After doing some research the upcoming Form “3” looked like the machine that would take over the jobs we’ve been sending to Shapeways. I figured we could use one of them, maybe eventually a couple additional. One of their reps (who I’m not looking to hurt here, so will remain nameless) offered to do a sample print for us, we almost immediately forwarded a .stl test file… and now several weeks later he reneged on the offer… wanting to send out a Form “2” sample instead. Two questions… why wait several weeks ?.. and if the print won’t be representative of the new machine why would I want it ?.. Admittedly, I’m not impressed with any of this… is this the way things are done in Formlabs ???
Probably the machines are still quite scarce, and the representative underestimated the time until he would be able to get his hands on one and do the demo print. I am not trying to defend Formlabs here in any way, by the way - IMO they should be churning out demo prints like crazy by now, sending machines to reviewers etc.
Regarding customer support: Dealing with Formlabs directly, the support has been very responsive, helpful and quite good all in all. If you depend on the machines in any way and use them quite much, I’d go for the pro service plan, though. If you buy printers and can do this from Formlabs directly (depends on the country you are in), do it and don’t bother with distributors, because otherwise you may have to contact your distributor first if you have issues, which will in turn contact Formlabs etc., leading to unnecessary time being spent communicating back and forth instead of your problem getting fixed.
Thanks for the input on this… it’s frustrating to experience such indifference. In our case we may need 2-3 of these systems, but they appear to operate on two levels… one is “slick” presentation and advertising… the other ?.. “We’ll see what (& if) we can get around to doing what we promised”… To me, that’s shaky ground… sure a level of disappointment. Honestly, I’m not sure where to go to get a productions machine with similar attributes & price point.
My guess is that the sales rep over-promised and under-delivered and tried to save face while still potentially making a sale.
Though, I wouldn’t go so far as saying a single rep is responsible for a systemic customer service problem. Imo, my experience with support has been plesant and reasonably timely.
I was just coming here to look into this. They have not answered my last two emails and when I called I got someone I couldn’t understand at all because of background noise. Support has really cratered since we bought our Form 2.
While that may indeed be the case, as a qualified purchaser ( in my case this is for a 19 year old active business with a bank of lasers and need for this type of item) it’s put us in a position of having to research other companies for a similar product. This is the kind of product, if it works as well as we expect it could for us, that we’d potentially own several units of. Oh well.