Why are shipping leadtimes getting worse instead of better?

I’ve been holding off on placing an order till Formlabs gets caught up and can ship in a reasonable amount of time.  About a month or so ago the leadtime was about 2 months … checking today it says “February” delivery for an order placed today , that’s about 4 months.

Are they having issues that I’m not aware of?  Quality issues?

Anyone know what’s going on?  You’d think that perhaps by now leadtimes would be going down.

After a search of the website I cannot even find a phone number to talk to an actual human at the company … very strange for a company selling a $3300.00 piece of machinery.

The 2 month lead-time was always a naive estimate at best, or more realistically - an outright lie. Formlabs are a small company making a very complex bit of kit and no-one believed that they’d finish their kickstarter orders in the time stated. Although I must admit to being expecting my Kickstarter March delivery to arrive before  11th October.

Up until recently they have been more focused on tuning their product and it’s manufacture - as well as promoting themselves at trade shows - rather than communicating with customers about their orders. I can’t really blame them, if it was me in charge and I had to decide where to spend my limited human resource in a start-up situation. I would pick the product first, then marketing, then communication with existing customers - at least in the period of time where the pool of existing customers is still quite small.

This is changing slowly though, they have started publishing numbers shipped - albeit at sporadic ad-hoc intervals. So the updated lead time is simply a reflection of their increasing transparency. At no time since the end of the kickstarter campaign has a 2 month lead time on web orders looked remotely realistic - I would guess 4 months is possibly still a bit unrealistic too.

Personaly I can live with the shipping time. My problem is the lack of communication! I already paid a week ago and asked for confirmation of my payment a few times but got nothing! Before I placed my order communication was fine! Whats wrong here? Should I make a paypal complaint?

I wonder if if it’s all a part of on going negotiations… mutually agreed deadlines and tasks for an e/valuation process?

I placed my order in April and still not a word…I had really wanted this but its a long time to wait with no communication.

Apologies, Marcus, for the communication snafus – glad it’s now handled!

As for the more general questions about our changing lead times, we move our estimated shipping date periodically to reflect–as best we’re able–the progress we’ve been making on our backlog, as well as the rate at which we’re receiving new orders.

We’re doing all we can to reduce our backlog as much as possible. We’ve expanded our production line a number of times in the previous months, and now have close to two dozen people working on the line. That our lead times have been pushed back is as much a factor of the demand we’re seeing, as it is how quickly we’re shipping printers!

I hope to have a more detailed shipping update for you soon.