Carbon 3d made a 100x faster printer which has a simple and cheap mechanism using a Teflon layer. It appears to have a 20mn in RnD Costs and $7000 mass market production cost.

The only access method for one is a USD$ 161,250 yearly subscription.

Their printer is not available in shapeways... Is there something wrong with Carbon 3D so that it does not view consumers as a direct market, and has no market news on it's website?

How can they spend 222 million in investment money and not have a 3d printer in shapeways or public access?

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    $\begingroup$ This reads more like a rant than a question. $\endgroup$ – Tom van der Zanden Aug 14 '17 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ OK sorry I summarized the question. I believe that their investors don't want people making shoes and other expensive items easily at home. $\endgroup$ – DeltaEnfieldWaid Nov 7 '17 at 7:35

I will take the question seriously, and consider reasons why Carbon 3D might choose to offer their technology through a yearly subscription, rather than building a product accessible to the consumer market. These reasons are speculation and do not reflect any specific knowledge about Carbon 3D, the details of their technology, or anything unique about their corporate mission.

1) The mission of a company, especially in the beginning while competition makes it possible, to make as much money as possible. If the technology is unique and brings good value to a large enough set of interested customers, it can easily consume the full attention of a company to service those customers. The price those companies pay for access may be higher than others would pay because their derived value is higher.

2) If a technology is new, and perhaps still somewhat immature, there may be very high support efforts and cost required. Through this time, the learning curve does it's job, the technology improves and matures, and the costs go down.

3) If the technology is immature, and perhaps is evolving quickly, it could be to the advantage of a supplier to only offer the technology on a service rather than capital acquisition basis. It simplifies replacing components.

4) If the technology is immature, selling the service may be easier than selling the hardware. It simplifies the acquisition process, and makes it easier for customer's to expand their usage since the supplier's capital is used to finance the machines instead of the customer's.

5) Even with a mature, proven technology, it can be advantageous to maintain a higher price point. The game is optimizing the profit on volume times price. The point they operate at is influenced by their perception of the market.

6) In the early adopter phase, it is critical that the customer experience be stellar. They may be limited in how rapidly they can scale in some critical dimension -- consumables supply chain, manufacturing capacity, trained installation technicians, local service offices, or many other limits. Anything going wrong makes for a bad customer experience.

It doesn't surprise me that they aren't going after the consumer market at this time.

But, I'm not in the CEO's office, and I don't see where his pain comes from. My purpose here is only to propose some plausible reasons why the company has not launched a consumer facing product.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your rationale. The 1/ condition suggests that Carbon 3D management isn't about changing factory-consumer industries, that it is there to protect multinational companies from losing the current made-in-China/Bangladesh by Nike and Tomy status quo... I believe that they have a 7000 dollar, variable cost, teflon film product, which requires 10mn RnD and it's their call to make it ubiquitous. $\endgroup$ – DeltaEnfieldWaid Nov 7 '17 at 7:48
  • $\begingroup$ I don't accept your assertion that they are there to protect Nike and Tomy, or China, or Bangladesh, and was not the emphasis of my first speculation, which is that Carbon 3D's first mission is to develop Carbon 3D as a company. $\endgroup$ – cmm Nov 9 '17 at 2:11

It looks like they have only one innovation: their resins. Everything else looks like standard SLA.

All the things Carbon 3D are pitching on their website are more about having a dedicated support team than some fancy printer, and that's what they're selling.

As to why they don't make a home version: why would they? It's at best a distraction from their core business.


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