The knockoffs, the clones and the copycats
Questions are popping in people’s minds
We have received in the last weeks many questions that seek for explanation regarding the BMG clones and look-a-likes in the market. This post is aimed to give answers to everyone at once.
All Bondtech Extruders and Extrusion Upgrade Kits are manufactured in Sweden at Bondtech facilities in Värnamo.
We have no licensing agreement with any other company, in Sweden or elsewhere, that allows them to manufacture and sell Bondtech products.
If you see a Bondtech extruder being sold outside our website and Sales Partners network, almost surely is a counterfeit product. A knockoff.
Laws are different everywhere but in general, selling or knowingly buying counterfeit products is illegal. We will not pursue people buying knockoffs but the same cannot be said about sellers.
In the beginning we had to chase some shady manufacturers selling counterfeit Bondtech extruders. Later they corrected their stance and rebranded their products, while keeping the same build and visual appearance.
Although they are called clones, in fact those are not exact replicas of our extruders. There are some small differences, big enough to result in lower reliability and performance.
We believe it comes without saying that we do not give Customer Support to people buying extruder clones. That support should be asked to whom sold the product.
The Dual Drive extrusion system from Bondtech was a great idea, and still is. Imitation flooded in waves. After the stage of knockoffs, came the war of the clones. Now we are facing the battle of the copycats.
Rather than creating something new to benefit the users, the copycat takes someone else’s idea, and presents it in a different package.
Metallurgy as a technology has more than 6000 years and keeps evolving. FDM was officially born in 1989. One can say filament 3D printing is still a newborn technology. For that reason there is so much to create anew, to innovate on. Hard to understand the waste of time and resources it is, to just copy.
So what is the real difference?
Our products are not for everyone only because there is a price to pay as effect of the way we manufacture. Not everyone can pay for it, and we understand that. We cannot fault anyone for buying a copy when our price exceeds their budget.
We also feel some sympathy for the workers that are paid crumbles per unit and feel the urge to rush and make as many units per day as possible, so they can make ends meet. Although that certainly lowers the price of a product, it has big implications on the non quality ratio and it creates a game of chance for the customer.
At Bondtech we don’t rush production, and all our units are reviewed or tested. This takes time but lowers our non quality rate to about 0,25%. This means that statistically only 1 out of 400 Bondtech extruders will show a manufacture defect.
For most industries an acceptable rate of defects is to match the Sigma 3 standard, meeting 93.3% accuracy. This translates into nearly 27 out of 400 units being defective is acceptable. Rushed workers will fail even more. No good odds indeed.
At Bondtech these… odds, are unacceptable. We surpass by far the Sigma 4 standard of 99.4% accuracy. It takes a lot of work to make our customers that lucky.
Our price is also much influenced by the cost of the SLS 3D printing process. It highly increases the cost on all our products using SLS. Nevertheless, the black dyed PA12 parts made our brand building style. The parts are extremely light, robust and also heat resistant up to 100º Celsius.
We cannot stress too much when we mention Customer Support also factors into our costs. The dedication of the team, including Bondtech’s founder, is unique. Much time is spent helping customers to solve their issues, on and off the clock, most of the times without direct connection with the extruders themselves.
The last difference in this equation is innovation. We invest resources in technology and innovation, as we are investing now, in the pursuit of creating something new. A step forward that will bring added value to our customers and community, but also added trust to people’s believe in additive manufacturing as a production technology.
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