It’s always tough to tell how a Kickstarter campaign will do before it launches. With some products, it’s a pretty good bet they’ll do well based on past successes, but I don’t think any company ever really expects that they’ll meet their funding goal in a matter of minutes or hours – let alone exceed that goal by several thousand dollars. I don’t know what kind of expectations DisTech Automation had for their Prometheus System Kickstarter, but I doubt they were prepared for it to reach its goal in less than an hour and a half.
Launched just yesterday, the campaign took a mere 80 minutes to hit and surpass its funding goal of $10,000 CAD ($7,706 USD). After 24 hours, it’s skyrocketed to over $43,000 CAD – more than four times the initial goal. With four weeks to go, it’s a good bet that DisTech Automation will be seeing hundreds of thousands of dollars – at least – before the campaign wraps up on October 6.
While the speed and scale of the campaign’s success is stunning, the success itself isn’t surprising. The Prometheus System, an inexpensive extrusion system that turns standard FDM/FFF desktop 3D printers into multi-color, multi-material printers, is a brilliant and appealing idea. Multicolor and multi-material printing functionality is something that most 3D printing enthusiasts drool over, but such printers are generally much more expensive than single-material and monochrome machines. The Prometheus System gives printer owners a whole new palette for a couple hundred bucks.
“This is a significant milestone for our company, and more importantly, for multi-filament 3D printing,” DisTech Automation states. “The Prometheus System will expand the capabilities of 3D printers around the world and will establish easy, affordable, and precise multi-filament printing as the new standard. We are excited to work together with you all over the next few months to make this product a reality and we look forward to building a strong community around The Prometheus System!”
Early bird rewards have already all been claimed, but there are still plenty of incentives to support the campaign if you’re interested. For as little as $19 CAD, you can get a cool 3D printed two-color keychain, while a $2,999 contribution gets you a tour of DisTech’s Ontario development lab. In between those two extremes, you can contribute $299 for a full Prometheus System or $219 for an upgrade if you already have DisTech’s Prometheus V2 Hot End. $2,499 gets you 10 full sets, ideal for 3D printing service bureaus or other businesses with multiple desktop printers.
The V2 hot end, the core element of the Prometheus System, is customizable, allowing users to configure the length of the melt zone to fit their needs. The Prometheus System will also be entirely open source: once the campaign has ended and the product has started shipping, all STL files and CAD drawings for the system will be made available on DisTech’s website, under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 Creative Commons Non-Commercial license. You can check out the full Kickstarter campaign video below, and discuss this topic further over in the Prometheus System to Transform 3D Printers forum at 3DPB.com.