Once promising, the inexpensive MaxiBOX personal 3D printer seems to be no more.
Launched in early 2012, the machine was promised to be a very low cost 3D printing option. At the time, USD$300 was a spectacularly low price for a 3D printer. Today there are a few options at that price range.
Because of the unique price, hundreds of people at that time placed orders. Many have been waiting for delivery of their machine. Some were - and we’ve seen a live one - but hundreds were not.
Today we see their site saying this:
Thanks for checking out MakiBOX.
We are updating the store and the site and will be back soon.
For customers with active orders, we will contact you with your order status as we have new information.
We also see a specialized clearance site that appears to be dumping the remaining MakiBOX kits at £299.99 (USD$480) apiece. The site says:
This site has been created to sell the 450 units of Makibox (reprap) 3D printer kits and 2,000 rolls of filament that we received instead of payment for our services. This is a Clearance site, the prices are low but the stock is limited and when it's gone, it is gone for ever.
All of our MakiBox Kit stock and filaments are on a boat from China to the UK, due to dock on 27th November, orders placed before then will be delivered.
So the conclusion must be that MakiBOX didn’t make it.
It’s a sad story, but it’s also a good lesson for everyone:
Even if the technology seems amazing, it doesn’t matter unless the company is able to survive, thrive and deliver quality products.
A business venture such as a new 3D printer takes great technical and business skill to execute properly, all the more so if the product’s price is low, like MakiBOX’s.
But here’s the questions you must ask: Will the crowdfunded low-cost 3D printer you ordered ever arrive? Will you think twice before participating in a 3D printer startup company?