We write about Kickstarter campaigns a lot here at 3DPrint.com, but it’s particularly exciting to cover the explosive ones, the ones that reach their funding goals in practically seconds and then continue to gather support until they are 200%, 400%, 500% funded. These are the campaigns – particularly the ones centered around new 3D printers – that more often than not lead to the emergence of new leaders in the 3D printing industry, not to mention new and game-changing technology.
Just a few days ago, we wrote about the SLASH 3D printer from UNIZ Technology. The groundbreaking new SLA printer had just hit $400% of its humble $50,000 funding goal; now, mere days later, they’ve risen well over 500% and don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Their original goal was met within four hours, and with nearly two weeks left in the campaign, there’s no telling how much money will be raked in before the end.
The runaway success of the SLASH isn’t all that surprising, actually. It’s one thing to develop a cool new printer; it’s another thing to develop a cool new printer that offers an entirely new standard for 3D printers. “Game-changing” and “groundbreaking” are overused terms, but I don’t hesitate to use them for the SLASH because, well, it really is breaking new ground in 3D printing technology, and it’s certainly going to change the “game” for consumers and, by extension, manufacturers. The SLASH’s ultra-fast, LCD light-based technology is already making other SLA printers look slow and obsolete.
Some printers that show up on Kickstarter promising to change the face of 3D printing seem too good to be true, with dubious claims that make you wonder how well this product will actually perform in reality. The SLASH is not one of those; all you need to do is look at the credentials of its creators to know that an incredible amount of expertise went into its development. Dr. Houmin Li, who cofounded UNIZ Technology in 2014, holds three Master of Science degrees in polymer engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and materials engineering, plus a PhD in polymer engineering. This is a company that knows what it’s doing, and the printer, which was unveiled at CES 2016, was already garnering a lot of buzz well before the Kickstarter even launched.
The other major factor that goes into the SLASH’s appeal is its affordability. Often when new technology appears, all most of us can do is drool and look on enviously at the industrial corporations who can afford it (see: Carbon). The SLASH, however, is a consumer desktop printer designed specifically to be accessible to the average customer:
“From its inception, SLASH was designed to be mass manufactured using injection-molding to produce high quality componens—sturdy parts that can be produced at low cost without sacrificing quality…The entire system is built to deliver extreme performance and yet be accessible to the everyday consumer,” states the UNIZ team. “It was not easy, but we did it, and now we are really excited to take the next step and bring SLASH to you.”
If you haven’t gotten in on the Kickstarter campaign yet, there’s still plenty of reason to do so. Super early bird rewards have already been snapped up, but you can still take advantage of the regular early bird pledge which offers the printer for $1,199 – $800 less than the eventual retail price. Pledges of $1,399 and $1,599 are also available.
And as the waves of money continue to roll in, the stretch goals are beginning to open up. The campaign has already surpassed its first stretch goal of $275,000, meaning that all backers will receive an extra resin vat when their printers are delivered. They’re closing in on their second stretch goal as well – once they hit $300,000, they’ll throw in an extra bottle of resin. The third goal of $400,000 adds an extra build platform with a $79 value, and at the rate this campaign is going, I’d be very surprised if they don’t hit that goal as well.
You have until April 28 to get in on the ground floor – stay tuned as we continue to follow this remarkable new bit of technology. Are you backing this campaign? Discuss in the 3D Slash Kickstarter forum over at 3DPB.com.[sponsored]