The M3D Pro Update 7: Updates by Tier, Defer or Ship ASAP, Alphas

Hello Backers,

The time has come and the first round of surveys is out. If you are in January’s tier, you should have your survey by Wednesday, March 29th and if not please contact info@printm3d.com to let us know. Thanks to the 150+ of you who already filled it out.

We are building the Pros as we speak and they will be on their way to you soon. Please see the current shipping estimates by tier at the end of the update.

We have progressed so far since launch and we want to thank you all for your support. There are some 11th hour issues still to be dealt with and we will be going over them below, but with Pros starting to move down the production line, a major milestone has been reached. With the first Alpha units shipping and the first combined tier of Kickstarter and Indiegogo early access surveys going out, we think it’s a moment to savor for a second. You as backers have been wonderful in your support and in light of recent events we think you all deserve a huge thank you from us for being an amazing community with passionate backers on new and revolutionary technology.

We are happy to report that all has been going according to plan, even though there were delays to the original timeline. Some challenges were expected and others were discovered as we progressed, but the sequence of development continued almost exactly according to our original plan.

Today we were notified of a delay in arrival of a few parts to us by our shipping companies. In addition, more aggressive than expected customs inspection has lead to slower handoffs; this is a risk when shipping such large quantities of parts from suppliers, especially by bonded sea shipments. These include the case molds, larger order of heated bed control boards, and a few molded parts. We apologise and are working every angle to speed up delivery. Rest assured, we are pushing these companies firmly to get your parts here as quickly as possible. In the meantime, there is little we can do to create one-off prototypes of the molded parts in house so we have to simply wait for the production parts to arrive. This led us to confirm a further one to two weeks delay for delivery of all units. Keep in mind that as a policy we only bring you a notice of delays when they are final and after we've exhausted all other options, so you get transparent updates rather that a confusing or speculative play by play.

We don’t currently see any other delays. However, shipping parts by boat is often a slow and unpredictable process, so it could cause a few more minor delays as we wait for parts. Steps are being taken to mitigate any late shipment arrivals wherever possible such as making large subassemblies so we can hit the ground running, storing most of the hours needed to make a Pro in pre-made batches (see pics).

The Pro is still on track and this minor additional delay will be put behind us in short order. Some backers may have made arrangements with Rob and these will also be affected by the delay. Please contact Rob if you have specific questions related to your previous arrangements. Both CEO Michael Armani and Customer Support Manager Rob are available live via our discord chat located here https://discord.gg/GmZAdVx. Please post all questions and concerns there as it will be the fastest channel for receiving a response.

As your survey arrives, please carefully consider your choice to defer deliver or request delivery ASAP.

Printer Updates By Tier

If you are not looking to troubleshoot on the early iterations of the Pro or willing to possibly need to send it back at your cost (shipping only) for upgrades or repair, then deferment is your best option.

If your intention is to receive a solid platform for printing reliably and consistently with all promised features from day one, then please defer your order to the RETAIL release.

What do you get by deferring?

Early Pros are expected to need refinement and some parts may need further iterations requiring printers to be sent back for replacements at some point. If you defer your delivery to June, you will receive the following extra features in addition to the upgraded hardware iterations that we expect to discover:

  • An internal spool bearing holder allowing for less drag with our new larger spools.
  • An extruder LED light add-on.
  • Your M3D Pro will come in a beautifully designed retail box instead of the generic brown box.

  • Possibly a higher force extruder (pending if development finishes in time)
  • Possibly a polish and shine, like a car wax and shine treatment (final details TBA)
  • As mentioned before, the next batch of hardware would also come with any incremental improvements installed. Since autocorrect will work even with a printer that skips, all printers work fine, but less friction parts (IE threaded rods and racks) means pushing printer to slightly higher speeds with less skipping. It is a part of our commitment to not stop at “it works” but to always ask “can we make it work better?”

If you're committed to the development of the Pro and wish to be involved in this process, as well as understand the risks and responsibility for shipping costs, then please select ASAP delivery. Our only goal here is to deliver the desired product to our backers and we don’t want anyone to feel they made their choice uninformed of what it will mean for them and their Pro.

We would like to thank all the backers that have selected to defer already. Your patience and consideration of your expectations will give us the ability to focus on reaching goals sooner and better supporting those that have chosen immediate delivery. Based on the numbers it looks like the current updated shipping will allow:

  • Alpha tier shipping as units come off the line now
  • Jan. early release tier to be shipped in early April (January tier wont ship at full volume until mid April, but at least 25 or possibly more will ship in early April)
  • March market ready tier to ship mostly if not all in late April

To the backers that have selected the ASAP delivery, the team is standing by and is ready to help you unlock the power of your new platform. We look forward to hearing your feedback on your experiences to the benefit of all.

Thank you all so much for your understanding and support as we tackle this latest small hurdle in the world of global production and delivery.

Below we have included a small gallery of the Pros in production right now. More updates can be found on our Discord server in the "pro_small_updates" channel.


Thousands of subassemblies being made in batch on preparation for mass assembly in April.

Printers are quite sensitive to electrostatic discharge failure, so we try to protect them at every stage with wrap made for handling bare electronics.

These are the latest alpha prints. We used the dark green filament, which by design isn't supposed to work well as it doesn't have our proprietary additives that make printing need less extruder force. The clear print was made from the same file, but using our regular PLA filament.

This is the structural printing mode. It's a larger printer nozzle, extruding at about 0.55mm layers. The strength and durability of this PLA print are outstanding, and print speed has maximized printing this way. Please note that structural printing mode is for the prints to be able to take a beating and be drilled or tapped, while better allowing us to guarantee the conformity of the print. You'll notice that the characteristic z-layer lines are more obvious here. That's because these are prints that are designed to last and generally tend be hidden (for example, making a wall mount). For cosmetic prints, use the standard aesthetic printing modes with fine layer resolution.

Some final shots of prints from recent alphas, made by our assembly team as test prints. The left model was printed in Tough, right - in White Pearl PLA.

Thank you all again and please join us on Discord.

Cheers,

Team M3D

Posted in News & Announcements on Mar 28, 2017

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