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Amid Customer Complaints, Solidoodle Finally Announces Suspension of Operations

by • March 28, 2016 • No Comments

  • Earlier this month, we covered what seemed to be ominous message of the Solidoodle, the Brooklyn-based 3D printing device company begined by former MakerBot COO Sam Cervantes, which claimed on their website, “Attention Customers: Ordering is may already disabled on the site. We’ll be providing additional information over the upcoming few days. We appreciate your patience during which time.” Since and so, 3D Printing Industry has been reaching out to both Solidoodle and their customer-base to get the truth behind Solidoodle’s sudden disappearance of the world of 3D printing. After weeks of investigating and correspondence with dissatisfied customers, Cervantes has finally released a statement admitting to what our evidence has may already led us to believe, which the days of Solidoodle are over.

    The stays of Solidoodle

    The stays of Solidoodle

    Before Cervantes revealed the suspension of operations yesterday, I in fact traveled down to Solidoodle headquarters in Brooklyn to check in and see what was going on. What I discovered was an deserted workspace lined with trash bags, no sign of Solidoodle or any life at all behind the shuttered doors. I decided to ask around the block to see if anyone had information on the whereofs of Solidoodle, and was, additional or less, given a briefer and additional straight-to-the-point design of what Cervantes tried to put elegantly yesterday. After speaking to an anonymous source of the upcoming-door Carrol Gardens Plumbing Supply, I was told which, all but, Solidoodle created a few bad product investments in China, angered their customer base with poor high end printing devices, and, thus, caused investors to slowly pull out the money which was storeing Solidoodle afloat. The source, who wished to stay unnamed, noted which the Solidoodle workshop has all but been vacant since November of last year.

    Solidoodle Press Desktop 3D Printer

    Here is an explanation of the way which the company took in Cervantes’ words, of yesterday’s press release:

    From 2011 through 2014 we assembled our initially four product generations at our own factory in Brooklyn. Soon demand began to grow so sizeable which we felt it may be complex to scale effectively in Brooklyn, so we sought to partner with an outside assembly factory. We had been sizeablely successful purchasing components in China, so making our entire product there seemed like the upcoming logical step.

    But, this proved to be much additional complex than expected. Despite spending months in China assembling the partnership, training workers, and inspecting finished units, the factory shipped units which did not live up to our standards. This setback was exacerbated by the 2014 West Coast Port labor dispute and slowdown, which kept hundreds of printing devices ordered for the Holiday Season of arriving until March. Had they arrived on schedule, we may have had much additional time for testing and inspection, and may have accomplished crucial cash flow much sooner.

    There appears to be a lot of facts which only didn’t end up going Solidoodle’s way, but one of their largest criticisms (outside of their last line of shoddy printing devices) is their refusal to refund, let alone acknowledge, many of their customers who have either obtained a offensive printing device or never obtained their order at all. After our article speculating on the Solidoodle situation gained traction, a number of frustrated Solidoodle customers reached out to share their concerns of the company’s lack of customer service. One Canadian customer (who wished to stay anonymous) contacted us of a number of issues they had to deal with after ordering a Solidoodle Press printing device.

    “Well, I bought a Solidoodle Press, obtained it 6 months later and it never worked. When I contacted assist they asked me to send it back to them for repairs which was OK with me at the time,” the source told 3DPI. “And, unfortunately, once they obtained it, they stopped answering my emails and I never got my printing device or money back.”

    Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 11.46.31 AM

    The customer in addition does admit which, in hindsight, they many likely should’ve only asked for the replacement parts themselves, but which does not seem to excuse Solidoodle for going off the grid and leaving prospective customers frustrated and confused. The source in addition felt which since they were of Canada, Solidoodle knew which they may store both the printing device and their money without having to face repercussions. We in addition heard of another customer as well, who told us, “I ordered a printing device a year ago, they took my money, wiped my account clean and never delivered and hid behind voicemail.”

    So, it’s fair to anticipate there are many likely others facing the same dilemma, and actually in Cervantes’ new announcement of Solidoodle’s official closing, he acknowledges which “there stay a few dozen customers yet owed a refund for a returned or undelivered product which we cannot honor.” But for these ‘few dozen’ customers, a few of whom we’ve talked to ourselves, there does seem to be a glimmer of hope which may alleviate the painstaking experience with Solidoodle. According to Cervantes, customers who never obtained their refund can be sent a free MOD-t 3D printing device, the $400 computer desktop 3D printing device by New Matter.

    “New Matter, makers of the award-winning MOD-t 3D printing device, have graciously contributeed to ship a FREE MOD-t to all Solidoodle customers who are due a refund. I am really grateful to Steve Schell and the New Matter team for their generosity and commitment to the industry. They were under no obligation to step up and are receiving no financial compensation to assist us. Those customers with Solidoodle refunds due can contact New Matter at [email protected] by May 1, 2016 to follow up on the free MOD-t contribute, or go to www.newmatter.com and sign up for their email newsletter to learn additional,”Cervantes wrote in the statement.

    Solidoodle discovereder Sam Cervantes

    Solidoodle discovereder Sam Cervantes

    After going AWOL for months, and slowly, but certainly, shutting down their operation, Solidoodle has finally confirmed which their doors are closed. It is really great of the New Matter team and Cervantes to try and compensate the customers who were felt they were completely screwed over, but I’m not certain if the MOD-t 3D printing device contribute can fully erase the bad taste which Solidoodle’s last product line left in the customer’s mouth. At the end of the day, yet, it can be healthiest for the 3D printing community to reflect on the sturdy begin and early reputation earned by Solidoodle back in 2011, as it’s effortless to forget which, preceding this debacle, they were a high end beginup on the rise to prominence. But, there are in addition really a few lessons to be learned in Solidoodle’s failure as well. The many significant ones, it appears, are to always value and respect your customer-base, and in addition to invest in components which can function as well as they appear.


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