Crowdfunding and 3D printing, they have grown up and matured together over the past few years. Kickstarter, the older brother, and 3D printing his little sister. They have provided great mutual benefit for one another, and it could be said that neither would be where they are today without the other.
vozag a home automation, technology and improvement analysis firm, has put in some extensive research into mapping out details of all the different 3D printer Kickstarter projects that have been successfully funded for over $100,000 in the past 3 years, starting with the Printrbot which raised $830,828 back in December of 2011. Since the launch of the Printrbot Kickstarter campaign, a total of 32 different 3D printers have been successfully raised for over $100,000 a piece. The grand total brought in by these 32 3D printers was $15,748,791.70 from 38,244 backers.
That’s certainly a lof of bacon; hard earned cash that went to provide funding to complete strangers with only an unguaranteed promise to provide a future product.
After the Printrbot campaign ended, it took almost an entire year for another 3D printer to eclipse their $830,828 funding mark. Finally in October of 2012, a company called FormLabs came along with their incredible Form 1 3D printer, utilizing a relatively new technology in the consumer level 3D printing market. The Form 1, unlike its predecessors, used sterolithography (SLA) technology rather than the more traditional fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology like most of the other 3D printers before it. They raised a staggering $2,945,885 from 2,946 backers.
It wasn’t until another year and a half later that FormLabs saw their funding mark broken. This occurred when a company out of Bethesda, Maryland launched a campaign for The Micro3D Printer, a printer priced at a mere $299. The extremely low price made it attractive to a larger crowd; those who previously would not have considered spending $1,000 or more for a machine that they were unfamiliar with. The Micro3D brought a quality 3D printer to market at the cost of a video game console.
Of the 32 projects bringing in $100,000+, 26 were from the United States, with 3 coming from Canada, 1 from the UK, 1 from Taiwan, and 1 from China. Also the majority of the printers funded, ended up either creating a successful product, and delivering them on time, or are still in the process of working toward delivery. Not bad considering there was no legal obligation from any of the campaign starters, to deliver their products like promised.
It surely won’t be long until we see more 3D printers pop up on Kickstarter, trying to raise funding to innovate within the 3D printing space. Without a doubt, there will be a printer in the coming months that will surpass our greatest expectation, and find funding which will surpass that of its predecessors.
What do you think? Do you think that consumer level 3D printing would be nearly where it is at today without Kickstarter and other crowdfunding websites such as Indiegogo? Discuss in the 3D Printer Kickstarter forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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