Tom and Tracy Hazzard open up in this Ask Us Anything episode about why they don’t sell 3D Printers. People have asked, and they tell you why it’s not the right time for them to be selling. Going further, Tom and Tracy then share what they would need out of the product to really make it worth it for them. Don’t miss this conversation!
Listen to the podcast here:
Why We Don’t Sell 3D Printers
This is the Ask Us Anything segment.
This question came across and it was less of a standard Ask Us Anything question and more of an inquiry from someone saying if we wanted to sell 3D printers. I sat back and said, “We don’t want to sell 3D printers, but why don’t we?”
I think it caused us to say, “Do we want to sell 3D printers?” While we certainly are building a good audience and reputation for being a resource for people getting into 3D printing, maybe there would be an opportunity there. Here’s the thing, we’re not standard salespeople. You meet a good salesperson and you give them something to sell and they’re going to go and sell it.
We have to sell something that we absolutely believe in and love.
That’s the thing. I don’t think I could do it if I didn’t think it was the best thing available.
It’s not that we’re not happy with 3D printers that are out there. There are a lot of them that have some good things, but it’s good for our what and maybe not your what. The hard part for me is that I don’t think I feel like there’s a printer that’s universal for any kind of what out there that I’m in love with.
I think that brings up a good point because different printers are good for different kinds of things that you want to print. I don’t think it’s possible now with this day’s state of 3D printing technology to make one universal printer that is going to make everything any potential customer is going to want to build. It gets more specific. I’m more interested and we’ve talked about this in a part of a book that we’re writing is that we think there are opportunities to bring 3D printing out and use it commercially to great profit and great success. It is about making a specific 3D printer that does one specific job well.
It is picking that printer that does that job.
It is creating that printer that does that specifically.
Whatever’s necessary to do that. That’s the thing is we’re not a store. That’s not who we are and that’s not what we do. That’s an obvious why don’t we and that’s why we don’t, but I also think that we are here to help push the technology to be more mainstream, be more usable and we’re not here to endorse something necessarily. That doesn’t mean that we don’t want to review it. I have had much fun with the reviews that we’ve got coming up and sure.
That our readers can understand that, we are reviewing two different 3D printers sent to us by companies that are out there and both are different 3D printers. One is great for a certain kind of user and the other is better for a different kind of user. They both are doing some wonderful things, but different things.
They are price point different, functional different. There are many things about it and I think this is a lot more fun and interesting for us to give a viewpoint on how easy to use this is and what types of applications are going to be best for what this printer can do best.
I’m more interested in continuing to do things like that. Helping people out there figure out what are the best tools and products, accessories, printers or whatever to help them do what they need to do than I am, “I’ve got a bunch of these printers in stock and I need to move them.” I’m going to try to make you think that it’s the right printer for you because I need to move them. That’s not who I want to be.
On the flip side of that, I think that some of you salespeople out there, some of you print companies that are out there, what you need is some more great content. People like us who can make content that highlight your printer on what it can do best is necessary. All I see is printing the same old things over and over again or a printer in which they come up and they print a vase, a cup, a cone or something like that and they print it over and over again. The reality is that that print is not only boring and I’m sick of looking at it, but it doesn’t show what your printer can do best. That’s what I find. You ought to spend some time and some money in your budget to launch this to put out some great content that is wonderful to look at that excites people. Because I’m not too excited by some of these printers until we get our hands on them and then realize, “There’s much more that they can do. Why aren’t they showing us this?”
You bring out a good point because we see every printer prints the owl to test their print or if it’s a two-color printer, they print this traffic cone that’s out there. It’s the same thing over and over again.
Every time I look at that traffic cone, I think, “Look how bad the seam is and how bad it looks.” It makes me like the printer less and I think it can do better than that.
My point on the traffic cone is that’s not how most people that want to do a two-color print would do a two-color print. I can do that kind of print in a one-color machine just pausing and changing the filament a few times throughout the print. I can make that same thing. That’s not it. If you want to use two colors because you’ve designed a two-color or a three-color object, whatever it is and you want a printer that can represent that. If you are using the same old models to show what your printer can do, it’s hard for the consumers you’re trying to sell to see what it is that your printer does.
You are not inspiring them to create more. If you’re in a serious sales position and you are going out to businesses and educators and things like that, you ought to sit back and say, “I need to make a custom presentation to these clients who might be buying multiples of our printer and I ought to show them something that’s in their genre.”
I guess we’re more interested in continuing to see everything that’s out there and help you all see it and learn what might be right for you. I think someday, if we sell a 3D printer, we’d be selling our own 3D printer that we created.
I don’t think we’re ready for that yet.
We’re not and I don’t know that I want to take that on. I’m having too much fun doing this and the other work that we do.
It’s not our thing, I guess. For those of you out there selling, take a good look at what you can do to increase the mainstream acceptability of your product. That’s what we hope we’re providing here and also be sure to let them know that we’re a free service here, Ask Us Anything.
You can come on and send us your printer for review and we’ll give it a fair shake and we’ll help spread the word about it.
You can do that on our website at HazzDesign.com. You can ask us anything. You can send your customers to ask us anything. It doesn’t matter. We’re here as a free resource to you. Sometimes we answer them directly if they’re easy, simple answers so we’ll reply back and other times we make a whole episode out of it. You can find us anywhere on social media @HazzDesign.
Thanks for reading.
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