The name M3D is pretty much synonymous with Kickstarter success. The 2014 crowdfunding campaign for their Micro 3D printer is a famous one, reaching its funding goal within minutes and going on to raise a ridiculous $3,401,361 by the time it ended. So the fact that the Maryland-based startup has launched a new Kickstarter today surely has many wondering if they’ll beat their own record.
M3D announced the upcoming release of the new M3D Pro printer at CE Week in June, so plenty of excitement has already been stirred up. At the time, the company stated that pre-orders would begin in August, but at some point they decided to launch a full Kickstarter campaign for its release. With the record growth M3D has experienced thanks to the Micro and their newly released filament line, do they really need crowdfunding at this point?
“Here at M3D, our mission is to make cutting-edge technologies easy to use and accessible to consumers,” the company states. “The same is true for Kickstarter and its community of backers. We aim to keep our design, assembly, fulfillment, sales, and support all in-house in our USA headquarters. To meet those ends, we haven’t paid ourselves a single cent of profit. We have reinvested all of our income into our engineering, software development, and customer support teams to expand our creative infrastructure. In line with our goals, we have also hired a highly experienced software architect and a top customer support manager to help us take our organization and service to the next level.”
Plus, Kickstarters are fun, and they offer discounts and rewards – when a reliable company launches a campaign that’s pretty much guaranteed to succeed, everybody wins. The new campaign, launched today, has a funding goal set at $100,000. As of the time of editing, less than 30 minutes from the launch, the campaign has already raised more than one-third of this goal, with well over $37,000 (and quickly rising) already pledged. When M3D first introduced the Pro, they described it as a printer that would “bridge the gap between consumer and commercial” 3D printing, and the Pro certainly looks poised to do so. At only $500, it’s cheaper than many consumer desktop printers, but it offers industrial-grade features and brand new innovations such as two ARM-core processors and over two dozen sensors.
“We confidently believe that the Kickstarter community is the community that truly understands and appreciates product innovation at its core,” said Michael Armani, co-founder and CEO of M3D. “When there is a true level of novelty at work, such as a printer that includes a feature set associated with high-end models but at a price point consumers can afford, the platform’s audience responds to it. We carefully designed the M3D Pro by incorporating direct customer feedback to show our audiences that we’ve heard them loud and clear. We’re dedicated to delivering a 3D printer that reaches a new benchmark of reliability and efficiency for both casual consumers and professionals alike.”
Building off the successful design of the Micro, the Pro is bigger, faster, and more advanced. The design really optimizes use of space, with printer dimensions of 10.5 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches and a build volume of 7.8 x 7.2 x 7.2 inches. It’s designed to be reliable on all fronts: an embedded recovery feature saves print jobs that have been cut off due to power outages or filament jams, and a stand-alone mode transfers print jobs from the software to an internal memory chip within the printer so that printing continues without needing to be connected to a computer.
The M3D Pro offers monitoring of every aspect of the print job, including speed, temperature, power levels, and filament usage. It features a heated print bed, and it’s fast without sacrificing quality, with a print speed of 60mm/s (travel speed of up to 120mm/s) and accuracy at 25-350 micron layer heights. It’s versatile, too, accepting all industry standard 1.75mm filaments.
So how about those rewards? They include some very nice discounts: 250 early backers can get an M3D Pro for $399, though considering the speed at which pledges poured in for the Micro campaign, you’d better jump on this one RIGHT NOW. If you miss that one, you can still get a discount at the next pledge level of $449. Delivery for those two rewards is expected in March 2017, but for a contribution of $499 you can get a “first production” tier printer in January or February; the only drawbacks of the early release are some minor software limitations.
Pledges of $499 will get you the market-ready version of the printer with later delivery in the March to June range; if you’d like to receive the printer super early for beta testing, you can pledge $599 for a December 2016 delivery or $699 for November.
With a two-year warranty and a new tutorial mode included in the software, M3D is clearly working to make things as easy and convenient as possible with this new printer, in addition to high quality. Take a look at the Kickstarter video below, and discuss further over in the M3D Pro 3D Printer forum at 3DPB.com.