AndyMark Spring Product Launch 2020

Not to derail andymark’s thread here, but I got curious and started looking at other sites to have some context and see how AM compared. Just for reference:

The same bellypan on xometry.com costs 400.

On http://anchorlabs.io/ costs 300, and thats before the FRC discount.
(They waive the charge for setup and teardown time, and also will expedite all FRC orders for free.)

And 250 on sendcutsend.com. SendCutSend also has free 2-day shipping (atleast for this order anyway).

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Having used SendCutSend in the past, I know that the parts have really good dimensional accuracy, and they don’t have burrs or sharp edges when they show up at your door either. If I was going to pay somebody to make my bellypan or other parts, it would probably be them at these prices.

While there is nothing wrong with posting vendor info, I consider it bad form to post a competitor’s info on AndyMark’s thread. (Start a new one.). I also would like for folks to consider AndyMark as the equivalent of “Buy Local”. You would be helping to support a longtime sponsor of FIRST who like many are probably going through some hard times and trying to stay solvent. Perhaps as the service matures, AndyMark’s prices may be very competitive. Disclaimer: I have NO affiliation with AndyMark and all views expressed are my own.

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This is a public forum, not an AndyMark marketing website. I’m not sure why they should be immune to criticism on here, especially when it’s clear that their product is not the best option. I’m all for supporting a potentially struggling business that provides value to the community, but they aren’t perfect - giving them feedback on quality and pricing can only help them provide a better product.

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Read the first two sentences in his post again. In a thread about “AndyMark Spring Product Launch”, there are essentially advertisements for competitors. Would you post up your design for a new planetary gearbox in VEX’s product launch threads?

It’s not that the info shouldn’t be posted. It’s that he considers it “bad form” (in other words, a social error) to post it in this specific thread. If this were a general “compare services” thread, fair game, no problem. But because it’s an AndyMark-specific thread, the plugging of other services should be kept to a minimum if possible.

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It is also worth noting comparing the prices for laser cutting and waterjet cutting is not really fair in that the costs to run a waterjet are significantly higher. You’ll also struggle to find a company that will laser cut polycarbonate for you, as it releases some pretty bad gasses and burns the edges pretty easily. AndyMark and 221’s polycarbonate cutting service is definitely a service that is pretty unique.

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Many people were comparing falcon 500 to neo prices in the official vex threads, so this isn’t a unique situation. I would hope that as long as the criticism is informative and constructive it’s welcomed.

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I would argue that competition is one of the great benefits of the capitalist system. To avoid that is to make teams be less capable of making informed decisions, particularly in the wake of budget cuts and recessionary pressures.

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Are there any pictures available of the edge and surface finish of the polycarbonate after cutting?

Also, I presume the 5052 is 5052-H32; maybe include the temper designation (or even a representative material datasheet for reference) on the website?

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I would propose reading what I actually wrote, NOT what you THINK I wrote. SPECIFICALLY the second paragraph. I understand what you’re saying–both what you think you said and what you actually said–and while I agree with what you think you said, you completely missed what I was actually saying. (If you’re confused, PM me–I don’t want to take the thread more offtopic.)


There’s a lot of difference between “This is what I get for $$ here vs $$ here” and “Hey, here’s the prices for a bunch of the possible options and they’re all better than this one”. The former is engineering discussion. The latter looks–to outsiders–like you’re trying to pull people away from whatever “this one” is, or even diss whoever put “this one” up. Are you actually trying to do that? No. But it LOOKS like it.

That said: @dirtbikerxz, can you also post the materials and cut methods? I don’t know if we’re comparing apples to apples, or apples to grapefruit, or grapefruit to grapes here. For at least one item, the material isn’t the same (though in the favor of AM in pricing as 5052 is cheaper than 6061, at least via McMaster). For a true comparison, it needs to be as apples-to-apples as possible.

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I understand what you said and I’m not particularly confused. Looking back I think my reply didn’t actually address’s yours, which is where the confusion likely came from.

I’d like to say here that putting complaints in this thread is imo the optimal behavior. When the Falcon came out, people were comparing it’s specs to the Neos and complaining about things such as the integrated encoder and (possibly) misleading marketing.

I don’t think anybody here is financially invested in AndyMark or a competitor, and pointing out alternatives is useful for teams looking to make a better decision about whether this service would be useful for them.

We still pay markups and margins on FRC items simply for convenience and quality assurance. Just like how Falcons sold like hotcakes despite all the negative press early on… I think all in all, it’s important to remember that CD is not a forum for you to spew marketing as mentioned above. It’s a discussion forum, and I hope/think that AndyMark will respond to criticisms when they get back to work.

Also I would recommend not overusing caps - it makes it look like you’re shouting.

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Not affiliated with AndyMark but I have some polycarb waterjet parts laying around. The edges usually look like they are sanded. Not quite as smooth as you would get with a router but waterjetting lets you get geometry you can’t easily get with a router like the gears below.


You also sometimes see fogging around small holes. Seems to depend on how hot the nozzle is and how thick the material is.

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This tends to happen whenever a new cut has to be started (drilling a hole to start a cut). Normally, this happens in a lead-in to the cut, done in scrap material. But this can’t be done with small holes. It’s possible to remove some of this with heat, or to deburr edges this way – but be patient and start out practicing on some scrap.

Hi All,

Thanks for the feedback about the waterjet service. We are working to improve the automatic quote program as some customers reported issues when using DXFs made using educational versions of CAD programs. We thank you for your patience while our IT team works these bugs out and we will let you know when you should try your quotes again if you were having issues.

We released a few more things this week:

Performance Wheel Tread Attachment Kit


This little kit (along with accompanying instructional video on the product page, featuring hand model @NathanNFM) helps you quickly and efficiently install tread on our Performance Wheels every time. Having personally used performance wheels on and off for 10 years now I can say that the hose clamp and rivet method is the strongest and fastest there is, especially when working by yourself. I have never been a fan of trying to make holes in the tread that align to pre-drilled holes in the wheel without causing bubbles, or the single point failure aspect of a zip tie. When the tread wears out drill out all the rivets, rotate your start point 60 degrees and start again as if it were a new wheel.

Long and Short 1/16" Wall Box Tube Spacers


These have been one of those little things that seems to pop up Every Single Year in the COTS parts threads and we finally decided to do something about it! These specific spacers are 0.257" ID which works perfectly when using 1/4-20 thread forming screws to interface with Churro, Peanut, and Walnut, but they will definitely also help prevent tube crushing when used with #10 hardware.

Be sure to keep an eye on the NEW page for even more surprises!

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We’ll get some pics up soon. We source our 5052 from Alro…I’ll dig up the data sheets and get them posted.

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We are evolving our methodologies and getting our bearings with our costing tools.

We are doing everything in our power to make our pricing FRC friendly!

For reference we’ve been testing our cutting models against BigBlueSaw and Oshcut. I will add some of the others mentioned in this thread as well…thanks for the heads up.

In all of my testing to data we have routinely been on par or cheaper than both of these vendors.

Anyway, like all good products we will attempt to meet the demands of the community.

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Waterjetting a belly pan is really “extra”, tbh, and I don’t think it’s the fairest use case for evaluating a vendor. It’s something that is really not required for almost any FRC team, even the teams that manufacture out of tube and plate - it’s more of a nice to have if you have a sponsor or the equipment. So going “look, this extremely expensive and cumbersome part really shows how AndyMark’s margins might be like 10% higher” is really not that useful or fair of a comparison.

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Sendcutsend.com looks pretty good.

They are a laser vendor though so expect less than ideal cutting on thicker aluminum.

Anyway, we’re actively working on all aspects of the service.

Please keep getting estimates through the Andymark portal. Every estimate helps us refine our algorithm!

We’ve already received our first orders and we’re excited to be able to offer this service inside the FRC/Andymark family of suppliers.

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Hi again!

No, we don’t always launch products on Fridays.

We’ve been working on this one for a long, long time. We’re proud to (finally) formally announce the AndyMark Robot Competition Table!

image

We’ve been working on this one for as long as I can remember. We built many prototypes over the years, and weren’t quite happy with them until now. With our staff’s decades of experience participating in and volunteering for the FIRST Lego League (FLL) Program, combined with our engineering expertise, AndyMark has designed and manufactured a 3-piece table design that can be easily stored and transported while maintaining the robustness found in many DIY plywood designs.

The AndyMark Robot Competition Table meets all of the requirements to be an Official Table used in the FIRST Lego League Challenge program. This robust and innovative table quickly breaks down into 3 pieces for easy storage and transportation. It even fits into the trunk of a small sedan when separated into it’s three main sections.

Starting September 1st, 2020 we’ll be taking pre-orders at an introductory price of $199 per table. After October 1st, 2020, or whenever we sell through our pre-sale inventory, the price will go up to $229 per table.

We’re really, really, really excited to offer this table to the robotics marketplace. We’ve had dozens of folks, from mentors to Program Delivery Partners asking for this for years, and we think we’ve finally got it right.

Waterjet Update

We’ve been really excited to see lots of discussion around this new service brought to you by Waterjet Cutting by 221 Robotics and AndyMark! This is a new adventure for us, and some hiccups were to be expected. We think we’ve fixed some of the issues that have been brought up, including the ability to quote and make files that originated from educational licenses of some CAD programs.

This service is going to get better as more orders are placed and more files are uploaded. We can’t wait to see what y’all do with it!

Sincerely,
-Nick

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