The following is a transcript of an interview between Harnek (CEO of Makerfleet) and Jose and Raahil (Co-Founders at Z-Imaging). Our Post-Interview notes are in italics.
Harnek: You already had 3D Printers before. What made you switch?
Jose and Raahil mixed: Convenience, the live stream. The size of the print bed. Much better prints. Much better kept and taken care of. No need to do any of our own cleaning and work. The quality of the prints were really good.
Harnek: What issues did you have?
Raahil: There was a bug with empty prints that failed? I couldn’t delete them…
There may be something slow in your pipeline, especially when it comes to the number of triangles. There was a random triangle. 270k faces on the one that failed. Size of the file was 80MB (this may be an issue with our slicer). Dimensional size was 180x165x130. I made it smaller and then it worked, but I think that should be fixed. (Large files usually just take a really long time to slice, especially with support material).
Jose: There was a feed of something that actually wasn’t printing anymore, but the print was finished. The time estimate was slightly broken? (Our Printer’s controllers were constantly running memory issues, causing them to crash. This kept us on our toes for months and we weren’t able to find the problem until around a week after Z-Imaging’s print)
We were having problems with software before, but the software you guys use fixes the files automatically, which is really sweet.
Harnek: You printed out something that took 37 hours of print time for $117. Was that worth it?
Yeah 100%. It was super easy to keep printing. We were planning to go to Shapeways actually, but then we saw the quality and we definitely think we’re going to continue working with you.
Harnek: Really? How costly was Shapeways? (We swear we asked this question, this isn’t just cheeky marketing)
Raahil: … Not sure actually. Let’s check… Ah yeah, they couldn’t take our original file because it was too big.
Jose: Well, the price for a mug that we printed was around $55 with shipping and with you it’s… $28. Oh woah that’s kinda cool.
Startups were liking us a lot. We didn’t know if it was just because we were surrounded by startups, but we at least knew we had an initial market. Our biggest takeaway from these interviews was that we should be catering to the initial customers, because they were the ones most likely to keep liking us.