There are many backers of the UNIZ professional desktop 3D printer, but after reading the latest comments it seems some are getting cranky with shipment delays.
We first encountered the project in early 2016 at CES where we met with the CEO and got a first hand explanation of how their interesting SLASH 3D printer works.
They have an interesting concept in which a LCD panel directly illuminates the resin surface to offer very rapid 3D printing. In terms of volume of material printed per hour, the UNIZ concept is hard to beat.
At that time we learned that the company was well funded by external investors and demonstrated so by erecting a rather elaborate booth at the horrifically expensive CES show. This year we again visited their large booth and saw not only the original machine, but also an experimental “sideways” 3D printer under development.
But an inspection of recent comments on their 2016 Kickstarter page shows the crowd is becoming cranky over shipment delays. The original campaign indicated the machine was to ship in May 2016, which happens to be almost a year ago. That’s pretty late.
The backers seem to be concerned not only because the shipments have been delayed, but apparently because the company has stopped answering their questions and not replying to comments. Here’s a typical comment from backer Felix G:
I'm wondering why someone from Uniz can't answer comments here (nor the mail I sent them some weeks ago). I know they are -very- shy technical guys, but still I think with little effort, they could do much better...
With the lack of information, the backers have begun speculating about all manner of scenarios. And then there’s this:
Yes, it is apparently a UNIZ SLASH desktop 3D printer on eBay! It’s priced slightly higher than the retail price of the official unit, but I suppose you might actually receive one.
The presence of this sale has greatly concerned the backers as they see someone selling the equipment yet they haven’t received their units. On the other hand, this may be a scam. From the eBay description:
New: A brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging (where packaging is applicable). Packaging should be the same as what is found in a retail store, unless the item is handmade or was packaged by the manufacturer in non-retail packaging, such as an unprinted box or plastic bag. See the seller's listing for full details.
Meanwhile, UNIZ has indeed posted some updates on their campaign page, most recently in mid-March. They explain in some detail how they’ve been expanding their production facility - with images, and further refining the final product with “local beta testers” in the Shenzhen area. Here’s one of them, Mr. Liang:
The company has provided quite a few details on their progress, like this image of equipment racks being prepared:
Or this image of shipment vibration testing. I wonder how many Kickstarter campaigns even think of doing that?
It seems to me that there is sufficient evidence to show that UNIZ is proceeding, although behind the original schedule. However, the backers will be cranky until they receive their machines.