SolidDoodle2 Breakdown

2012-12-10 23.38.49

I have received and examined a solid doodle 2 (that took 5 months + to receive).  The build style is very impressive, being almost entirely multiple pieces made from folded steel, lasercut acrylic, and FDM printed ABS plastic. I’m very impressed with the shortcuts they took to use commercially available parts and expect their total cost without labor around $150 for the base model.

I also can see where they went wrong in needing 50 people to produce 5-10 products per DAY – the need for making printers to print ABS parts – calibration woes with the stamped metal alignment of rods, the tightness of MXL pulleys on sub-sized nema 17 motors, and the failure of lasercut acrylic as a support material (the polycarbonate will crack on the nozzle area of overtightened, and the support base appears to be oven-cooked together). Also there doesnt appear to be an obvious Z-base alignment. I haven’t done prints yet, but it seems very impressive and promising for this price point.

http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?1,169672,170909#msg-170909

Based on the above inspection and knowledge about product part sourcing scaleup dynamics, one can predict a company makes SD2 for $150-$200.  This also easily fits the industry standard 2.8-4.0 price markup needed for basic survival of a company (sales price is $550).  Here is my breakdown.

[*] $60 for electronic. Sanguinolu is $99 shipped with 4 motor controllers. [www.ebay.com]. Any savy seller would have sold 200 or more units at about $60 each.
[*] $6 for the power supply, because I found it for $10 online for a single one. (AC laptop replacement adapter 10A)
[*] $30-40 The metal frame was bent as a box in a CNC brake machine. based on estimate with Emachineshop + use of software
[*] $25 Sub-normal sized nema 17 motors (4) in bulk estimate based on conversations with kysan
[*] $2 3D printed frame holders, and more (estimate)
[*] $14.2 Laser cut acrylic pieces for drive motor and laser cut pieces for main bed estimated pieces with 4×5 + 6×8 + 2×6 + 2×8 sqin pieces = 96 sq inches, cost 15 cent/sqin bulk estimate from [www.customlasercutting.com]
[*] $12.374 6 steel rod shafting based on [www.onlinemetals.com] Stainless Round 440C $4.125/ft retail, less 40% bulk purchase = $2.475/ft 10″ per axis *6 = 12.375
[*] $2 – 6 bushings
[*] $1 6 small hose clamp keep steel in place
[*] $16 nozzle cost, based on personal experience estimate
I left out the timing belts and pulleys, but those may have added another $10 or so.  I’m not sure yet.

Subtotal so far $168.6+. One can imagine screws and cables and springs and kapton tape and such hardly adding more than a few bucks. So in reality, this may be horribly wrong, I suspect it is well under or near $200. The labor factor still blows me away.

Also, assuming they use some of their in house labor to do the metal braking in house, the frame could cost $10 or less. Also, building the electronic with eagle files in house might have made those costs far less too. So I think for a company $150 makes sense. Any individual trying to duplicate it might as well pay $400 with quantity = 1 and shipping costs, not factor labor and screw ups, always best to buy from them for the low markup they have.

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