IVI 3D Printer | Forum

Project Critique

Campaign details claimed 3 years development with prototypes functioning to design.

Kickstarter campaign funded Timeline completion end 2019.

Thus by any normal evaluation this project has failed and more than a year later, we have no feel as to when this project will be completed.

We need a new plan, and timeline and assurance from creators that project has some prospect of completion.

I would suggest status updates shows targeted goals on timeline. It is only way to know if goals are met on time…


[sigh] Start your on 3D Printer manufacturing Company harold so we can all direct our negativity at you… see how that feels… 3 forum topics!, really Harold?.. has it really made you feel better?.. are you a better person for it?

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Will more than likely disappoint you because I believe I would not have any negative comments as I would not be a year behind schedule, and you would have live updates as project progresses.

Correction not 3 their is 4, when updates stop earlier in the year I started the first that led to current updates …

It is not if I am a better person, but if the project gains from it I am happy.

I restored a 1967 Buick Wildcat convertible. Still have it. When I started out, I told myself it’d take two years tops to get it done. I’m no stranger to the wrench; I’ve built several cars in the past very successfully. The Buick was its own animal, though. What I thought I could do easily took way longer. I kept hitting unexpected road blocks - some I’d never seen on a project before. This car had specific needs that could only be met on its terms. Like this printer. IVI had ideas and plans, but the printer thought otherwise. They’re finding out what it wants and how it wants it. It’s not a fault in their planning; it’s because they want badly to develop and build a machine that becomes the standard others strive to meet. It’s taken way more time to get where they are than they planned. It’s taken more effort and some unexpected things have delayed or redirected their focus. They have not, nor is there evidence to support it, abandoned the backers. I started work on my Wildcat in 2009. I finished it in 2014. I never lost sight of what it would become. IVI hasn’t lost sight either. It’s easy to complain when you’ve never taken on a project with this level of complexity and “Monday Morning Quarterback” everything they’ve done through your perspective. I might lose every cent I’ve invested in this project, but the unspoken rule of crowdfunding is never to place money anywhere unless you’re willing to walk away from it from that point forward. I know I’m not guaranteed anything, but I firmly believe that when I get my printer from IVI, it’ll be worth the wait.


No it is definatley a design fault of their planning.

You are the maker of the object you control the process if you make a design error it is not the object that has caused it as the object is still nonexistent.

I quote from their campaign

"As 3D printing becomes more ubiquitous in our lives and work, the demand for superior print quality is racing ahead of what ordinary 3D printers can provide. Smoother surface quality, higher stability, and higher print efficiency have become basic expectations.

Other common complaints include:

Hours of debugging for marginal improvements
Faults during printing like print heads jamming and layer shifting
Complex workflow and inaccessible operating software
After more than 3 years of development and testing, we believe that our printer has solved all the above problems. We hope that through our efforts, IVI will become a milestone for desktop printers.

Quote 2
" We see crowdfunding as the perfect chance to verify our product and idea. With early support we can not only receive pre-orders but also precious feedback regarding product improvement.

It is our hope that every backer has the chance to engage with us directly and offer suggestions, ideas, and criticism. That’s why we have set up a Facebook group. We have been, and we will continue, answering all questions while remaining completely transparent throughout and after the entire campaign. Together we are a team, and our combined effort will nurture IVI towards its full potential."

Of course, nothing in life is free. Production, manufacturing, and supply all require significant investment. Which your pledges will cover. "

As to the attack on my qualifications “Monday Morning Quarterback” i will just say Absence of evidence is proof of nothing as to the complexity, I would say a five axis positioning system with measuring accuracy of 0.005mm , mechanical as well as control, is no small feat for 20 years ago, and was done in 6 months from start of design to actual production implementation A project of only six machines but at similar cost to this project, Noted not self financed, but was done within budget and on time for a major Tyre supplier. And yes in-terms of their projects this was a small project.

I have also self financed and built a Ravin 500 Aircraft, in 3 and half years spending only Saturdays and Sundays on it as a hobby and performed the test flight in the aircraft.

I have enough confidence in my experience, and to make blunt statements I have a 40 year track record I am electrical engineer B Eng as well as Master in Eng specializing in Project management.

This project failed out of the starting line, no dispute from any one, they have admitted as such. They are trying to recover, but in my view has gone wrong, I am providing my critique, as requested by the campaign (see their quote)

They have missed TTM Time To Market machines with similar spec’s can now already be obtained at similar price levels.

At this stage I am predicting their funding has become constrained, proved by request for shipping self assembly units, Carrying a design and development team for 16 months past your budgeted cost must hurt, not adding the extra cost of multiple mold redesigns and different suppliers.

Are any of the backers willing to provide extra funding if they would asked, as I believe they can barley make target, would you be willing to double that you have put in.

If they provide me with detail design plans, test schedules and realistic project plan, I would consider it seriously, In the end it is just $300 more. And yes I funded the project open eyed not expecting any return, but if providing my critique can have a material effect , it only cost me the time to type these messages that I estimate at $300 by now.


Agree. As long as the effort continues, it’ll reach it’s goal. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. Prefer to get a good product through sure and definite progress.

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This is extremely different in most regards.
Mass production, producing thousands of printers is very different from 6 machines.
Also infrastructure was already present (at least that is what sounds like).
A team of about 3 people worked on a product for 3 years with probably none to very limited knowledge about going from a prototype to mass production unit.
Sorry don’t see the relevance nor a good comparison.

Also business customers have very different requirements and often don’t need any bells or whistles, complicated UI is not that big of a deal, just train an employee to operate the machine properly (training usually provided by company that makes the product).

None of these “Qualifications” are important nor should they matter. Still what you do/did seems very different from standard prototype to market development.

Have IVI completely failed and missed their original deathline, yes.
Was this on purpose, NO ONE ON THIS FORUM knows for sure.
However it seems unlikely.
If I assume good faith (IVI being mostly honest) then they just made mistakes.
They started from an extremely small team to become a bit bigger 3 to about ~15 I believe.
They seem to have had as good as no experience with bringing a prototype product to market and heavily underestimated what they needed to do.
Getting 1, or 2 or 3 prototypes/rpinters tuned in and working properly is vastly different from by example 999/1000 printers having to work properly coming from the “factory”. Production processes have restraints which people that are not into mass production generally don’t think/know about.

Have they missed TTM, no far from, I still haven’t seen a printer that can do the same things for anywhere near the same price.

Their budget might have been hurt badly, but again it’s a lot of speculation, based on assumptions you make with your background. Not saying it’s wrong but there’s also no indication that they are completely out of money.

The one point I do agree on is that they should maybe consider some concessions and maybe not go for perfection. Sometimes you just need to get a product out and stop trying to improve it.

Would a proper timeline be nice, yes. Not wanting to tell these things and giving a timeline is because they probably don’t want to disappoint people again and get held responsible should they miss the timeline due to unforeseen circumstances.

Would I be willing to put in more money depends very heavily on how and what, however that would require a very good argument and some near guarantees. I invested the money that I felt I could spend without worrying too much and was already okay with waiting 2 years, however now almost 2 years have passed. Covid might have had an influence in that as well which is unfortunate.

Is it their fault, depends on what you mean with “their fault”. Did they make a mistake, yes. Why? probably too excited and not knowledgeable enough in certain areas. So Probably they just overestimated their own capabilities and/or underestimated the difficulty. Is that then their fault, in a sense yes. However it can also be considered a mistake and everyone makes mistakes.

Them not engaging too much and focusing on the IVI is understandable but I can also see why that worries people. Honestly one thing that I am curious about is what they did with the already paid shipping costs as these are NOT investments but money paid so that they can ship immediately without having to wait for backers to pay shipping first and then checking if the shipping has been paid before sending it.

One thing that I do think that is ridiculous is you making 3 topics to push your thoughts.

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Their is specific reason for three (actually four) links, maybe more in future… watch this space :innocent:

The links was established to get backers to start actively participate, and give them options on which link they want to participate.

This link was established to get project specific critique good or bad and hopefully it stays as each persons views and it does not change into a live debate as my original link has gone.

The Third link is in response on a question in original link that I do not know the feeling of all the backers and that is reason for challenge link, and hopefully we can get a reply and see what the backers feel.

The first link is the one that I am pushing my thoughts to, and I am pretty sure it is working as I am getting response and attacked.

and yes maybe all is in vain? Time will tell, as long as I can say at end of day I tried my bit, can you?

Oh Fourth link is one that helped restart project feedback earlier this year as feedback stopped.

So yes I believe this forum can make a difference.

That comment wasn’t an attack on you or your qualifications at all, Harold. For someone who stated in their post to not take things personally, you did just that. My comment was a generic statement of the proclivity people have to second guess things they’re not fully involved in, be it a crowdfunding campaign or whether the fry cook used too much salt. It’s all relative. It wasn’t, never was, nor ever will be directed at you; I’m not that subtle. If I think you’re “being a jerk,” those are the exact words I’ll choose. Don’t compliment yourself at my expense by taking what I said and making it all about you. As I said, it wasn’t.

And keep your reply to yourself. I’m getting off this forum as soon as I send this. I believe I already know what your reply will be - all about you.

Still no reason to start 3 topics surrounding the same (or almost same) subject.
Also I read all 3 so I know what they’re about.
One properly written and structured topic would have easily sufficed. (On most forums you would have had them either deleted or gotten a temporary ban)

However more importantly you completely ignored the rest of my post. Which I think was more of the core and not just a quick remark like the last sentence.

Making a difference can be done much more easily if you offer help, especially if you do have the right knowledge in product development and bringing products to market from prototyping.


I have re-read your post and comments and I don’t see any statements in your core of post that I either agree or don’t agree with, what do you consider the core message to have been.

If you implied
Mass Production being difficult and not the same as producing six units, I agree and disagree?

If you have a well designed working printer (3 off) and you demonstrate that it meets all the design criteria (see their posts), and you have managed to hand built these machines and none of the mass production problems shows in this process, then go ahead and mass produces them on the same process. Purchase components employ resources and produce them that is mass production. ( And we would have had what we backed.)

If you however at this point decide to optimize and change the design to provide more functionality, you are not busy with mass producing. Your project has now changed to optimization, functions cost saving and you run the risk of project overruns as has been demonstrated by this project.

Yes the greedy side in me said yes if they can provide me with all this at no cost to me why would any-one not go for it, and that is where a lot of projects fail. Nothing is for free, in this case time delay is cost to us, and potential failure.

If you refer to business customers have different requirements, I agree, but I believe not one of the backers expected extra bells and whistles when they did their backing. If a business customer needs changes their is a project renegotiation where the scope of project gets updated and then implemented. In this case the decision was taken to add extra improvements and redesign off what was sold as a fully functional printer was redesigned to optimize production.

if you refer to qualifications, I do agree mine does not matter, so no need to comment.

Your TTM comment is wrong in my opinion.

The 2 year delay to market, has allowed competitors to sell similar printers, maybe not with all the added bells and whistles. The time it takes to enter the market from your announcement of product and specs allow competitors to start their own development off a printer that could meet or exceed the specs. Price has small influence if you are first to market with a similar product. Your potential to captured the market diminishes with time. A product meeting specs at higher price will potentially capture the market. As to printers meeting specs I believe they are their, meeting price, cannot say as the price we backed the printer at will not be the price when they enter the market after our printers is delivered hopefully by end first quarter 2021.

They are tree distinct topics, maybe a common thread IVI failure or not, but a good moderator would inform the offender if he believes and offence has been committed, and at worst combine them into one thread. Based on the volume of traffic on this forum, I believe he would welcome more threads, and get the forum active as to worry if some of the threads might overlap. You still have a choice, it has not been taken away, you can decide on which thread you want to be active.

Maybe by intention… :innocent:

their is a quote, don’t know from whom but paraphrased
“it is not what is written, but what is not written read between the lines” :grinning:

If I responded to the wrong message, or not addressed portions that you need addressed please advice me.

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As far as I have understood from everything they posted (I’ve read all updates and stuff as I follow it closely), they had to redesign because it wouldn’t work in production. The designs needed to be optimized first for production, which is a major part of the delay. It’s “easy” to make a working prototype if you don’t have much constraints, which seems to be what they did. You have a lot of design freedom and can have parts made with methods that aren’t viable for mass production, such as 5-axis CNC’ing.
This I truly believe is what contributed mostly to the delay. Dies for extruding metal only allow a 2D shape instead of more complex 3D shapes (basically just an extrusion). If during your prototype design you haven’t thought about these things, which is very common (especially if you lack the knowledge) then redesigning to get something from prototype to mass-production units can take a long time.

If my memory serves me correctly, these first 3 printers where made with parts that were custom-made (1-offs) and not mass-production parts. Thus they had to redesign so they could have it mass produced.
They didn’t do redesigns for extra functionality but to meet all the initially mentioned specs because in their “first” redesign from prototype to mass-production unit they weren’t able to meet the specs (again if I remember correctly, since this is about a year ago).

This is my main worry and only worry, that the delay is (will) costing them too much.

Again as mentioned before, the printer was “fully” functional but not ready for production.
Take fully here with a grain of salt, it did all the things it had to do, except for having a decent user interface (which was told) which is necessary for general consumers/hobbyist or at least nice to have. The prototypes worked however reliability/yield wasn’t mentioned and I assume also not (properly) tested yet. “Optimizing” (read adjusting) for mass-production is necessary for any product that will be mass produced otherwise 1 printer can easily be more than twice as expensive.
A working prototype doesn’t constitute a working product, it’s something that many start-ups don’t know/understand well enough.

As far as I know the niche their printer can fill, especially imo closed-loop with high accuracy steppers allowing fast printing speeds, reliability and some other neat options, has not been filled.
Also not a fan of the snapmaker design and it’s significantly more expensive, even if you compare (expected) retail prices for similar build volume.
Also snapmaker seems a product that;s meant more for things like schools, small makerlabs, or hobbyist that have a bit more to spend, as well as some small business. I think the IVI would still do well with many hobbyist especially if they can keep the price below ~900 $/€ for a printer with the 3 modules. Anyway TTM is also not that important to discuss I think

Well I think this is something we probably simply won’t agree on :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
So, Agree to disagree?

Definition of Mass production
“the production of large quantities of a standardized article by an automated mechanical process.”

It becomes a question to what level you want to automate, many cars are built in such processes with engines being handcrafted, assembled …

if I manufacture my PCB by hand, hand sketched and etched, and I have numerous copies made by a factory that hand assembles them did I mass produce …‘YES’

If I have standard profile sent in to factory to CNC modify them , it has been mass produced.

You can take any product that was hand built and working and mass produce it in the same way.

The only question of mass production is cost. Optimize your design to get maximum benefit of technology.

The product as is was working, demonstrated at various shows, had them evaluated by well known individuals. what portion of the working printer would not work when taken into production.

I can think of only one, accuracy. To achieve 10 micron accuracy your manufacturing process chosen must as my rule of thumb exceed it 10 times, thus to an accuracy of 1 micron, it is easy to grasp that the printers accuracy comes from its mechanical accuracy step motor step, gearing in belts, back lash, slides, inertia and most important the structure, not only in rigidity but in accuracy of manufacture.

The sum of squares of all the errors attributing to the position must be below 10 micron. if you have 10 parts of 10 micron accuracy the theoretical accuracy will be ±22 micron

Some of these errors can be mitigated if you have a precision assembly process.

Looking at the accuracy of HIWIN rails (original not cheap remakes HG15/20 series) link to https://www.hiwin.com/pdf/linear_guideways.pdf

Their accuracy class on height

  • C Normal ±100 micron with 20 micron variance
  • H High ±30 micron with 10 micron variance
  • P Precision -30 micron with 6 micron variance
  • SP Super Precision -15 micron with 4 micron variance
  • UP Ultra Precision -8 micron with 3 micron variance

A quote from the campaign

“All of IVI’s structural and moving parts are made with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology and tested with Zeiss Coordinate Measuring Machines to confirm that they are installed and operating at the highest possible standard.”

With CNC manufacturing achieving required accuracy and variance is assured Why change ?

Make your own conclusions as to why the redesign, I can think of a few…

And on different trend self assembly to achieve 10 micron accuracy is going to be a very big challenge, maybe we should not worry as 80% (guess) will not have the precision tools to align and measure it. Keep in mind shrinkage PLA 0.2% of size ABS 0.8% and Nylon 1.2% based on ambient and printing temperatures.

Closed loop stepper motors has been available for more than three years at least i have been using them since then.

You can buy online closed loop motors to retrofit existing printers, lasers, CNC machines with minimal changes if your control board allows for it. (you need pulse and direction, and enable)

Will you achieve better accuracy, in most cases NO, If your motors has been correctly sized you should not get missed steps, and as such closed loop will not provide any improvement on accuracy. (not going into stepper driver design micro stepping)

closed loop comes in effect when for some external reason a collision occurs (or even lack of maintenance dirt on shaft) it will recover and move to correct position and only that small portion will be affected. I will also improve moving at higher speeds if existing motors cannot handle inertia and lose steps as result (correctly sized motors will have no problem), closed loop will correct for these with slight printing error noticeable (it detected an error and corrects for it so during correction it is not accurate hence minor flaw in the print)

it could potentially save a failed print with minor blemishes.

During CNC you are milling away product and if you exceed the design spec of motor you will lose steps closed loop will correct for this lost with the minor error still present on your model. it is still up to the user to ensure that he does not exceed the design specs.

Adding closed loop to run at higher speed as a result of lost steps is a bad design criteria. If your motor cannot keep up to speed introducing closed loop is not going to solve it (motor can only run at its max speed no faster speed error will always be present), closed loop does not give you the ability to increase the speed at best it corrects positional errors.

I see update 10th dec on Kickstarter Comments

Dear all, we’ve finished trial production and we are in the middle of testing these printers. Sorry for the late reply. I’ve been busy with capital raising recently. A comprehensive update will be published next week.

Two main tasks in front of us:

  1. We plan to finish the testing of the trial-produced printers by next week and start shipping in late December.
  2. Communicate and negotiate effectively with the investors interested in us to get funding and resources.