The End Of Solido?

A year ago at SolidWorks World 2011, the Israeli 3D printer company Solido announced a drastic cut in the price of their range of 3D printers (see “SolidWorks World 2010 (Day 1) – Solido 3D Printer for $2950 only“). Today a retweet from Duncan Wood of TCT Magazine alerted me to a news item on a Israeli daily stating that Solido has laid off its entire staff of 30 employees and entered receivership.

  • d3print

    Bad news. SD300 is one of my favourite printer!

  • ron

    Quite a shock after the star-studded media event at SolidWorks World just one year ago.

  • Neil

    Thats a pity. A victum of the economic situation rather than a reflection on the product perhaps. Maybe someone will buy them out and have them made in China for $995…

  • Actually my own SD300 Pro was built after they’d set up manufacturing in China, and the quality is certainly excellent. The platform is milled from solid aluminum, and the major structure is quarter-inch forged steel, not formed sheet. It strikes me unlikely someone could cut the price without substantial compromises, but who knows?

    Until 2009 3D Systems sold the SD300 in the USA, rebranded Invision LD. Not sure how that might play into things.

    But I’ve traced all the reports of Solido’s demise to only one single source, so I’m treating it as “credible but not yet confirmed.”

    • “credible but not yet confirmed.”

      Hence the question mark in the title of my post. 😉

    • “credible but not yet confirmed.”

      Hence the question mark in the title of my post. 😉

      • Yes indeed, and I appreciated the fact that you linked to the Globes news item right in the text. I found your post while searching for clarifications, so I really appreciated your professionalism.

        I’ve got a stake in this because I personally own an SD300 and write the blog MySd300.blogspot.com

  • d3print

    I`m not wondering why. The marketing has been very poor for Solido!

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  • Agreed, their marketing missed the mark.

    Their $14999 bundle was actually a good value because it bundled a $9999 3D printer with nearly $12000 worth of supplies. I bought the machine because I computed its value this way.

    But they misguidedly spun it as though the printer was priced at $2999, the difference between the bundle price and the price of the extras. The implied $2999 price tag grossly undervalued the SD300. Worse, it alientated potential buyers whose budgets couldn’t afford the $14999 required to get the $2999 “deal.”

  • Kevin Quigley

    This is the issue with all 3D printer deals Scott. The purchase price is advertised as £xxxx, but when you make the enquiries you generally find that you need to add about 50% more to the cost (of the lower cost machines) to get up and running.

    The other issue is the “office friendly” tag. A lot of machines need additional support removal systems (generally agitation tanks or compressor units). These take up more space than the printer, and generally need some kind of plumbing – all of which negates the office friendly tag.

    What the industry needs is a clear marketing strategy that everyone understands that details cost up front. What we need is:

    1. Inclusive price for purchase cost of printer AND full set of consumables AND annual maintenance cost AND any ancillary equipment needed

    2. Cost of consumables in a manner designers understand – perhaps like number of parts like this as well as detailing the cost of the consumable package you are required to buy. Selling consumables as £xx per cubic inch means sweet FA when you are faced with having to replenish consumable cartridges that cost £900 a pop.

    The 3D printer market is getting better all the time but the ACTUAL cost of ownership at this time is still more than most design businesses can justify. I find that most people who buy these machines either do it on a whim, or do it because they tend to do the same kind of work day in day out and calculating ROI is relatively easy. If your work is varied and you are buying in parts from different sources doing the ROI on an in house printer is much harder. From my perspective, I’ll only buy one when the package price gets to the level I can justify for doing in house only design models. It is not there for me yet.

    • Kevin Quigley

      I wish you could edit the posts Deelip 🙂

      One extra thought. Photocopiers and digital printers are generally leased or rented rather than purchased. I can’t help but think this would be a far more effective sales strategy for most business users. I can see the advert now – printer, with ancillaries, support engineer standing by with telephone as well, surrounded by a pile of parts – ALL THIS FOR £XXX a month!

      Alternatively why hasn’t anyone done a joint ownership deal, or a guaranteed price per part deal, where you buy a share of a machine and get a much reduced part price. Design the parts, check the price (Deelip’s system works inside most CAD systems), hit print. You upload the part to the provider, they make the parts on your machine, remove all the supports and send out by courier (or you pick up if local). This model would work for a lot of busy small design firms with little office space.

    • Actually, my Solido dealer (SolidVision) presented all their pricing with perfect transparency. There have been no hidden costs or extra expenses. Their own dealers did it right, so why couldn’t Solido do that?

      The SD300 really does earn its “office friendly” tag. I initially set it up in my living room, obviously expecting to move it later. But it was so unobtrusive (and guests always want to see it) that I’ve just kept it there. At 1:35 in this video I changed the material on-camera with a minimum of clutter or fuss:

      Solido probably couldn’t communicate the office-friendly advantage very clearly because their rivals effectively concealed their caveats. For example, most comparison-shoppers wouldn’t know V-Flash entails solvent gloves, a UV oven, a cleaning station, and a big robust table. (All at extra cost.)

  • d3print

    Great, I think I haven`t ever seen so good “marketing” video of Solido SD300 than Elliot showed. As you see there are lot of capability of this 3d printer.
    Thanks Elliot.

    d3

  • My dealer confirms there’s trouble at Solido Ltd in Israel, but operations in the western hemisphere haven’t been disrupted at this point. That appears to be true, to the extent I could check. In any case it makes sense to let them do all the worrying, since they’ve made a firm commitment to keep me supported in any event.

    They’re still filling orders, and I just got a supply order filled. Solido USA still seems to be drop-shipping from their Arizona warehouse, too.

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  • warren williams

    anyplace to get the supplies cheaper?