Reality 3D: prices and the open source

Hello friends,

I’m sure quite a few people would be interested on our take on open source. Will we release the design to the public?

Well, for one, we realize that we stand here because we stand on the shoulders of giants. Its only because of the wonderful reprap community, and the hard work done by unbelievably brilliant and benevolent people, we could bring this product at a very reasonable cost to the Indian customers. If we would be doing the software and designs from scratch, it would be simply impossible to offer the current prices, after paying salaries to all the architects and engineers.

Then, there is this facet of the story, where you’re worried about the survival of your company. You have, after all, spent hundreds of costly man-hours in an effort to make something useful in your context. Classically, open-source (in my perception) is driven by intelligent people holding regular jobs, and working for a common cause in their free hours. So, they don’t have to worry if they will starve in next two months. Or, it is the huge think tanks and technology evangelists – rather technology creators, like Google, for whom open sourcing is a well-planned investment in the present, for gains hundred times over in the future 10 years down the line.

So, to strike a balance, we shall always release the current minus one version to the open source.

Right now, we are working on a handful of design improvements over the current printer design (same aesthetics, better functionality). All printers we sell will use the new design. So, that means the current version which you see on this blog and elsewhere will be open sourced when we ship the printers to our first customers in the coming 6-8 weeks. That way, the buyers will have enough reason to buy it from us, and the tinkerers will always have something reasonable to use.

Now comes the interesting part – the pricing!

Please note that this pricing is a “pre-launch” price, i.e. as soon as the website is fully functional, the new prices posted there will come to effect!

We shall be selling the printer in two forms – the kit, and the fully assembled, calibrated and tested unit. The printer/kit meets the specifications posted here.

The kit will need to be assembled by the buyer. You need to be a DIYer to make it work. Electronics will be fully assembled, but minor soldering will be required. Clear assembling instructions will be provided in the wiki and the FAQs. You need to be familiar with compiling and programming an Arduino board. All the reprap knowledge base is 100% relevant in this context. We don’t offer any live support for customers of the unassembled kit. Free telephonic support will be available to the customers of the assembled kit for a duration of 6 months from the date of shipment.

(prices will be posted soon on the website – contact for details)

We’re offering discounts for our first customers, so let us know if you’re interested. Also write to us if you’re considering going for it, but wish to receive a printed sample first! (only Indian customers please, for now!)

Shipping charges and octroi (if applicable) are extra, based on your location.

Lead time: 6-8 weeks

How to buy:

We currently accept bank transfers only. Write to us (info at mindfield.co.in or aakash.ece at gmail.com) for details, or give us a call right away! (+91 9929904445).

So, we addressed a few pending points. Now let’s go back to doing the small improvements we talked about!

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