Launching a Kickstarter campaign is stressful – you’re putting the product of your hard work and time out there to be judged and validated, hoping that the idea you put so much into can draw enough interest for you to make a business, and in some cases a career, out of it. For many, it’s a tense wait until the very end to see if you’ll receive enough support to go forward, or if you’ll have to go all the way back to square one. However, for a few, the stress is over within a few hours, or even minutes.
For Kodama, Inc., the wait was over in less than in hour. The San Francisco startup surpassed their Kickstarter funding goal of $50,000 in a mere 54 minutes, and within 24 hours they had shot past the $100,000 mark. By the time their month-long campaign ended, they had raised $1,621,021. (They also surpassed their goal on Italian crowdsourcing site Thunderclap.) People loved their product – the Trinus 3D printer, an affordable, high-quality 3D printer, and the Trinus 2 in 1, a combination 3D printer and laser engraver for under $500.
Kodama’s backers are now seeing their support pay off, as the company began shipping the Trinus to campaign supporters last month. A Tokyo-based supporter named Junichiro received a fantastic present on his birthday, October 3, when Kodama’s business development manager showed up on his doorstep to deliver his printer in person. The company is still in the process of getting the printer out to their more than 3,000 backers as well as those who have placed pre-orders; delivery is guaranteed before Christmas.
Pre-orders are still available for a discounted price of $349, while official retail is expected to begin in January, with shipping beginning in February. Kodama has put an exhaustive amount of work into perfecting the Trinus, with feedback from supporters helping to develop a machine even better than expected.
“Backers can expect to receive a Trinus machine that exceeds its original, promised scope,” the company states. “Kodama maintains a close relationship with its backer community, and select backers even acted as Beta testers to provide invaluable input. This immense variety of feedback enabled Trinus to evolve into a machine of incomparable value.”
Kodama has also cemented several partnerships will well-known, established companies – unusual for a startup, but customers and backers can be even more confident that they’re going to be receiving professional quality. All Trinus printers are being manufactured by globally respected product development company Flextronics, which, according to Kodama, even developed custom tools to ensure that the printers are put together flawlessly.
Customers who pre-order the Trinus will also receive a 250g spool of “Kodama blue” filament, which is also being sold separately for $15 per spool. Created by Polymaker, the filament is based on the PolyPlus material but custom mixed for Kodama, and will be the default filament shipped with all orders in the future. It’s important to remember, though, that the Trinus has an open filament system and is capable of printing with a wide variety of materials including specialty filaments. Kodama is also selling an aluminum PLA material for $22 per 350g spool.
The Trinus itself has a simple, basic design, which will be plenty for many customers – it’s easy to assemble and use, and its all-metal frame ensures durability, stability and long-lasting quality. For customers who are looking for more than just the basics, however, Kodama has a lot more options on offer. The Trinus Deluxe package, which is on sale for the pre-order price of $649, includes the printer, laser engraver head, filament, an aluminum enclosure, a heated bed platform and BuildTak sheet, and an LCD touch screen. Those elements are all available separately, as well as a $25 nozzle kit that includes 0.2, 0.4 and 0.6 mm nozzles.
For such a young company, Kodama has done a lot, displaying the kind of tireless determination and creativity seen in so many startups. They’ve created a quality product, and they aren’t done yet; even while the Kickstarter campaign was still running, the company was talking about how they could enhance the Trinus further – a third tool head was one idea that was mentioned. Backers were smart to get on this bandwagon early, because I suspect that Kodama is a name we’re going to be hearing a lot more of, for a long time. Discuss in the Trinus 3D Printer forum at 3DPB.com.