A few years ago, Edward Machala, former COO and treasurer of American Power Conversion, decided to establish a 3D printer company. He named it Global 3D Systems (G3D) and hired a team of engineers and tech industry veterans to begin working on the company’s first 3D printer, a large, fast SLA machine dubbed the T-1000. After an intensive development period, the T-1000 is now raising funds on Indiegogo – and judging by its success thus far, G3D’s first 3D printer is unlikely to be their last. The T-1000 has already brought in almost double its $25,000 fundraising goal – and there are still three weeks left in the campaign.
When any 3D printer crowdfunding campaign launches these days, my first question is: How is this company gaining the trust of backers? It’s a question that’s more relevant than ever, as the trust of many 3D printing enthusiasts has been eroded by the recent post-campaign collapses of several successfully crowdfunded products. That risk appears to be minimal, however, with the T-1000 for several reasons. One of the biggest culprits in the folding of several recently crowdfunded products was a lack of business savvy – something that certainly isn’t an issue as G3D is led by the experienced Machala, who took American Power Conversion’s annual revenues from $15 million to $4 billion during his tenure.
Furthermore, G3D didn’t rush into putting out the T-1000. The company’s engineering team has been working on the printer’s development for more than two years, and made sure that it was ready to be shipped before launching the campaign. And then there are the features of the printer itself. G3D repeatedly compares the T-1000 to the Formlabs Form 2, noting that their new desktop SLA machine is both bigger and faster than its competition. Also, it’s designed for home users, with a price tag of only $1,995.
- Dimensions: 26.71″ x 17.86″ x 11.66″ (678.50 x 453.60 x 296.13 mm)
- Build Volume: 7.06″ x 5.29″ x 11.81″ (179.20 x 134.40 x 300 mm)
- Layer Thickness: 4.72 mils max – 0.0075 mils min
- Average Print Speed: 25-35 minutes per inch
The printer features an LED UV light system, a patented self-leveling vat system, and an industrial metal enclosure for extra durability. It can be controlled via the web, and will have cloud storage as a future feature. Unlike most crowdfunding campaigns, which project delivery dates several months after the campaign closes, the T-1000 campaign promises that rewards will ship within one to five business days after close.
And those rewards are pretty nice. G3D is offering the T-1000 for a special Indiegogo price of $1,900, which will get you the 3D printer itself plus a liter of resin and a free cleaning and finishing station. If those rewards sell out (there are 100 available), you can still pre-order the T-1000 for $1,900, with delivery expected in June. For $1,995, you can pre-order the printer in a custom color, choosing from blue, red, green, purple, or orange (the default color is black). Don’t have that kind of money? You can still pledge $10 to the campaign and receive the print files for a special G3D R/C buggy, free to T-1000 owners.
Stretch goals include:
- $100,000: Backers will receive 50% off resin purchases
- $250,000: G3D will donate 3D printers to VA hospitals and nonprofits for prosthetic devices
- $500,000: The warranty will be extended to two years
- $1 million: Backers will receive printers in a choice of 10 custom colors, engraved with their names
G3D is already planning for the future, with work on new models already underway for 2019 release. They’ll also be offering a design service called G3Dit; if you’re not a designer and can’t find what you want to print online, G3D’s design team will design it for you. We’ll be taking a closer look at this young company and their T-1000 printer in the near future, so stay tuned! Discuss in the G3D forum at 3DPB.com.
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