier terminology
- a clearer, multi-step checkout process

Unfortunately Amex is still not an option for payment however.

Generally speaking, it's an interesting, on-going task to find the right balance between the general consumer and our historical 'technogeeks'. 3D printers are by no means a MASS consumer product (yet) but their use is rapidly expanding beyond industry and education, to a much wider audience. How do we accommodate that audience, whilst managing their out-of-the-box expectations? That's the big question.

Any comments or feedback will be warmly welcomed - as Richard mentioned in his post, we do listen and definitely do take them on board...


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