We received some questions about our interview with MakerBot chief Jonathan Jaglom’s statement on Smart Extruder+ testing. We found answers today.
In our recent interview, Jaglom explained that an enormous 1.44 MILES of filament were tested.
Afterwards, astute Fabbaloo reader Brian Lucas performed some filament calculations:
1.44 miles = 2.3km = 2300 meters
330 meters on a 1kg spool
2300 divided by 330 meters = 7Kg of filament
You mean to say they only did 7KG of actual printing with 200,000hrs of air printing.
Well, yeah, that doesn’t sound right, does it? We reached out to MakerBot and found the answer, which turns out to be quite astonishing. MakerBot’s VP of Marketing, Colby Dennison explained what really happened:
Jonathan did not make this clear when we spoke and I should have corrected this.
Yes, 1.44 miles of filament is around 700 hours of printing. Jonathan meant to say that EACH Smart Extruder+ in our test was printing successfully over 1.44 miles of filament, but we printed hundreds of miles of filament during our testing process. We actually ordered filament by the pallette in order to run the tests over 160,000 hours.
Over 90% of the Smart Extruder+ in our tests were printing reliably after 1,200 hours of printing, which is around 2.5 miles of filament per extruder.
So the answer is now clear: MakerBot did indeed perform a ridiculous amount of testing on these devices. From our experience, 1,200 hours of 3D printing on a desktop device is going to be a large percentage of all printing that would ever take place on such a machine. In many cases, this could exceed the lifetime of the machine until its inevitably more advanced replacement 3D printer arrives.
As we said in the interview, this amount of testing could persuade many skeptics of MakerBot’s vastly improved Smart Extruder+.