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...
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
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.
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.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.