Solidoodle 3D printer damaged: shipped by UPS

I purchased a used Solidoodle 3D printer, and looked forward to its arrival today.  The packaging was stunning, both outside the printer, and inside.  The printer box was stuffed solid with bubble wrap.  After I carefully pulled the bubble wrap out, I was stunned to see that the printer was totally trashed inside.  I have no idea how UPS managed to perpetrate this much violence on the box.  Here are some pictures of the damage.

The mountain of packing material shows how well it was packed.

One side of drive belt snapped off from the mounting bracket

Another broken bracket

Back of printer from above.  The two vertical rods snapped out of their retainers and were pulled forward and down.

The threaded rod along the back of the printer snapped with the force

You can see the two retaining holes out of which the vertical rods fell when the box was dropped. Once the rods were loose, they put too much pressure on the plastic brackets on the sides, which then broke.  At that point, the lever action broke the threaded rod.

This damage might have been avoided if the rods had been 1/4 inch longer: they just barely sit inside the two holes.  This may be a design flaw, at least when the printers are shipped.  I’m sure everything works fine when the printer is stationary.  Of course, if the bed had been at the bottom instead of the top, the threaded rod might have been subjected to less force.  And I suppose everything could have been held in place with cable ties.  I do not know what the standard procedure is for shipping these printers from the factory. This was not shipped from the factory, but rather from the original purchaser.

The bottom of this bracket has a huge hole broken out of it

The two horizontal rods hanging down after the bracket that held them broke off.  The back of the printer is to the left.

The other side of the two horizontal rods. The back of the printer is to the right.

Another shot of a broken bracket

The horizontal rods dangling, looking in from the front of the printer.

The extruder lying on top of the bed

This is how it looked after I first removed all of the bubble wrap from inside the box

I’m pretty thoroughly bummed: I was hoping to start printing tonight!

3 Responses to “Solidoodle 3D printer damaged: shipped by UPS”

  1. Ian Johnson Says:

    Did the seller pack the inside of the printer? Was there insurance? Did they label the box fragile? It definitely looks like it took major drop or slam onto the ground on its face. It would have been hard enough for the rods to slide through the hose clamps on the bottom, which are tight.

    If the box was marked fragile, you can definitely prove it was mishandled, Looks like Solidoodle is doing a better packing job than everyone thinks, if this is what could happen. Even if the Z had been supported, there was serious abuse to break both Y carriages like that. Most people with damage only break one. It’s like it fell off the truck and the driver had to pick it up off the street.

    I would repost to google groups. They said there is a spam filter that kills posts sometimes.

    • jonbondy Says:

      The entire inside of the printer box was FULL of bubble wrap. It was insured. The top of the box says “delicate instrument”.

  2. Rich (Seller) Says:

    Jon, So sorry this happened. I’m glad we took out the insurance and if UPS gives you a hard time, please let me know. I think you are correct, that a shock caused the 1/4 rods to pop out of the holes in the sheet metal. Solidoodle needs to beef this up and to come up with a better way to pack the system.

    I’ve done lead-screw motion system designs and had never thought of using a low cost clamp to retain the rods. It was always a C type clamp or an “O” type retainer with a set screw. My initial impression was “clever of them” but now realize that the low cost clamp was not meant for this application.

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