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MakerGear still in business?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:35 am
by kmil
Is MakerGear still in business? I’m in the market for an idex printer and the M3 ID nearly fits the bill. What it is missing is a larger build volume and enclosure. I read prior information from MakerGear regarding release of an enclosure and the possibility of a model with a larger build volume.

Between the enclosure appearing to not exist, almost no activity on this forum, and a shockingly low amount of reviews, documentation, etc on the M3, it leads me to ask is MakerGear out of business or going out of business? I really like the little bit I’ve found on the M3 but I am nervous about the longevity of support given how little involvement there appears to be in it.

Re: MakerGear still in business?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:04 pm
by airscapes
They are still kicking, and an American Company based in OH. I ordered some ABS a couple weeks ago. This forum has been this inactive as for a while, I purchased my M2 Feb 18 and not much has changed in the forum since then. I agree with your statement about lack of improvement, innovation and build volume in prosumer price range. The did release the Ultra One I think it is called but that is in the $10,000 price range. I can tell you their product is built to last, and not all that popular now you can buy cheap printers for under $500 that do a good job. How long those inexpensive units last does not seem to matter to younger people. I bought the M2 because it had been rated high for more than a few years (very mature product) like a good cast iron Table Saw.. it just works, is accurate and dependable.

Re: MakerGear still in business?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:10 pm
by rpollack
@kmil - out of curiosity did you contact us before considering this post? I don't see any emails from your email address. We have the sales and support phone numbers on the MakerGear website. Or you can just google MakerGear for the main phone number.

Our business has changed over the years and we primarily interact with businesses, schools and professionals now. The forum is still operational but the vast majority of customers contact sales and/or support directly.

We just expanded our factory and continue to build the workhorse M2 and M3 and now the larger build volume Ultra One...

Thank you,
Rick

Re: MakerGear still in business?

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:04 am
by kmil
Airscapes, Thank you for the thoughtful response. That was the impression I got about the M3 being a solid product. I really like the Sigmax’s feature set but I’ve run into a similar information / review void there and don’t get nearly the impression of quality.

Rick, as you surmised, no I did not email or call support. Further, most companies these days consider their forums an extension of their support mechanism. I would be surprised if you do not. I’ve also been stung in the past by businesses that were going out of business telling me everything is ok right up until the end. Unfortunately I ignored many similar signs to what I noticed with MakerGear. Thus the question to the forum.

Since you’re here, perhaps you can address some of my concerns. Is the enclosure available for purchase at this time? Is there still a larger “prosumer” version in the works? Do you have any insights regarding why there isn’t more information and/or reviews of your products available? I believe YouTube has 6 total videos of the M3-ID, none of which is a legit review (the MatterHackers overview is as close as it gets).

Re: MakerGear still in business?

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:02 pm
by ednisley
airscapes wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:04 pm
forum has been this inactive as for a while
Because we've pretty well covered everything that can possibly go wrong with an M2 …

Protip for anybody with, say, an extruder not heating: just feed "site:forum.makergear.com extruder heating" into your favorite search engine, then devote an hour to catching up.

Re: MakerGear still in business?

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:02 pm
by jferguson
Ed, Your comments remind me of the old tv ad's showing the lonely Maytag repairman. The ad's would have you believe that he was lonely because Maytags never broke.

My, as usual perverse, take on this was that you would be crazy to buy a Maytag. If it broke the repairman having had no previous experience would have no idea how to fix it.

best,

john

Re: MakerGear still in business?

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:19 pm
by rpollack
@kmil - we used the forum for support in the past. Now, we use Zendesk so that we can track and log support tickets, provide a central location for setup and other resources. Most of our customers now are businesses, schools and professionals and while they may use the forum as a resource (what @ednisley said) they contact us directly.

Yes, there is an enclosure available for the M3 but it is expensive to manufacture and is always backlogged so we just sell them directly (as in contact sales for specifics).

Our product line consists of the M2, M3 and recently launched Ultra One. The M3 is very similar to the M2 (frame, machined parts, rails, etc are the same or similar) but the M3 has more elaborate usability features (wifi, probe, etc) and enough mark-up that we can sell it through resellers! There was never enough margin with the M2 to sell through 3rd parties other than Amazon.

If you are looking to purchase several printers then I can put you in contact with a customer running upward of 75 M3s for a reference. Otherwise, unless you want to stop by the factory in NE Ohio, not sure what else to tell you...

Here is a photo of our RAPID booth from May 2019...and our 10th anniversary cake that we shared at RAPID!

IMG_20190522_095724.jpg
IMG_20190522_112450-2.jpg

Re: MakerGear still in business?

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:40 pm
by mathisyourfriend
Ed Nisley said:

"Because we've pretty well covered everything that can possibly go wrong with an M2"

I agree. Virtually any problem I had with my M2 was resolved reading this forum. Now with the M3-ID, it seems that questions/resolutions go straight to and from Makergear and its Users. Is there any way we could get access to the questions and answers about the M3 (and Ultra One too I guess). Anonymity, etc could be an issue. I don't know the logistics of this. Seems it would be easier than contacting Customer Service so much.

I always tell my students "If you have a question someone else is probably wondering the same thing." This forum has saved me many headaches. One time I pulled it up during a demo and found the answer in real time with 20 kids looking at me.

Re: MakerGear still in business?

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:37 pm
by Pekish79
my view on the forum going quieter is different.

Nowadays there are so many other entry-level machines that cost much less, so the people that would really use the forums (very green to 3d printer) don't usually buy this type of machine as much cheaper exist (300-600$ type)

people that buy this machine (that is much better) are more expert and veteran of 3d printing that doesn't really need much from the forum anymore.

Plus as a secondary reason, a lot of groups pop up on facebook and other platform and are generic for 3d printing and STL files they have a large number of people and the chat is much more active so even veterans that enjoy sharing their knowledge ends up writing more there than here.

this is why the forum is much quieter than 4 years ago when I bought my M2, and the pioneers were discovering things together.

It's a natural evolution of globalization even of the forum with more worldwide interest the chat moves from dedicated small specialized forums to a more mass/generic container type of forums.