Review & Testing Policies
Here at TH3D we run our community YouTube channel where we post videos and live streams about our products, hangouts, and other products. These products can be anything from small addons to control boards to entire printers. We believe that holding ourselves and others to high standards in this industry is of the best interest to everyone in the 3D printing space when it comes to our products and others on the market.
We get approached by many 3D printer companies to test, review, or beta test their printers or parts due to our thoroughness and knowledge in this area. This page details how we handle reviews and testing information that we put out.
These policies are in effect officially as of 5/24/2020 and do not apply to content published before 5/24/2020 as we cannot edit old videos once they have been published.
We have always tried to be fair and honest in our content and that will never change. We are not perfect, so this page serves to be more transparent as well as to hold ourselves to a higher standard when it comes to our reviews and/or testing based on community feedback of videos/articles/posts.
The Reason for Testing & Reviewing
Aside from seeing if a product functions as it is advertised, one of the key reasons that we cover other products on our channel is to help make sure there are no issues that could result in harm or damage to the product and/or end user and provide the manufacturer feedback on the product (positive and negative – if applicable).
Many 3D printers of poor quality (like the Anet A8) have resulted in physical damage to people’s homes and the machines themselves. Covering these topics and pointing out these issues is critical no matter if people are unhappy with the outcome. We believe it is our duty that if we are aware of flaws that can be dangerous are pointed out.
Feedback to the Manufacturers
When a company sends us a product for review, whether it be for free or at a discounted price, we will compile and then send them a list of any issues that we uncovered. In the event of a product that we purchased on our own we may or may not communicate issues back to the manufacturer, though we usually will try to get in contact with them if time permits.
It is then up to the manufacturer to resolve the issues and distribute solutions to their customers that may be affected by any issues we uncover. If the manufacturer does something or does nothing to resolve these issues, we may bring that up again at a later time as a follow up video or posting.
Disclosure of Competing Product(s)
Some products that are covered may conflict with competing product(s) that we sell. In the event that the product being covered is one that could be considered as a competitor to one of ours we will disclose that upfront and try to remain as neutral as possible in our coverage of said product.
Key Testing Points
- General Electrical Safety – Many 3D printers that have been covered by us have glaring and dangerous issues with their electrical systems. We evaluate what we see and then test for key points on a machine to make sure things are done correctly (example: proper chassis grounding, tinned wire ends in a screw terminal). If there is an issue like this we will point it out.
- Pushing the Limits – On certain parts or products we sometimes will push them past their rated limits. When this is done we will state this in the information being provided. Pushing a product past its rated limits gives you an idea of how close to the “max” a product is being run in relation to their published limitations. More headroom on a product above the published ratings usually indicates a better designed product and thus longer life for the end user of that product.
- Under Spec’d Parts – This refers to parts that are not up to the task they are performing that would result in safety and/or performance issues with the product. One example would be using too small of a wire gauge to power a heated bed or a mosfet that gets too hot for the load attached to it.
- “Remarked” Parts – This can refer to an entire part on the machine or a component on a part of a machine. Certain parts on a 3D printer, like components handling power, can cause serious damage to the machine and even the customer if they are not what they claim to be. This is something we check for when looking at a product that is being covered.
- Overall Design – This means that in general a product design does not employ overly complicated or poorly engineered solutions. Things that are done to a product that are not straightforward can result in a poor end user experience. For example, if motion components are not setup or mounted correctly it can result in poor performance of a product and complicated maintenance for the end user.
- Documentation and Support – One of the things to take into consideration when looking at a product is how well the documentation is and how the company supports their product. If a product is good quality but the documentation and/or support are non-existent this will reflect poorly on the product.
- Community Feedback – If a product or company has legitimate reports of not handling things correctly or screwing over their end users this will negatively impact their product rating.
This list is not comprehensive and will vary on the product in question. These are just key points that we look for when evaluating a product.
Accuracy of Information
We will try at all times to present accurate information based on the information and knowledge that we have at the time of release. We are human and may make mistakes. If later on we find out that information is incorrect or inaccurate we will post a follow up and link back to that follow up on the original posting.
If the majority of the original posting is found later on to be inaccurate, we may pull it down entirely as we understand that not everyone will see the follow up that is posted later on.
Handling of Problems with a Product
Our goal is not to try and intentionally paint a product in a negative light. Legitimate problems with a product should be known but also give the manufacturer time to resolve them.
If we encounter an issue with a product during a review and/or live stream video we will try and proceed as much as we can with the product. After completing the review and/or live stream we will contact the manufacturer to see what they can do about resolving the issue(s) that was/were discovered with the product. Manufacturers will have 2 weeks to respond and provide a solution.
We usually leave comments open on our videos that we post to allow for an open discussion. Conflicting viewpoints are allowed and encouraged. However, if comments are of a nature that is only intended to create conflict or drama and do not contain actual information relevant to the discussion they will be removed.
If you have an issue with the content and/or have something that proves what was stated otherwise then take the time to write up a coherent post that states why you disagree with the information provided with evidence to back up your claims. Posting comments that just contain insults and derogatory remarks will be removed as they offer no value to the discussion.
Repeat offenders will be banned from our channel and/or other services. If you are going to post something take the time to make it count and add to the discussion.
Changes to this Page
To maintain transparency this page has a version number at the bottom and a change log with what was changed/removed/add/etc.
- 1.2 – Set effective date to 5/24/2020
- 1.1 – Revised wording of the reason for testing and reviewing 1st paragraph – 5/22/2020
- 1.0 – Initial Version – 5/21/2020
This is page is on version 1.2.