Saturday, January 15, 2011

The power of a good name.

A year ago I bought my Makerbot, It printed 2-3 times then it broke, I then bought some replacement parts from Makerbot, and followed some advice from some guys in the Makerbot Google Group.  Sage advice like "Crank the Heck out of the idler wheel", I then need new idler wheels from Makerbot, and "Turn your temp up higher", and then  I need to buy a new PTFE after it comes off the barrel, and then my favorite "You have a clog, you need to rebuild your hot end", whole new thermistors and nichome.  5-6 times.  MONTHS of no printing.  This is heart breaking when you where promised a 3d printer.

After a bit I realized that Rick at Makergear was actually willing to help a person instead of just filling orders.  I starting going to Makergear because they where on average 20% cheaper than Makerbot, and the Makerbot Google Group was making me a very regular purchaser of extruder parts, I kept going to Makergear because over the course of a few orders my Makerbot started to work as a printer and not a Science Fair Electronics Project Kit it had become.

Now I wake up in the middle of the night, and see that Rick at Makergear has managed to sell out of the 1st batch of his Prusa Mendel kit, and is on batch 2.  We have not seen a picture, nor a video of it printing, heck we don't even know how close to the current Github Prusa it's going to be or how he is going to power that HUGE HBP.  But you know what?  I have NEVER, in all the 300+ blogs I follow though the Google Aggregate feeder, nor in my obsessive following of the RepRap/Makergear/Makerbot forums, or my near constant vigile in the #reprap and #makergear IRC channels EVER seen Rick not deliver everything he has ever promised, and a little bit more.

Wiki's and Forums are great, but sometimes having someone around who cares enough about his good name to spend dozens of hours a week doing the customer service and design work to fix the flawed designs of others, well it's humbling. 

Congratulations Makergear, I am glad you guys have a commercial success in your kit, and I know Rick will not sleep untill all those Prusa are Grimlin Proof Resistant.

I'm still extruding, are you?


  1. Amen! We that Make Things, we need people like Rick!

  2. I think you will find so many of us loyal Makergear customers. I stay loyal to Makergear partly because the stuff makes my Makerbot work the way it was supposed to.

    I am more loyal though because Makergear is a constant presence always giving back to customers.

    While others are talking about how great the ideas of this hobby/movement are Makergear is making it happen on a daily basis in basements and workshops all over the world.

  3. Your story reminds me of my own. I struggled through hours of frustration with my makerbot. The materials that I've purchased from Rick have been worth their proverbial weight in gold.

    Makergear is the first place I go when I'm looking to repair or upgrade my printer. Not only are the products good, but Rick is there (seemingly night and day) offering help and suggestions. He really does provide an above-the-rest level of service.

  4. Yup. Count me in as having a similar story..

    My extruder popped the heater MOSFET within an hour or so of powering up for the first time. Then I got that fixed and bulged the PTFE. Then, like it does to most people, the MK4 idler tortured me for weeks. I was very close to putting my bot on ebay or just throwing it out when Rick joined in the google group conversation and walked me through getting the machine up and running reliably. is the first place I go when looking for parts that I know will work right out of the box. I don't mind tinkering with the machine but *having to* tinker with it is just annoying.

    Thank you, Rick!