Benbox Laser Machines/CO2 Lasers/3D Printers

Sellers From => EleksMaker => Topic started by: mrehmus on April 15, 2017, 06:47:17 PM

Title: Why are you not participating
Post by: mrehmus on April 15, 2017, 06:47:17 PM
If I were a manufacturer's representative on a forum, I would be engaging in discussions where your customers are having problems. Or are you even logging on to the forum?
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: Zax on April 15, 2017, 07:10:41 PM
If you are talking about EleksMaker, they are active on their own forum.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: Administrator on April 15, 2017, 07:55:00 PM
He was last here 4 days ago, according to my admin logs...
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: mrehmus on April 15, 2017, 08:35:29 PM
I certainly don't remember any comments by him on the product problems. Does he make them? If so, great and I stand corrected.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: Administrator on April 15, 2017, 08:40:16 PM
He has made a total of 17 posts...
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: nottingham82 on April 15, 2017, 08:45:46 PM
There is very little problems here that he addresses.  Most of the problems we (end users) help with.  Most problems are related to setup (belt tension, speed settings, firmware, loose gantries, etc).  A large majority of the users here only have eleksmaker hardware and use aftermarket software designed by other end users.  The negative comments on here are usually about bangood givng people the run around.  Eleksmaker cant do a ton about that.  Bangood is the distributor and their policies (however infurating) are not eleksmakers.  The questions that are specific to eleksmaker are in relation to their new software elekscam.  It is in its infancy and has alot of bugs.  Eleksmaker addresses problems in relation to its software on its own forum http://forum.eleksmaker.com  Z is making regular updates to try and remove all the bugs.  I would consider Elekscam in beta right now.  Give it 6 months and if eleksmaker keeps up it will be a usable software.  Here he mostly just monitors for problems that need his attention, however, there arent many that do need his specific attention.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: ThothLoki on April 15, 2017, 09:09:18 PM
he**, I give Z credit for joining the forum and announcing who he is. That takes guts. I applaud EleksMaker as a company for standing by their products like they do. Albeit, some of the controller boards could use a little work, but they have accepted that and are making changed. They are improving their designs. They are improving their software.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: mrehmus on April 15, 2017, 10:30:43 PM
There is very little problems here that he addresses.  Most of the problems we (end users) help with.  Most problems are related to setup (belt tension, speed settings, firmware, loose gantries, etc).  A large majority of the users here only have eleksmaker hardware and use aftermarket software designed by other end users.  The negative comments on here are usually about bangood givng people the run around.  Eleksmaker cant do a ton about that.  Bangood is the distributor and their policies (however infurating) are not eleksmakers.  The questions that are specific to eleksmaker are in relation to their new software elekscam.  It is in its infancy and has alot of bugs.  Eleksmaker addresses problems in relation to its software on its own forum http://forum.eleksmaker.com  Z is making regular updates to try and remove all the bugs.  I would consider Elekscam in beta right now.  Give it 6 months and if eleksmaker keeps up it will be a usable software.  Here he mostly just monitors for problems that need his attention, however, there arent many that do need his specific attention.

I dispute your statement that there are not many problems that need his attention. The issues that I and others have been chasing are real problems and I've yet to see any contribution by him. And certainly no offers to replace broken components.

If a manufacturer finds their distributor not serving the customers of their products, it is their obligation to step in and make things right. They certainly don't treat their customers as do the manufacturers of my 3D printer who sell it through Amazon. I ordered the printer on a Saturday night from Amazon. Received a thank you e-mail the next day from the manufacturer. Had one failure of a cable in the printer and 4 days later I received a new stepper motor with cable, parts and tools via DHL from China and a video on how to effect the repairs. They did not ask Amazon to make a determination or handle it, they just went ahead and fixed the problem. That is customer service all the way directly from China. They also give us direct e-mail and phone support. The supplied software wasn't beta level either. I am sorry but ELKL appear to be ignoring their customer's legitimate needs. People I talk to about these products are wary of the products exactly because they widely have such a poor reputation for product and support. The market for a good product at this price-point is significant and they are not serving it.

I note that the support by the folks making T2L and BCL is how it should be. Heavy involvement with their customers and offering solutions and ways to make things work as the customer needs. They understand customer support very well.

Furthermore, the help offered here on this forum is very good and very appreciated. But why is it the unpaid who are fixing problems instead of the manufacturer who created them in the first place?

I've worked for a number of companies in Silicon Valley and they all realized that taking care of existing customers makes great commercial sense. If one bought a product from those companies and had a problem with it, the customer knew the support would be there as quickly as possible. This made anyone interested in buying such a product comfortable in purchasing from those companies. They teach these basic truths in business school. Been there, learned that, did that.

/Soapbox mode off/
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: ThothLoki on April 16, 2017, 07:41:11 AM
I understand your frustration. Please search Z's posts here. From the sounds of it, the older boards did not have an experienced  engineer developing them. Z said they have added to their staff to increase their quality. As for the sellers like Banggood, eleksmaker cannot be help full responsible for some issues. As an example, I ordered a WEN gas generator from amazon and it came covered in oil and the bars bent. It was not WEN's fault for the damage. I contacted amazon and got a new one. I do not blame WEN or amazon. Stuff happens. What made my experience so nice was the quality of customer support from amazon. Banggood is not the best at customer support. What we can do is encourage eleksmaker to sell through better resellers.

Right now you have a few options
- talk with eleksmaker to help improve their products
- continue to converse on this forum so we can all learn
- abandon this inexpensive laser and buy another one that comes with factory support that you pay for

Please keep in mind these machines are very inexpensive and are more of a DIY machine. Thanks again to Ralph for this forum.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: Administrator on April 16, 2017, 07:42:38 AM
>I note that the support by the folks making T2L and BCL is how it should be.
>Heavy involvement with their customers and offering solutions and ways to make things work as the customer needs.
>They understand customer support very well.

@Zax and I appreciate that recognition very much...thank you...it is a lot of work, especially for @Zax as he spends a lot of time on this forum supporting his customers...I see all the posts he is involved in.

>The help offered here on this forum is very good and very appreciated.
>But why is it the unpaid who are fixing problems instead of the manufacturer who created them in the first place?

As I posted in another thread last week, this forum was started about a year ago because of the poor support coming from China. Like all of you, I bought a DIY laser kit and found support to be lacking. My vendor's support forum was in Chinese, even when I had it in translation mode, so I could not read everything. That's when I decided to create www.BenboxLaser.us and make it a community supported forum. It has taken off and continues to grow. Since then, nothing has changed in regards to support from China. Nothing. But now their users have a good support site to go to and get help!

So I say this to all of the Chinese vendors: I welcome everyone to come here to get their support. The vendors should just push their customers here. This community is now built up and can support everyone...the vendors should just post on their forum to come here.

I recently did a project with the BCL getting it to work with the LaserBot machine. I noticed on their support forum there was really not a lot of threads, not a lot of activity like there is here. I created a post and another user replied and helped me. But no one from the company itself jumped in to help me on their own forum. HOWEVER I must state that when I contacted them for a free LaserBot DIY kit, and told them what I was trying to do (LaserBot/BCL), they did send me one...so I will give them that positive mention. But for support after you receive a product, it looks like they rely on others to provide the support.

I sent an email to the LaserAxe folks asking for a kit so I could make sure BCL will work with it but they never responded. That kind of tells me how interested they are in making sure the LaserAxe will work with other software: Zero. Zip. Nada. Very revealing. They could have responded and just said 'No'. But zero response tells a lot about their support. To paint a complete picture, when they announced their LaserAxe, I had some email exchanges with them asking them to open up their system and allow flashing, allow other Grbl firmware to be used, etc. They did respond and say they would do that and make the source and hex available, but I've heard nothing from them since. It's like they have disappeared.

Like many others, I too don't get it. Reading about the poor experiences on this forum from a vendor, has to have an effect on their sales. You'd think they would want to maximize sales and do everything they can to make their customers happy and get good word of mouth exposure. But that isn't happening. They seemed very focused on making a sale and that's about it.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: ggallant571 on April 16, 2017, 07:57:09 AM
I had zero expectations of any direct reaction by EleksMaker to the opinions expressed here. Perhaps if we had raging positive reviews he would be more active. It is a business geared towards the mass market. Sales numbers are what they respond to.

Suspect that there are other members who work for the industry that just covertly monitor the site.

I for one gave up on ElkesMaker electronics and software and am currently building a replacement electro/mechanical fixture. I got good usage out of the ElkesMaker A5 but will not purchase the larger unit from them. Not worth the time it takes to make it reliable.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: Administrator on April 16, 2017, 08:05:27 AM
>Sales numbers are what they respond to.

And I believe their sales numbers could be so much more -- if -- they actively supported their product here on this forum and interacted with their customers. But they seem to come here, create some posts and then we don't hear from them again. They are just not engaged with us. Everyone reads that and the fear to buy is still there! That's the bottom line: everyone is still afraid to buy from someone for lack of support.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: ThothLoki on April 16, 2017, 08:22:38 AM
My story is a little different. I bought my laser engraver from a lady in a Sam's Club parking lot. I knew I had no support. Heck, I never knew what brand I was buying or how to use it. I tried the EleksMaker site at that time but it was very lacking. Most google searches pointed me towards Banggood and AliExpress. Obviously they would not be a good place for tech support. I would not expect Amazon to teach how to use my generator. After much more googling, benboxlaser.us came up and it has been "smooth sailing" ever since. This place is the site for proper support.

One of the oldest sales saying. "You get what you pay for".....except for this forum, you get a LOT more.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: ggallant571 on April 16, 2017, 08:40:05 AM
Did that lady file a police report regarding a mugging and stolen laser engraver? What else did you come home with? Perhaps Ralph should require a background checks. BTW - my parole officer says I am ready for unescorted trips to the bait shop.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: nottingham82 on April 16, 2017, 09:40:10 AM
Very true Loki.  You get what you pay for.  If you want Silicon valley level support you buy a Silicon Valley machine.  The Glowforge looks to be a very full service laser with support.  It also costs $3000.  For a $160 kit I bought from china, I expect China level support (non existent or not in english).  We cant project American business practices on China.  The fact that Eleks even has english speakers (at least 2 that I have noticed z and the ceo) that engage with forum users is surprising to me.  Lets not forget up until a month or so ago, you bought an eleksmaker and there was no software that went with it.  It was a box full of parts, a link to benbox (I didnt even get that), and no instructions on how to put it together.  I think they are moving in the right direction, but then again maybe I just dont expect much from the world.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: Administrator on April 16, 2017, 09:53:55 AM
>I think they are moving in the right direction.

I agree...some of them are on this forum and we didn't have that a year ago.

I might be wrong, but I think for low power laser machines, this is the main support forum for that segment of the industry.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: ThothLoki on April 16, 2017, 10:25:46 AM
George, they have to catch and convict me first.  ;D so Ralph has no reason to not allow me.  8)

Ralph, every google search leads me back to this site. This IS the tech support and much more. Heck, this site has started businesses, produced software and hardware both open and closed source.

This is the cutting edge site for our LPLs where anyone can learn from each other and potentially get some ideas from o use these for some income as well.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: Parnold on April 17, 2017, 10:35:18 AM
I would just like to take a moment to add my own personal thank you for this forum and all it's participants!  I got exactly the level of support that I expected from a Chinese toy, but found so much more than I anticipated here!
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: ThothLoki on April 17, 2017, 10:37:15 AM
I would just like to take a moment to add my own personal thank you for this forum and all it's participants!  I got exactly the level of support that I expected from a Chinese toy, but found so much more than I anticipated here!
AMEN!! SAME HERE.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: Stonemull on April 17, 2017, 11:24:40 AM
I am surprised anybody would actually expect support from china with a kit design, I would not even bother trying.
It is a lottery, if you are missing bits you may as well order some, it is not worth jumping through hoops trying to sort a free replacement, the profit margins on these are likely so low that they will make it difficult. The week before my laser arrived, I received a couple of drone kits, one has a half dead motor, the other is just a monster to build as a first kit. Luckily I was brought up in the 70's with meccano and electronics kits and like the challlenge of sorting things out. I got what I expected, if you want a fully functional, ready to go, perfectly performing device with a warranty, expect to pay 10 times more.
The way people are nowadays they also probably get many requests for faulty or missing parts that are completely fraudulent, along with dozens of people buying them that probably should not be trusted to cross the street by themselves, let alone flash firmware and tune hardware to perform properly.
If you want to be asked stupid questions, sell something technical. If you want to be ripped off, offer a no questions asked warranty.

Also adding a big thumbs up to the forum and its members, I like it here, you guys are skookum :)
You don't need to point people here, so many google searches I did on questions I had started with 'benbox.us' I gave in within an hour and registered.
I am still addicted to checking for new posts every hour or so lol.

Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: mrehmus on April 17, 2017, 05:03:09 PM
I am surprised anybody would actually expect support from china with a kit design, I would not even bother trying.
It is a lottery, if you are missing bits you may as well order some, it is not worth jumping through hoops trying to sort a free replacement, the profit margins on these are likely so low that they will make it difficult.

You may well be surprised but they are the ones who decided to sell this product at price points they set. They are not dummies and know full well that they should provide support. If they don't then their customer base is restricted to those who will either persevere or have the technical qualifications to correct problems.

I buy kits and expect the components to be operational. That is a reasonable expectation. It is also reasonable to expect a decent design, not something that is inherently dangerous (as are these 'kits' as they are delivered with the laser coming on if one doesn't understand the 'proper' power-on sequence). To compound the problem, we are at the end of a long supply chain and repair parts are difficult to come by. Especially when they change designs and don't document them in their sales literature. One can attempt to order a replacement board or component and after a three or four week delay, find out the part will not work. So your solution, to purchase replacement parts is itself a crap shoot.

Making excuses for the manufacturer just encourages them to continue with their (poor) business practices as usual. They will find that business as usual dies as they saturate the market of people who can and will fix their errors and omissions and most others won't play their game. We will then have what they call in the trade, Orphans.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: ThothLoki on April 17, 2017, 07:21:51 PM
Dude......It's CHINA

I understand you are frustrated, but this forum is meant to help each other and not just sit and bash on companies and their products. I am not trying to speak for others, but if you want to do that, go to reddit. Ralph started this forum for us to help each other. I came on last summer and have not looked back. From my time here, the intention of this forum is to create a community to help each other out and keep a positive attitude.

Personally, I have my issues with the design of these machines as does everyone else. BUT we take these negatives and turn them into an opportunity to make something new and special to share with each other. That being said,all of these flaws and complete disregard for safety have allowed me to be able to afford a laser engraver. I never expected support for the price of these machines. If I had wanted support, I would have shelled out the $5000+ for a name brand machine made in my country that comes with a service plan.

Remember, count your blessings.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: mrehmus on April 17, 2017, 07:47:52 PM
You will notice that I'm keeping my complaints to what I think is the proper location . . . here. If EleksMaker doesn't hear of better methods/reasons for supporting their customers, then where do they get their feedback? And what about those folks who buy and never find this forum or are incapable of fixing the problems. Or the poor person who hooks up the power and turns on the laser and gets an eyeful? That's a product that would get a U.S. manufacturer heavily fined. And don't forget, as I found out after my buy, that these products don't meet U.S. safety standards.

I appreciate this forum and I'll do my part to support it and the folks who provide it. but don't expect them to receive kudo's for the sloppy and dangerous engineering that has been documented in this forum.

The way to improve products and services is to let the folks who deliver them know when things are right and when they are wrong. Out of a thousand customers, one or two may give a company feedback. Astute companies value customer input positive or negative.

Nuff said.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: Stonemull on April 17, 2017, 07:54:33 PM
You are confusing a chinese seller who sells a collection of off the shelf parts at slightly more than cost as a 'manufacturer'.
You are not buying from them either, you are purchasing from a middleman (banggood, alexpress) who have a bunch of sellers who dropship the item to you and compete on the same forum for the lowest price.
I am not 'making excuses' for them, it is just the reality if the situation, in the time they take to answer your questions and box you up a nice replacement bit, label it and ship it out the door (throwing away any profits in the process and trusting you are not lieing about the fault) they could box up and send out a dozen more complete kits, Guess which option they choose.

Your comeback is the usual, you complain in the feedback section so others can read it, they either fix a problem area or sales dry up.

My laser fan never worked from new, I will mention it in feedback and pay a few dollars for a new fan, big deal.
If I expected a cast iron 24/7 warranty I would also expect the price be at least double what it is, I prefer the cheap option.

As for safety .. HAH. The supplied 'safety' goggles should be a hint, they probably think they are safe though and pat thenself on the back for doing the right thing.
I wonder what the US compliant version costs, with the laser rated safety perspex, cutoiff interlocks and key system.
Herex a hint, font look st the frigging thing while its operating. safe.


Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: ThothLoki on April 17, 2017, 08:21:04 PM
I wonder what the US compliant version costs, with the laser rated safety perspex, cutoiff interlocks and key system

The don't lol ones like what we have because of that fact. These thing have no safety. The closest would be something like an epilog  :D

When I build my box, I am going to install a key switch for the mains power as well as anothe one for the board power ( to replace the push button.) call it a double interlock if you want, but I have a 6 year old and want some additional safety margins. Right now it is she does not come out to the garage when I am burning even when I have a box over it. She pounds on the door and I go to her. I want better and plan for o make it so.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: nottingham82 on April 17, 2017, 09:32:38 PM
You are confusing a chinese seller who sells a collection of off the shelf parts at slightly more than cost as a 'manufacturer'.
You are not buying from them either, you are purchasing from a middleman (banggood, alexpress) who have a bunch of sellers who dropship the item to you and compete on the same forum for the lowest price.
I am not 'making excuses' for them, it is just the reality if the situation, in the time they take to answer your questions and box you up a nice replacement bit, label it and ship it out the door (throwing away any profits in the process and trusting you are not lieing about the fault) they could box up and send out a dozen more complete kits, Guess which option they choose.

Your comeback is the usual, you complain in the feedback section so others can read it, they either fix a problem area or sales dry up.

My laser fan never worked from new, I will mention it in feedback and pay a few dollars for a new fan, big deal.
If I expected a cast iron 24/7 warranty I would also expect the price be at least double what it is, I prefer the cheap option.

As for safety .. HAH. The supplied 'safety' goggles should be a hint, they probably think they are safe though and pat thenself on the back for doing the right thing.
I wonder what the US compliant version costs, with the laser rated safety perspex, cutoiff interlocks and key system.
Herex a hint, font look st the frigging thing while its operating. safe.


To be fair eleksmaker isnt a manufacturer either.  Elekmaker is a designer, some hard working 4 year old Chinese child is the manufacturer, and bangood is the distributor.

or

Elekmaker is a designer, some hard working 4 year old Chinese child is the manufacturer, alliexpress is the website, and a 5 year old Chinese businessman is the distributor.

Hard working youngsters in that part of the world.  I didnt even have a paper route.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: Stonemull on April 17, 2017, 09:43:32 PM
I think you misread what I posted, WE are the manufacturer, they assemble a box of parts.

I even had a paper route, then I moved up in the world and collected paper money after I got the sack from throwing them on rooves and under cars and sprinklers.

Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: nottingham82 on April 17, 2017, 09:57:47 PM
haha well someone had to "manufacture" the parts we manufacture our lasers out of. 

Your sorted job history makes things so much clearer!
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: Stonemull on April 18, 2017, 12:42:16 AM
The lasers are also assembled from parts sourced elsewhere, a laser diode, a chopped up heatsink extrusion, a lens from another supplier and a driver board probably etched in one facility and loaded by robot in yet another.
Go visit the laser diode manufacturer and they probably receive silicon dies from a fab house elsewhere and case them up with a simple lens also made elsewhere by the million.
I imagine they get a 5 second go-nogo test after assembly that does not go as far as seeing if the fan rotates.

Its turtles all the way down.
Title: Re: Why are you not participating
Post by: ThothLoki on April 18, 2017, 05:03:22 AM
I just listened to a podcast yesterday about a guy who was in China and walked the streets to source parts to make his own iPhone. Apparently they have more places to buy chips and whatnot (probably stuff that did not make the quality control) than we have McDonald's and White Castle combined. He was able to get all of the parts, even the right main chip to run iOS. He made the equivalent of a iphone6 for about $175usd