2016 Simple

2016 Simple

Postby Mooselake » 2016-Aug-Mon-11-Aug

https://printrbot.com/shop/simple-v2/

They call it a V2, like the V2 from 2013, but it's a thousand bucks. Wow! That's what the metal plus was just a little while ago. Not so simple paying for it; guess there really is a private jet and Mexican Villa.

Before you get too excited about the 32b controller with a color touch display, you can get both on the $200 Monoprice select mini, and that comes with wireless and a one year full replacement warranty.

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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby plexus » 2016-Aug-Mon-23-Aug

This Simple is a bit of a different animal. it looks solid. 8mm Z axis Acme leadscrew, linear rails... unsure of what kind of bushings or bearings it uses... pretty much has the same print volume as my wood +. so its like a fully updated more compact version of the original +. in that sense the price hasn't gone up. only issue for me is the 1.75mm extruder which i'd want to instantly replace with a E3D 3mm. if it was using good quality bushings (and not bearings) that would seal the deal!
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby smashley » 2016-Dec-Thu-08-Dec

Apparently the 999 USD price tag is only introductory, going up to 1299 after xmas.. converted to Canadian that's nearly 2000 once taxes and duty factor in. That is an insane price for what you get. Not even a heated bed? Where did that number even come from? My 2015 Simple metal with Matrix Precision XYZ upgrade + heated bed + raspberry pi with octoprint still comes in at several hundred less, granted no wifi or touch screen that I'd never use. Seems to me Mr Drumm has lost touch a bit. There are many other options out there with better features for about a quarter the price.
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby musk » 2016-Dec-Thu-14-Dec

smashley wrote:Apparently the 999 USD price tag is only introductory, going up to 1299 after xmas.. converted to Canadian that's nearly 2000 once taxes and duty factor in. That is an insane price for what you get. Not even a heated bed? Where did that number even come from? My 2015 Simple metal with Matrix Precision XYZ upgrade + heated bed + raspberry pi with octoprint still comes in at several hundred less, granted no wifi or touch screen that I'd never use. Seems to me Mr Drumm has lost touch a bit. There are many other options out there with better features for about a quarter the price.



I think it's expensive too, but here's my guesses at justifying the price:

1. Printrbot uses distributors and therefore they have to price for distribution. This isn't something they did in the early days when all of their sales were direct. If you want to sell through distributors, add 30% to the top - Brook has mentioned on G+ that when they priced the Play at $400 they didn't properly "price it for distribution" - they're not apt to make that mistake again. I think that the simple 2016's retail price (due to distribution)is the $1300 number. Printrbot's distributor price is $1000, which is what the retail price would be if they were only selling direct.
2. They must've spent alot of money on payroll to develop their backend cloud server/slicer and to develop the completely new tinyG hardware, LCD hardware, and brand new firmware. Let's say they spent 100k to develop this machine, conservatively. Without fat margins, that development wouldn't pay for itself in a reasonable time. I think it's fair to estimate that there's $200 of "additional" profit with the 2016 simple compared to the Metal Simple. They have to sell alot of machines to earn back those dev costs.
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby PxT » 2016-Dec-Thu-14-Dec

The price is too high for me as well, but I have seen the machine in person and it looks to be very well built with quality components, good fit / finish & excellent quality output. Maybe they're already selling like crazy, I have no idea, but it seems they would fly off the shelf at a lower price point.
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby krog7d7 » 2017-Jan-Mon-03-Jan

I purchased one before the price went up.

My thinking/reasonings, I've always bought printrbot. I have the old Plus 2.0 with many mods on it....now basically a frakenprinter. I also have a makers kit simple that does pretty well.

I saw this new one at maker faire, looked solid.

I've been playing with it for the past few days, getting mostly successful prints with PLA now, haven't tried other materials yet.

I should have read more about it, as the ONLY way to move things to the printer is through their cloud service. This is a HUGE pain in the ass, but for what they are trying to accomplish, I get it. It's truly a very simple machine "when" you have very simple files and expectations. Send a model to the cloud, send the model to the print, hit print, it works.

However, I have a lot of models that aren't oriented in the best fashion --> no way to rotate them correctly.

Can't use any other software (simplify3d, rep, cura, etc.) to control the machine. All done through the cloud. HUGE bummer.

However again, they are supposed to be working on a version of cura that can hook directly to the printer and bypass cloud controls.

With only a few days using the new machine, I'm pretty impressed, but will hold my ultimate judgement when I'm able to control it with software of my choosing and see how it compares to my frankenprinter.

Thanks,
Ken
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby krog7d7 » 2017-Jan-Tue-03-Jan

Hi again,

I'm actually in the process of returning my Simple 2016. Once the dust settles, I'll come back here with a full report on the machine and the direction it seems printrbot is headed.

Stay tuned ;)

Thanks,
Ken
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby WayTooManyHobbies » 2017-Jan-Tue-06-Jan

Thanks, I for one would definitely like to hear a first-hand report!
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby musk » 2017-Jan-Tue-15-Jan

It's unfortunate that the hobbyist/enthusiast/tinkerer market is saturated. This is the market that built Printrbot, but Printrbot doesn't appear to see it as a sustainable business. Growth is now targeted primarily in the "printing for dummies" category of users.

Here are the problems Printrbot is going to face now that they're pivoting away from the hobbyists and toward the "dummies":

1. Existing customers will not buy a new printer refreshed with non-relevant features at an inflated price. These customers do not put "ease of use" at the top of their priority list, and are hesitant to relinquish control in exchange for convenience features. To these existing customers, cloud technology represents limitation not empowerment (or simplicity).
2. The "dummies" want a printer that will work not like a tool, but instead like an appliance - a printer as reliable as a microwave. Printrbot is taking appropriate steps with their software scheme to target this customer, but becoming an appliance requires an even more robust (and expensive) machine than what the 2016 Simple delivers. Printrbot needs to control the entire ecosystem, including filament and printing environment. The Stratasys Mojo exemplifies the level of printer required to be an "appliance".
3. Selling the "Easy to use!" concept is very difficult when your target customer "doesn't know what they don't know" about 3d printing. Prospective dummies are not aware of how difficult 3d printing can be, so touting a printer as "easy to use" doesn't mean anything to them.
4. Printers are largely useless without the ability to design objects in 3d. The Venn diagram of (1) customers who need appliance-level reliability and (2) customers who can't design, overlap almost perfectly. Imagine for a moment: Printrbot creates an affordable Star Trek replicator which requires no user knowledge to operate. Without useful content, what happens now? It's useless. User-friendly printers are unnecessary at this point in time because there is no compelling content for those customers to consume.
5. The educational value of a robot decreases when more things are hidden from the user. Though the 2016 simple might create more successful prints than its predecessor in a classroom setting, the value of it as a teaching tool is inherently reduced as more things are hidden.

My take:
3d printers are tools, not appliances. Printrbot should strive to be the best tool company in the short term, and only shift focus to "appliance" users when content warrants it.
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby New Passion » 2017-Jan-Fri-19-Jan

I totally agree musk, In my opinion 3d printers are not plug and play, you have to be willing to tinker and learn, and that is what attracted me to Printrbot. I was also just on the Printrbot website and it looks like they are no longer going to sell the older Simple Metal, they provide a link for Amazon, https://printrbot.com/printrbot-simple-model-1403/ . The Play looks like it is sold at MicroCenter, https://printrbot.com/printrbot-play/ . and the Plus is also an Amazon link, https://printrbot.com/printrbot-plus/ . I would hope the New Simple Metal is not going to be our only choice if we stay with Printrbot.
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby agnes » 2017-Jan-Mon-13-Jan

krog7d7 wrote:I purchased one before the price went up.

My thinking/reasonings, I've always bought printrbot. I have the old Plus 2.0 with many mods on it....now basically a frakenprinter. I also have a makers kit simple that does pretty well.

I saw this new one at maker faire, looked solid.

I've been playing with it for the past few days, getting mostly successful prints with PLA now, haven't tried other materials yet.

I should have read more about it, as the ONLY way to move things to the printer is through their cloud service. This is a HUGE pain in the ass, but for what they are trying to accomplish, I get it. It's truly a very simple machine "when" you have very simple files and expectations. Send a model to the cloud, send the model to the print, hit print, it works.

However, I have a lot of models that aren't oriented in the best fashion --> no way to rotate them correctly.

Can't use any other software (simplify3d, rep, cura, etc.) to control the machine. All done through the cloud. HUGE bummer.

However again, they are supposed to be working on a version of cura that can hook directly to the printer and bypass cloud controls.

With only a few days using the new machine, I'm pretty impressed, but will hold my ultimate judgement when I'm able to control it with software of my choosing and see how it compares to my frankenprinter.

Thanks,
Ken


We just got a few at the University I work at. The focus of uploading via cloud is really counter productive. I had wanted the old printrbot simple, as I knew we could print from an micro SD card and we would have limited computers to use. Unfortunately, the company didn't even have refurbished ones in stock (thought the website said otherwise). Now I'm unable to connect the printer to wifi as we have network restrictions.

I got a micro SD card extend to attempt to print via the card, however the new firmware doesn't recognize the files as printable and it wreaks havoc on the system.

I am able to print from Cura via USB, but the printer needs to be connected during the print. I have five printers and one computer... Cura also doesn't seem to want to divulge information on the machine while the print is going on (hotend temperature, printing time, estimated time left) and just lists everything as 0.

I've also had a lot of issues with feeding information to the printer. I've found that I have to turn it on and off a lot while trying to reconnect to the USB or disconnect from USB. I've also had to use a twist tie to keep the lever a little looser on the filament motor. Otherwise, the gear clicks and gets stuck, leading the filament to extrude less, and freeze. Which means, I've also already had to take apart the whole hotend set up in order to disengage bulged filament from the hot end, etc. Mind you, I've only had this thing set up for about a week and have printed 5 test prints and one new print.

Any suggestions to macguyver this thing would be welcome!
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Jan-Mon-17-Jan

The smartass answer would be to put a V1 printrboard or RAMPS setup on it.

Seriously, do some serious ticket opening on Printrbot's support site to protect your warranty. It's a new product; PB has had pre-shipping product testing problems in the past so you're probably a beta tester. I've had concerns about their cloud based approach in the past (retired real-time development programmer) and hope my half joking Dunning-Kruger comments in the past aren't coming true.

IMHO, you should be prepared to return them and wait for the V2 V2 if you can't get them sorted out soon. And maybe bribe your overly tyrannical IT guy to open the right ports and/or IP addresses in your lab. It can be done, no matter what they claim (been there, also ran a regional ISP in the early days, all school filters can be updated to add these)

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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby agnes » 2017-Jan-Mon-18-Jan

I did submit a ticket already but am still waiting on a reply. We are considering just returning the other 4 we got, since I've only unboxed one. I'm considering just purchasing extra V1's from Amazon. I really prefer printing from an SD and will be much more straightforward for student use. I'll be discussing things with the Network IT guy this week, so hopefully he'll have some solution.

I actually have yet to get a complete print via USB. During the two tries where I finally got the offset from Cura to match the settings on the machine, the print stopped midway and never resumed. I'm on my third try but I don't have much faith in this machine.

Thanks,
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby WayTooManyHobbies » 2017-Jan-Tue-06-Jan

New Passion wrote:I totally agree musk, In my opinion 3d printers are not plug and play, you have to be willing to tinker and learn, and that is what attracted me to Printrbot. I was also just on the Printrbot website and it looks like they are no longer going to sell the older Simple Metal, they provide a link for Amazon, https://printrbot.com/printrbot-simple-model-1403/ . The Play looks like it is sold at MicroCenter, https://printrbot.com/printrbot-play/ . and the Plus is also an Amazon link, https://printrbot.com/printrbot-plus/ . I would hope the New Simple Metal is not going to be our only choice if we stay with Printrbot.


Wow...there's no information on Printrbot's site about this new direction, but it certainly looks like they are trying to simplify their in-house distribution. The site still shows parts and upgrades, but I don't know how that will fit with the strategy when the only printer available on the site is the for-dummies Simple 2016.

UPDATE: Took a look at Brook's G+ feed, but found no further information.
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Jan-Tue-09-Jan

Well, if most of the purchasers return the 2016 Simple they'll either need to trade in the jet and villa or come up with something that works.

Amazon will probably (depends on how long you've had it) take back the opened unit since it doesn't work, a good reason to buy through them

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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby musk » 2017-Jan-Tue-14-Jan

I imagine that this is just a case of the hardware being a few months ahead of the software.

1. USB printing: You can currently print via USB on a mac but not a PC. PC compatibility has got to be imminent, so this will hopefully be resolved soon.
2. Cura is the only slicer: Brook just released a video showing that you can now slice using other slicers and upload that gcode file to the cloud. This is a must-have for me, as I'm an S3D user.
3. SD printing / local flash memory printing: Does the machine have an SD card or can the entire gcode be uploaded instead of streaming the data? Streaming over USB is not something I want to do for a long print since it's inherently unreliable.
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Jan-Tue-17-Jan

musk wrote:I imagine that this is just a case of the hardware being a few months ahead of the software.

Since the software's required to use the hardware it means it was released before it was ready, never a good thing. It's unreasonable to expect customers to pay a stiff premium to be beta testers of stuff that doesn't work. It's even worse if you're pitching it at the printer-as-appliance crowd who won't have the skills or background to figure out what's happening. It's not a video game where the customers just expect it to ship broken and get fixed later<ducks>

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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby musk » 2017-Jan-Tue-17-Jan

Mooselake wrote:
musk wrote:I imagine that this is just a case of the hardware being a few months ahead of the software.

Since the software's required to use the hardware it means it was released before it was ready, never a good thing. It's unreasonable to expect customers to pay a stiff premium to be beta testers of stuff that doesn't work. It's even worse if you're pitching it at the printer-as-appliance crowd who won't have the skills or background to figure out what's happening. It's not a video game where the customers just expect it to ship broken and get fixed later<ducks>

Kirk


I fully agree. Hopefully it all comes together to be a great machine.
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby agnes » 2017-Jan-Tue-22-Jan

musk wrote:
1. USB printing: You can currently print via USB on a mac but not a PC. PC compatibility has got to be imminent, so this will hopefully be resolved soon.
2. Cura is the only slicer: Brook just released a video showing that you can now slice using other slicers and upload that gcode file to the cloud. This is a must-have for me, as I'm an S3D user.
3. SD printing / local flash memory printing: Does the machine have an SD card or can the entire gcode be uploaded instead of streaming the data? Streaming over USB is not something I want to do for a long print since it's inherently unreliable.


1. Yes, you can print via USB on mac via Cura2, however, there are issues with it. I have only been able to print the test block, longer prints have just stopped mid-print. The company's solution was "Regarding Cura2 you are seeing an issue that we have also experienced in-house. We are looking into a fix for this. For the time being, to get around this issue you can use the "pause, resume" feature, meaning when the printer stops, hit "pause" in Cura2 and then "resume." This should act as a temporary fix until the issue is resolved." I tried this before their suggestions, but it did not work for me. I have a handful of successful test blocks and nothing else to show for the last week or two of this machine.
2. Apparently there have been many issues with customers even simply downloading files to the machine via the cloud. All I've read are complaints about the cloud-based system. I haven't been able to try, as the University I work at has network restrictions that have yet to be resolved. The company's resolution was to use a smart phone to host a WiFi network for the printer to connect to. My phone plan doesn't cover this, and I'm not going to pay extra to host a WiFi network off my phone so that I can download files onto a machine.
3. There is a microSD card on the back of the LCD panel, but you have to unscrew 4 screws to get to it. I thought a microSD card extender might at least allow for easier access to the card for SD printing. Unfortunately the firmware isn't even set up to take gcode directly. I prefer to print from SD, so this is really disappointing to me.
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Re: 2016 Simple

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-Jan-Wed-08-Jan

I was just reading an article that was talking about the high-pressure, high-speed expectations of technology development in Silicon Valley. They have a saying out there to "Fail fast" - in other words don't drag out a project that's failing; dump it and move on.

Maybe I'm being too harsh here; maybe the new board and software are not totally doomed to failure. But it's for sure that Printrbot released a half-baked product to the public long before they should have. If they also drop support and manufacturing of their legacy products, then I'm afraid they will be on the Fail Fast road!
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