ByGB Blog Official 2019-04-17 1313
Behind the success of Alfawise U20 3D printer is the Alfawise team's perseverance in its beliefs: providing the best 3D printers, helping more creators with different needs to bring their incredible ideas to life. Alfawise released U30 (DIY-friendly), U20 Plus (bigger print size), W10 (LCD resin printer) and U20 Pro (open source printer) in succession.
Everything seemed to be going right, but Rome was not built in a day.
Are you curious about the stories behind Alfawise 3D printers? We interviewed William and Andrey. Both of them were accustomed to working hard in the office and lab every day, that almost give up shooting because of the strong nervousness when facing cameras for the first time.
Here are 6 questions we asked them. After reading all the answers, you will know that no success is accidental, the whole process is not only just about products themselves but also about the co-growth of Alfawise 3D printers and people who love them.
William: Well, the letter U means "Unique". Our original intention in developing the U series was to provide people with high quality, cost-effective and more humanized 3D printers. We hope each of our exciting products delivers consistent quality, unconventional pricing and an unforgettable experience. And we expressed these expectations in product color scheme, maybe you have discovered that all U series 3D printers are in black and red: black stands for stability, and red stands for exceeding limits. It was years ago, when I found that a lot of small design companies and DIY enthusiasts, want to bring their ideas to life. Their budgets are quite limited, and most of them are not able to handle complex operations and settings. So I talked to Andrey and asked if it’s technically feasible.
Andrey: William and I have been good friends for many years, when he told me his ideas, I thought it’s very doable. I wrote an analysis report and started to work on Alfawise U20. During the development, the brand and technical teams working closely together, to conduct market research, collect feedback, develop and continually improve our products. In addition to creative meetings and ideas sessions, we also visit the development and production center to make sure production and assembly are perfect.
William: It’s a long road to success, but we never give up.
Andrey: Absolutely, we have developed and launched a number of cutting edge products in this way, including FDM 3D printers U20, U30, U20 Plus, U20 Pro, SLA 3D Printer W10, as well as some professional consumables and spare parts.
William: That’s for sure. There must be a lot of hilarious things going on when Andrey and I are working together. Can you believe that once we were chased by a restaurant owner because we didn’t pay for our vegetable noodles.
Andrey: Oh my god, I almost forgot that!
William: That’s when we were still developing U20, we adopted a lot of suggestions from evaluation experts, they suggested us to use touch screens for easier operation. But the screen blurred when we tested printers. I went Andrey for help.
Andrey: That problem really confused me for a long time, I replaced several touch screens and finally found out the problem was not caused by the screen itself. I reported the result to William during lunch.
William: Yes, he looked depressed that day and said he had no idea what happened. But suddenly, he stopped talking, paused for a few seconds and said, "Do you think it’s the signal interference?" So he rushed out, I had to follow him to know more. Then, you know what happened, we almost became criminals because of two bowls of noodles.
Andrey: It was probably one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.
William: Me too. But when he showed me the solution for installing a signal blocker several days later, both of us totally forgot the embarrassing experience. It was great, and perfectly solved the display problem. That’s why I have always admired Andrey, he is very persistent, always willing to do countless tests to make improvements just to achieve the smallest gains.
Andrey: That’s because product development is always like that: a small change may even lead to new problems, but we can only solve them one by one.
William: Yes, as long as we can provide users with an extra 1% of convenience, we are willing to spend 100% of our efforts to achieve it.
Andrey: I still remember the feeling of disappointing when one day William told me that the first batch of test machines had an accident in transit.
William: Yes, that was terrible news. When an evaluation expert received the printer we sent him, he found that the coupling was damaged and the tray was bent. He immediately sent us an email and provided detailed pictures and descriptions. We thanked him for his photos, which helped us a lot to fix the packaging problems and avoid more product damage.
Andrey: According to the photos he provided, I checked the original packaging and found that the EPE foam in the carton was misplaced. During transit, the parts would slide and collide with each other, causing damage. In response, I redesigned the packaging scheme, with a more customized EPE shape and more logical layout to provide more support for the hot bed and frame.
William: More filler support was added to the four corners of the packing box. After the new packaging was finished, we did a drop test on one corner, four sides and, finally, six sides to ensure the printer would not be damaged from falls of 76cm. We sent an updated machine to the evaluation expert; when he confirmed he received it in great condition, we were finally reassured.
Andrey: I also participated in the testing process. We attach great importance to product quality and quality control. William was in charge of gather feedback from our evaluation experts, and I supervised the whole testing process to improve all the products according to test results and feedback.
William: I kept in touch with a lot of evaluation experts and 3D printer enthusiasts, they offered a lot of valuable advice with great enthusiasm. It is true to say that every Alfawise 3D printer that eventually goes to market is the joint creation of the efforts of Alfawise engineers, evaluation experts and friends who love 3D printing.
William: Well, we have several test labs. Our goal is to make the whole shopping process risk-free; every problem you can think of will have been considered in advance. Before each product is released, we will undergo 4 strict tests: an aging test by the R&D team, continuous printing test by the sales team, transportation and quality test by QC experts, and a comprehensive test by evaluation experts. Once some improvements are needed, we will tell Andrey, he will work on them.
Andrey: Yes, take U30 as an example, William told me that a European customer sent him an email saying that he was left-handed, but most of the products on the market are made for right-handed people, which is inconvenient for him. So I improve U30 to make the touch screen can be installed on the left or right. More than that, I also relocate the power supply at the bottom of U30, to make it safer to use.
William: Yes, we have a lot of professional technicians online. Although Andrey and I don't answer questions directly, but we do participate in the discussion. We will summarize the most frequent problems based on customer feedback, discussing these with development and marketing teams, and continue to test and improve performance. That’s why we can frequently update firmwares. I really want to say thank you to all the friends who actively feedback to us, and the expert users who shared their knowledge and experience in our FB group. They not only made us better but also helped a lot of casual enthusiasts improving their skills. It’s them who made us be a community which bridge the gap between professional users and starters.
I believe the answers to these 6 questions have told you a lot about Alfawise 3D printers. In fact, besides these 6 questions, I talked a lot with William and Andrey. I was quite touched by their spirit excellence and hard work. I’ve been thinking about what keeps them energetic and enthusiastic. Maybe it’s because of the passion for a career, maybe just because they care.
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