Former MakerBot exec launches Solidoodle sub-$500 3D printer

Saw this on twitter. Gotta say, if they can pull this off, I’m going to be in line for one. I can’t justify over a grand, but under five hundred bucks? Dang, count me in, baby!

Here’s the pitch video:

I have been working on 3d printer designs for the past year (the reason I haven’t been very Fez-Active). My current design has an 8"x8" build area, weighs about 5 pounds, folds down into an 12"x9"x5" travel case, and costs less than $300 to build (retail would be a bit higher, probably $495). It is a true RepRap, it can print the parts for copies itself. Almost all of the cost is in the electronics and extruder. Maybe I can run it on a Cerb40 and the new stepper controller Gus hints at and drive the cost down a bit more. I can’t wait to show it to you guys - but that will have to wait a little more.

So everybody, hold your horses, don’t buy a Solidoodle! Can’t wait to see your 3D printer Bob. I always wonder how they get such a tight positioning with mechanical parts.

Sounds interesting, keep us posted Bob!

More interest for Bob’s idea!

I’m also wondering why this guy is a “former” COO. MakerBot is by all indications a wildly successful startup. They’re going gangbusters… lots of demand, substantial VC funding, tons of slick marketing. If you’re the COO, why leave? Anybody know the answer? Conspiracy theories accepted :wink:

Looking forward to more info Bob!!

Maybe founders/shareholders didn’t like their COO

Or maybe he didn’t like them! I don’t think Sam was at MBI for very long - maybe 8 months or so. No idea why he left.

I saw the smaller (4x4x4) Soliddoodle at MakerFaire:NYC last summer and got to chat with him a bit. Really nice guy and a very cool (and tiny!) machine (though I still love my Ultimaker).

[quote]If you’re the COO, why leave? Anybody know the answer? Conspiracy theories accepted
Don’t know the answer but my wild guess would be that he didn’t agree with the way MBI does things. They usually don’t score very well on the price:performance curve and lag pretty far behind on tech. Good marketing, though. That combination can drive engineer types a bit nuts… Again, totally guessing here.

Hey Bob, now the new paralell CNC module is out are you planning on using it for your printer??

I am certainly going to look into it.