Solidoodle announced some terrific new machines earlier this year, but shipping them has proven difficult.
This past summer Solidoodle revamped their line of personal 3D printers, getting rid of some older models and introducing some very interesting new models. Of particular interest to us was the oddly-named “Press”, which includes a decently-sized and fully enclosed build volume for only USD$499 - and early buyers picked it up for USD$349!
So what’s happened with the shipping? According to a post on Solidoodle’s blog from CEO Sam Cervantes:
Press and Workbench orders are both being affected by the heavy West Coast port congestion which is a result of the ongoing contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association. While we took this into consideration when we made our shipping estimations, these port related delays have increased in the past week since our last update.
The first shipping container of Press printers arrived by sea at the Los Angeles port on December 17th. However, due to the ILWU slowdown, the ship carrying our products is unable to land at the port and is currently being held outside the Los Angeles harbor. As soon as the ship is permitted to land, our first container will be unloaded and Press printers will begin shipping to customers. Our shipping agent informed us today that they now estimate the ship to land in port around December 30th, after which products will be sent to our warehouse and then on to our first customers.
Cervantes adds that they’ve received “overwhelming holiday demand”, which has exacerbated the problem. In a way, this is a good problem for Solidoodle, less so for their customers, some of whom have become vocally upset about the delays.
We’re not totally surprised this scenario happened. Small companies such as Solidoodle often experience challenges when they create a great product and drive up demand to higher levels than they’ve ever experienced previously. Good companies will find ways to solve these problems - and not only once, but forever. Expect smoother operations in future Solidoodle product launches.