A consumer's complaint -- My rant against 3D Systems

From: ralott@CCGATE.HAC.COM
Date: Tue May 26 1998 - 20:53:53 EEST

     My apologies to those of you who may think this is a personal grudge,
     but 3D Systems' lack of response compels me to inform the RP community
     of the problems I've had with 3D regarding software support for HP
     I have been using 3D Systems products since 1984 and have seen a lot
     of the good things that the company is capable of doing, which is why
     I am baffled by their lack of support for Maestro on the HP platform.
     I am still using version 1.7 software, despite version 1.9 having been
     released 5 months ago for the SGI platform. This is because there is
     no version 1.9 for HP, nor was there a version 1.8.
     Worse, version 1.7 has a bug in it (reported soon after receipt of the
     software) that has yet to be fixed with even a patch. This bug
     requires that about 80 percent of the .prm files be edited, otherwise
     the part is built on just 2 dimensions. I've been working around
     their problem for over two years now.
     Even though 3D has not fixed this bug and has not updated the software
     in well over two years, they continue to charge over $2,000 annually
     for software maintenance.
     I have been on the phone with 3D countless times without success. The
     usual response is that a new release for HP "will be shipped in a few
     weeks" -- and I have been hearing this since last October.
     I'm told that there are only about 3 other HP users of Maestro, but 3D
     never warned me that their support would depend upon the number of
     units sold.
     As a last resort to get 3D to act, I'm posting this message with the
     knowledge that 3D's people subscribe to the list -- as well as over a
     thousand RP users and managers, many of whom make purchasing
     Rick Lott
     Hughes Space and Communications
     Los Angeles, Calif.

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