Before we begin, THANK YOU everyone for a busy and amazing 2018! We could not have done it without you all and your support.
As we wrap up 2018 we have so much to be thankful for. You all have been amazing to work with! We love that we’re able to make your lives easier and make a living doing this. If you told me a year ago that we would be where we are today I would not have believed it one bit. But before I go on to our re-cap of 2018 I wanted to get the holiday and moving date closures out of the way.We are keeping the shop closed until 12/14/2018 and we have ALL orders shipped out that were in the queue as of writing this post. We were getting negative posts online due to the shipping times (despite trying to communicate this to everyone) so we decided to close the store until 12/14/2018 so we can get caught up and replenish stock on our products that require assembly and/or printing. We will remain closed until the 2nd week of January so that we can get moved to our new location (more details below after the list of dates).
TH3D Shop will re-open on 12/14/2018 and we will accept and ship orders through 12/17/2018 12PM CST. We will get all those orders shipped out by 12/18. The shop will be CLOSED starting 12:01PM CST on 12/17/2018 and remain closed until 1/4/2019. This means we will accept orders but orders will NOT SHIP until 1/4/2019. This is due to the Christmas Holiday, New Years, and We are Moving! PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT place an order after 12/17 12PM CST if you are not willing to wait for your order to ship once we are back up and running. PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT contact our support asking for a shipping date. Only contact us about the order if you want to cancel it. We will not be able to have time to respond to every “shipping estimate” email. We ship orders in the order they were received. Support Closure will happen below during the following times 12/24/2018 through 12/26/2018 for the Christmas Holiday 12/31/2018 through 1/1/2019 for New Years.
Now an update on the TH3D move! On Friday 12/14/2018 we closed on our new house in Hobart, IN and we will be moving over the next 2 weeks when we are closed for all our personal items and the business. We will be operating out of the house temporarily as we need to get the new TH3D shop all setup. This move is going to be really great for us as our 2 bedroom condo in Oak Lawn, IL has become very cramped and the Illinois taxes are draining us personally and business wise. We have a lot to move over the 2 weeks that we will have when we are closed and hopefully we can secure a moving company to help us move at least our personal items. We will be setting up all our machines, packaging stations, inventory racks, and support desks in the new house garage so that we can quickly resume operations. Once we have that temporarily up and running we will begin building out the new TH3D shop.
The new TH3D Shop! The new property has a 2000sq ft pole barn separate from the house and the goal is to have that be 100% used for TH3D. This will allow us to have room for more people to work for us so that we can get things running smoother, add more products, stock more inventory, and provide an overall better experience for all our customers. We have not begun selling our Artillery EZ300 printer due to the fact that where we are at right now we do not have the space to setup staging areas to get them built, tested, and then packaged for sale.
Our to do list for the shop (for now, probably going to need to add more to this)
- Fully insulate the shop from floor to ceiling
- Pull 15+ 20A Circuits throughout the shop for all our machines and other equipment – we have a large amp service in the shop already luckily
- Pull 100+ Network drops to allow us to place equipment and computers wherever we need them
- Install fire protection system and devices – alarms, detectors, and extinguishers
- Build out office for Tim along with a video set for shooting tutorials and streaming
- Install point to point wireless system for network connectivity to the shop
- Install all networking switching hardware for the shop machines, computers, and other devices on the network (cameras, APs, card access, etc)
- Install ventilation/exhaust system for laser cutters (we’re going to be adding these for future use)
- Have gas service pulled into shop
- Install full HVAC system for heating and cooling of the shop and office in the shop
- Install 12+ security cameras in the shop for security and camera angles for streaming
- Install card access system for access to the building and office areas
- Setup industrial racks in the shop area for inventory and 3D printer farm
- Have water service pulled into shop
The goal is to have the new shop completed towards the end of January and we will need additional help getting it done (and done right!). If you are near Hobart, IN and are looking for work please email Jobs@TH3DStudio.com and let us know what skills you have. We will be pulling power, networking, and building out an office area in the shop to start. We will also be setting up our printer farm in the new shop an expanding from about 20 machines to over 50 by spring.
We will be outfitting 30-40% of those machines to make them capable of printing high temp materials like ABS and PC so we can keep up with demand on those parts while keeping our prices very competitive on them. Once we have the shop fully operational and everything running smoothly we will be announcing an open house for the community that wants to come meet us and have a good time. We are thinking end of February or beginning of March depending on the shop progress and weather. We will get all the details together and put up a page on our site with all the information and lodging in the area to make it as easy for everyone once we get all the details finalized.
Candid letter from Tim
I don’t even know where to start. I started doing this stuff as a hobby and quickly fell in love with these wonderful machines. I never actually had intentions of creating a company out of this all, let alone getting to the point where we have people working for the company. It was the CR-10 community that thrust me into this role and what started TH3D. It is truly amazing what the community has done for our guys that work here in person (Rami & Alan), our remote support guys (Tor & Mac), and myself. I owe you all so much and I am going to keep making sure we never lose sight of what got us to where we are today. It has only been a year and looking back at just how much we’ve accomplished with all your help and guidance is honestly very surreal.
When I look at our order system and see that we’ve shipped almost 11,000 orders this year it doesn’t feel like we’ve done that. We’ve done all this on a pretty lean team and I want to make sure we’re doing things right. When we ran the sale, it gave me tons of insight as to where we were lacking from a technical standpoint, inventory management, and customer standpoint. I’ve spent a total of about 120 hours over the last 3 weeks just making improvements to our website to make sure things are running better and we’re investing in services like Live Chat, more documentation, and more videos on the YouTube channel (general and product videos). I want to make sure we’re always on the ball as much as we can be when it comes to our service.
I take a ton of pride in knowing that we’re not just selling good products that work but also that we’re making sure our customers are taken care of. I see where we need improvements and I am going to be making sure we are allocating more time in 2019 to documentation for our products, more general troubleshooting information, and guides for these machines. I want TH3D to be the place you go to when you need something or just want to make sure you are doing things correctly so that you don’t have to waste time trying to get things working.
Now, this all hasn’t come at no cost to me. I would be lying if I said things are perfect here and I am not exhausted. This kind of workload is not sustainable, and I am going to be bringing more people on our staff so that I can have somewhat of a life outside of TH3D. The excessive hours have been catching up with me and I am exhausted at this point. I am hoping that with the move and more space to run the business that will help since we waste a lot of time just working around the space limitations we have at our current home. Bringing on more people will help but I also want to make sure we get people that care about TH3D.
I also see that the more I am overworking myself the shorter I can get with people online and I sincerely apologize if I have come off the wrong way to any of you at some point in time. I am working all the time to change and be less hasty when responding to people. Offending people aside it also doesn’t reflect well professionally on myself or TH3D when I go off the handle, again if I have done this to you, I am sorry. If you or someone else is in the area (we need in person people, no remote positions right now) that wants to work for TH3D please let me know.
We would love to hire people from the community and not just want to work for us as “just a job”. We want passionate and nerdy people just like us on our team. I really miss just making videos for the channel and showing you all about new cool things that I am working on. I will be allocating time so that we can get back to doing those things on at least once a week as soon as we get the shop finished. I enjoy sharing what I know with the 3D printing community and helping others. We will be doing more community outreach things in 2019 (like getting schools machines for no cost to them and doing giveaways more for the community).
Some people may think we’re only here for the money, but I assure you this is not my goal (but it is a necessity since our family and other people’s families depend on us to succeed now). My goal for TH3D is to provide excellent support, awesome products, and continue putting out things for the community to make peoples 3D printing lives easier. I hope that you enjoyed reading a glimpse into the mind of Tim and what’s going on behind the scenes. I am really hopeful for 2019 and really hope that a lot of you can make it to the 2019 open house once we have it. Thank you for your time, support, and kindness. We could not have done it without you all! <3