Three Dead 3D Printers

With numerous inexpensive 3D printers continually emerging, many won’t survive. But the latest wave of failures is not the first. Indeed, several bold attempts at creating revolutionary 3D printers came and went before the days of crowd funding. Today we’ll remember three notable 3D printers of the past. 
 
Desktop Factory was the original commercial personal 3D printer project, started long before MakerBot. The goal was to produce a sub USD$5,000 3D printer, at the time, an astonishing goal. Today, not so much. In mid 2009 Desktop Factory’s assets were acquired by 3D Systems, who today market several different personal 3D printers, ironically all priced less than USD$5,000.
 
Three Dead 3D Printers
The Veloso 3D Printer was a bold project by one Junior Veloso, who attempted to create a resin-based personal 3D printer capable of amazing resolution. The project proceeded slowly until an Indiegogo fundraising campaign that launched in 2012 – which failed to raise the required capital. We haven’t heard anything since. Meanwhile, Formlabs successfully launched a similar resin 3D printer later that year. 
 
Three Dead 3D Printers
Solido marketed a 3D printer with a difference: it was sheet fed. Plastic sheets were individually fed into a chamber where each layer was “cut” and glued to the next layer. Objects were then produced by removing the “cut” material. Excess plastic was recyclable through Solido. Alas, Solido folded in early 2011
 
Which bold ideas will join this list in the future? 

 

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2 Responses

  1. Solido's status is mysterious. Dead? It depends on whose perspective you look at it from.

    Speaking purely from a customer's perspective, I've experienced no interruptions in service or supplies. Last year they updated the shipping cartons (as promised) and added a new material color (blue). The new-style cartons initially said "Rev B / Made in Israel" which changed to "Rev C / Made in Germany" by 2012. When my original dealer merged with a Stratasys affiliate they spun off their SD300 business as SolidModel USA and seamlessly transferred my accounts to the new company, http://www.solidmodelusa.com

    Before they developed their V-Flash modeler, 3D Systems used to sell a variant of the SD300 under their Invision LD brand. Last month I chatted with a 3D Systems dealer who said she had recently ordered Invision LD supplies for a customer and 3D Systems had fulfilled the order with SD300 supplies in Solido's new-style cartons. (The Invision LD and SD300 supplies are 100% compatible, but the substitution is interesting nonetheless.)

    But the perspective from the rest of the world agrees with your observation–there was undoubtedly some sort of disruption at Solido in early 2011. Their website seems to be frozen in time, caught in the midst of a messy re-design that was mysteriously interrupted. But it's not really dead–it keeps making subtle changes that only deepen the mystery. In mid-2011 the company info changed from "headquartered in Israel" to "headquarters in USA, Italy, and China." Later the news about getting financing from Fortissimo Capital was retracted. The logo changed. In early 2012 a few new announcements appeared, although old content wasn't being updated expect to remove broken links.

    Last year they posted a news item saying my "wonderful" blog had been added to their Success Stories section, but amusingly it doesn't actually appear under Success Stories. The only reference to my blog anywhere is the news item that says it was added to their Success Stories!

    So I'm quite satisfied from a customer's perspective, but intrigued from an observer's perspective.

  2. Solido's status is mysterious. Dead? It depends on whose perspective you look at it from.

    Speaking purely from a customer's perspective, I've experienced no interruptions in service or supplies. Last year they updated the shipping cartons (as promised) and added a new material color (blue). The new-style cartons initially said "Rev B / Made in Israel" which changed to "Rev C / Made in Germany" by 2012. When my original dealer merged with a Stratasys affiliate they spun off their SD300 business as SolidModel USA and seamlessly transferred my accounts to the new company, http://www.solidmodelusa.com

    Before they developed their V-Flash modeler, 3D Systems used to sell a variant of the SD300 under their Invision LD brand. Last month I chatted with a 3D Systems dealer who said she had recently ordered Invision LD supplies for a customer and 3D Systems had fulfilled the order with SD300 supplies in Solido's new-style cartons. (The Invision LD and SD300 supplies are 100% compatible, but the substitution is interesting nonetheless.)

    But the perspective from the rest of the world agrees with your observation–there was undoubtedly some sort of disruption at Solido in early 2011. Their website seems to be frozen in time, caught in the midst of a messy re-design that was mysteriously interrupted. But it's not really dead–it keeps making subtle changes that only deepen the mystery. In mid-2011 the company info changed from "headquartered in Israel" to "headquarters in USA, Italy, and China." Later the news about getting financing from Fortissimo Capital was retracted. The logo changed. In early 2012 a few new announcements appeared, although old content wasn't being updated expect to remove broken links.

    Last year they posted a news item saying my "wonderful" blog had been added to their Success Stories section, but amusingly it doesn't actually appear under Success Stories. The only reference to my blog anywhere is the news item that says it was added to their Success Stories!

    So I'm quite satisfied from a customer's perspective, but intrigued from an observer's perspective.

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