Over the weekend, Brook Drumm, the mastermind behind the Printrbot series of 3D printers, revealed how excited he is about the developments taking place at Printrbot. Most notably with the upgraded Printrbot Junior model (V2), which is available immediately, assembled and calibrated for $699. This model replaces the Printrbot LC (V1) and there is no option to purchase a kit version. Indeed, Printrbot is purposely shifting away from supplying kit 3D printers.
Brook says: “This is the first time we have introduced a bot that is only available fully assembled and calibrated. We have had a great run with our kits, but as the market matures and more and more newcomers delve into the wild world of 3D printing, we want to be able to ensure great success the first time around.”
The Junior has apparently been upgraded in every possible way, to include a build volume of 6 x 6 x 6″ (216 cubic inches); a heated, superflat aluminum bed; a machined aluminum Z axis block; a 3/8″ ACME rod for silky smooth Z axis movement; a 1.75mm Direct Drive with fan to cool PLA prints; and belt tensioners built in for the X and Y axis. Furthermore, all 12 bearing blocks are also machined from aluminum and the Printrbot Jr V2 now includes ATX power supply plus Power Tower (ABS, PLA, etc) and smaller laptop style power supply plus spool coaster for printing PLA on the go. The aim has been to offer the same great folding design for convenience but with sturdier print set up and Brook is convinced he has achieved this with this model offering “the best of both desktop printing and portability at a competitive price.”
To clear inventory of the V1 Jrs, Printrbot is holding a sale all week, with kits available until Saturday 24th August.
The shift in focus to a fully assembled product line applies to the Junior V2 and the Printrbot Plus models, however the Printrbot Simple will still be available assembled and as a kit. The reseaning behind this makes sense: “The Simple is the perfect bot to learn 3D printing – we encourage everyone to build their Printrbot Simple, but at a mere $100 premium to avoid any unforeseen snafus – the fully assembled version is tempting, indeed. Having the Simple as such a great introductory printer at a mind-boggling price gave us the confidence to focus on the Simple as our sole kit offering.”
Snafus is most certainly my word of the week! Might even be word of the year!
Brook is also looking to expand his company and community in other ways — today he introduces a new ‘Printrbot Customer Satisfaction and Community Leader.’ Setting out the Printrbot mission statement: “making better products… innovating… making 3D printing easier for the masses… challenging the margin-heavy prices of our competition… and supporting our community and customers;” Brook goes on to reveal he is taking on a FULL TIME customer satisfaction guy – Dave Hayes.
Now while some may scream nepotism here, my view is, if the cap fits …. Brook’s introduction is both personal and, I think, considered in that he has considered Printrbot’s valued, albeit, sometimes neglected customers above all else. The neglect was of necessity to retain sanity by the sounds of things, but henceforth, shall be overcome with the right man for the job. Brook says: “Dave is my brother-in-law who wisely married Sarah, my wife’s baby sister. For over a year now, I have secretly been interviewing him – he didn’t even realize it until I offered him a job. In short, Dave will shore up my impulsive, shoot-ready-aim approach and treat our beloved customers as they should have been treated from the beginning — with top tier documentation, fast trouble-ticket turn-arounds, an actual phone number to call and talk about your needs, and a good-guy demeanor that stands out so strong, I have never seen it’s equal. I know that is high praise, but seriously, you will love this guy. Be gentle. He starts Monday and there is a significant backlog… but we are all rallying around him to get him off to a good start. We are glad he is here.”