I was looking in the store at the toolheads, and I noticed the flexystruder, which is 90% identical to the regular v2 tool head except for the plastic frame and ptfe tube (which costs $0.50) is listed as $120 higher in price. I’m guessing its just a typo, but I figure I should mention it just in case.
$295 is correct for the V2 flexystuders.
It’s pretty cool that Lulzbot gives you the option to DIY, right?
If you DIY, you’d need:
print the upper section
swap over the parts and align
source the PTFE tube
** find/make the .6mm nozzle the V2 flexy uses** (or use the .5mm)
Provide your own warranty.
Lulzbot gets you
tested extruder with e-steps calculated and stamped on the toolhead.
Wow. Really? Huh. Ok, well, hopefully they sell at that price.
I do GET what you’re saying. It’s essentially the same parts, so why is it much more expensive?
The price difference is about the intangibles- warranty, support, convenience. People pay more for those things all the time. Is a cup of coffe shop coffee worth the price premium over brewing it yourself?
At least Lulzbot gives you the option to DIY.
Given the market rates for 3D printed parts, and the quality-control LulzBot offers, the price seems reasonable. DIY extruders have given me all manner of trouble over the years, especially having gone through the ‘print an extruder to print a better extruder’ dance.
Still, I wish LulzBot would offer a steeper discount to those of us doing related product development independently. The quad-extruder pack is now the single most expensive part of the Taz_Mega, at well over $820.
It’s their store, they can charge whatever they like. It’s also their forum so I’m not going to belabor the point after this now that I know its an intentional pricing decision. I personally think it’s a shockingly bad pricing decision given that both tool heads come with a warranty, the support overhead is the same for both toolheads, the components, including the major structural parts are 90% identical, and the flexystruder in fact actually has to be cheaper to manufacture because it doesn’t require the M5 cap screw caps, idler arm bolts, springs, washers, latch bolt and nut, 608zz bearing or bearing shaft, has fewer steps to assemble and uses less plastic to print. That and pricing something like that so much higher right before the biggest online shopping days when people who already have a Taz are looking for something to buy just seems like a really good way to shoot your sales of a potentially high selling impulse buy in the foot.
I’ve always been a big fan of Lulzbot, and I still am, but this is the first time I have looked at a product in the store and perceived it as “ridiculously overpriced”. I honestly thought it had to be a typo because they were until that point very good about setting a fair price for what you get. It’s quite possible I’m the only one that sees this particular item price that way, and I’m not the one running a business so perhaps my thoughts on the matter are completely irrelevant.
But yeah, it’s their store and their forum, so I’ll let it go.
Other things that probably factor in:
“the support overhead is the same for both toolheads” From personal experience, those that are customizing printers tend to be much higher maintenance customers.
New OHAI content to create for which expenses are spread across a a relatively low volume product vs. the regular toolhead.
Not saying you’re wrong by any means, just offering points for consideration.
I agree with piercet the price seems pretty high. The one intangible not mentioned above that might be driving the price is development time of the toolhead verses the number of toolheads they are likely to sell.
itw beat me to the volume point!!
As a person who has arguably answered more support questions in these forums than anyone just by sheer volume over time, which admittedly I have no idea how that compares to the volume of e-mail and phone support calls, I will concede that there are some people who are in over their head when trying to swap 3d printer components out. Most of the people who attempt alternate extruders though do so because they have experience with the regular one already and want to try something new and think they have the technical background to do so successfully. Most of the questions that we see in here about the hexagon extruder involve PLA issues and fans, or firmware adjustment questions switching from an older Taz to a newer one, or cura profiles. Almost all of those issues are common across the board between the two extruders, except there will be fewer PLA questions aside from the inevitable “can the flexystruder print hard filaments question that gets asked every other week” .
I would argue that some of those people who customize printers also tend to dramatically reduce the number of support calls simply by offering themselves as a free resource to others in these forums.
given that I am somewhat rather familiar with documenting printer modifications for some reason (40 designs and counting), I have a pretty good idea about exactly how much time and effort goes into making a part documentation set. If it’s taking anyone longer than 3 hours worth of labor for that in total, especially given that much of the assembly text can be reused from the stock extruder, they probably need someone else doing it.
Notice the Flexystruder no longer includes a thumbscrew. There have been a number of subtle changes continuing to affect all of LulzBot’s extruders. Presumably, tight tolerances are involved, and AlephObjects has gathered a lot of data from their support channels to know what these are. Probably, AlephObjects executives also have a lot of data driving their business model as well.
My guess is that if we value our time, we are charged what it would cost us to make a robust Flexystruder, rather than what it actually costs AlephObjects. Also, the latest Taz Flexystruder ships with a grounding lead for the hotend - perhaps the price will drop when/if they use it as the default for a next generation Taz.
IMO, the bottom line is that the LulzBot Mini extruder at HacDC has never had a problem, surpassing all other extruders I have built or worked with, both DIY and professionally made. Just speaking for myself, sacrificing some cash for further development was justifiable, given that and a tight schedule to use my machine for other projects.
All that said, would be nice to see pricey business models include some kind of exemption for the ‘starving artists’ actively developing around LulzBot products. As piercet said though, it’s their forum and store, so I won’t belabor that point either.
I bought two… they both work perfectly…
I believe you are mistaken about the allen wrench… but it’s possible I just didn’t see it in the box and I have two spare allen wrenches.
the support overhead is the same for both toolheads
This is far from an accurate statement - Flexible Filament by it’s nature is a huge PITA to work with, so it’s bound to generate more support issues. Clearing jammed filament from the stock extruder is a matter of flipping the tensioner out of the way and clearing the jam, while doing the same process to the Flexy v2 involves tearing it down entirely…
There’s a lot more that goes into a product and its price than just the BOM. Being a separate product that is different from the regular extruder adds costs, as does merely tracking it. We’ve done a lot of R&D into getting the Flexystruder right, which is separate from the regular extruder. And finally, the real pricing comes from the market itself. There is no competitor even close to the Flexystruder. A “high price” to you may be a “very low price” to someone else. Major aerospace companies don’t think it is overpriced, for instance. It is a bargain to them. For the folks that want low cost hacking, we’ve always provided the source even months before we’ve released a product. So hackers that want to save money can certainly build one for far less money. There have been quite a few that have done this as well.
I see people in the RepRap world occasionally complain about prices. Sometimes they’ll offer their own solution and sell it. More often that not, it turns into a big learning lesson for them in that there are a lot more costs than just the BOM.
Thanks for your consideration,
Thanks for getting back to us with the explanation. Makes sense to me, especially this.
More often that not, it turns into a big learning lesson for them in that there are a lot more costs than just the BOM.
Curiosity question if I may though, do areospace companies represent a large part of the market for flexystruders?
I was asking myself the same question. I’m working for such a company, we also have a 3D printer (using PLA only). We use it to create drilling templates that changes frequently or have to be done in a short time.
I expected, printing flexible parts is something for people who like to do experiments on their printer and for some special requirements. To be honest, I have no idea where I could use them in daily parts… I thought, this small market is the main reason for the price but I might be wrong.
I mentioned aerospace just because we had some guys visiting in here yesterday. They aren’t a big part of the market for Flexys. I just mentioned it because what they usually pay for these types of technologies is like 10x what they pay for LulzBot. This is true of pretty much any of the large corporations. So what is expensive to one person, is inexpensive to another was the larger point.
Well, like I said, it’s your store, you can price it however you like. I only made this thread in the first place because I thought it was a typo, now I’m sorry I made it at all. I do admit I am tempted to make my own flexible filament extruder design now just to prove a point though. We’ll see. Thanks for providing the clarification.
Also the BOM is only as useful if you can source materials.
I want to source PFTE tube to put in a flexystruder and despite searching for a few hours I can’t find it in the right dim’s… this is a common trend I’ve had when people say “Oh just use a 27mm spring with an 8mm OD and 3lbs of compression per inch” and stuff like that…