CEOs want to sell product. So when a CEO starts talking without being asked, keep that in mind. I’m a CEO and, yes, I want you to buy our gear. I like to think I’m different, but I am painfully aware that if you don’t buy our products my company will fade away. So what is a CEO to do?
How can I convince you that you needs what we gots?
Well, I hate the marketing approach… My stomach turns when I hear CEOs and companies blather on with adjectives popping off in all weird directions about “world’s first” this or “best cheapest simplest” that. I like straight talk. And I believe a product should speak for itself.
In the world of 3D printing, no one metric can be used to help people decide what brand, or printer to buy. Price means (almost) nothing. The cheapest or most expensive wine is not, definitively, the best – at least not because of price.
Speed is a confusion metric. Many manufacturers misrepresent the speed of their printers by quoting top theoretical speeds like they are a service provider.
Feature comparisons do shed some light on the facts, but often wander into the weeds citing obscure, not-often-used and even useless features.
Ease of use is my latest obsession, but everyone claims their products are the easiest to use. You really have to live with a 3D printer for a while to verify if it really IS easy for YOU to use. User experience is similar. You not only have to use the printer, you need to have experience with other printers to contrast and compare the experience. You just can’t believe everything you hear.
The truth about a 3D printer, in my opinion, is revealed when it prints. The proof is in the print.
I try to stay away from the one-upmanship contest companies get into. I like to just point to my Printbots printing away and invite you to check them out. They speak for themselves.
The soon-to-be-released 2016 Simple has a lot to say. But the first thing I want you to hear about it doesn’t even require words. The prints.
I used to tell everyone to print at .2mm layer height. It’s fast enough and it’s beautiful. Not all printers print equally at .2mm, some flatly can’t do it or they suck at that resolution. For the 2016 Simple, .2mm layer height is the lowest resolution setting we will ship with. Yep, that’s the worst we can do – it’s the “fast” setting. Our standard resolution is .1mm. Technically, it will be 2x slower, but oh, so satisfying. I used to hold .1mm layer height as the gold standard of desktop printing. I would brag, “You can’t even see the layer lines!” Well… over the years, the more I print at .1mm layer height… the more I see the lines now. It’s not the gold standard anymore.
The 2016 Simple will offer higher resolution than we have ever offered before. Our “High Res” setting will print at .05mm layer height. You’re welcome. Well, don’t thank me yet, it’s a daunting goal. Not all models will cooperate equally and it’s certainly not necessary for every print. It will take 4x longer than “Fast” and 2x longer than “Standard”… But you can’t even see the layer lines!!
The lines are still there, of course. But you will need a microscope. Nick, our electrical engineer,printed these geckos a couple weeks ago and my head exploded over the .05mm print. I ran over to his microscope and started to compare them. Without something to show the scale, you really can’t appreciate how crazy small those layers are. I looked at these prints for gobsmacked (look it up). Nick says, “you’re welcome.”