BY MITCH HENSLEY · JANUARY 25, 2014
Two of the most disruptive ideas within the Internet/Technology arena have combined forces to deliver what may eventually become huge drivers of innovation, change, and economic progress. What are they? 3D printing and crowdfunding. In ways, both breakout markets have some key similarities. They both allow the free market to work in extremely efficient ways, empowering the bottom 99% to compete with the top 1%, and allowing everyday people like you and I to achieve things which were not even imaginable a decade ago.
In the past 18 months, Kickstarter, the world’s leading rewards based crowdfunding platform, has seen an explosion in interest for 3D printers. Over that time we have seen dozens of 3D printers launch on the platform, looking to raise anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000. Many projects never meet their goals, and get pushed to the wayside, however dozens have met, or exceeded their goals, creating the foundation for new 3D printer manufacturers. Here are 5 of the most successful 3D printers to get fully funded on Kickstarter in the past 18 months, and just how successful their Kickstarter campaigns were.
#1 FORM 1: An affordable, professional 3D printer
Raised a Total of $2,945,885 of the $100,000 goal from 2,068 different backers
This was an affordable, high resolution 3D printer. The base package was $2299 onKickstarter.
#2 The Buccaneer® – The 3D Printer that Everyone can use!
Raised a Total of $1,438,765 of $100,000 goal from 3520 backers
This printer was produced to allow almost anyone to get one in their hands. The base package was just $297 on Kickstarter
#3 RigidBot 3D Printer
Raised a Total of $1,092,098 of $31,500 goal from 11952 backers
This was a sturdy customizable 3D printer that could easily be used by the novice user. The base package was only $299 on Kickstarter
#4 Printrbot: Your First 3D Printer (Printrbot Forum)
Raised a Total of $830,827 of $25,000 goal from 1808 backers
This was a desktop 3D printer kit that you had to build. Build time was a couple of hours. The bare bone kit started at just $199 on Kickstarter
Notice that the pricing on most of these 3D printers are well under the prices of most retail printers on the market today. What crowdfunding is doing is creating a more competitive marketplace, driving down prices in a significant way. Four of the five printers listed above were being pre-sold for under $300. If you look at the rest of the consumer based 3D printer market, dominated by the large corporations like Stratasys, and 3D Systems, these printers are priced at about a 60-80% discount. What this does is put 3D printers in the hands of anyone who can afford to buy a smartphone. This is huge, as it will rapidly expand the consumer market within the next 12-24 months.
Discuss this story at our forum here: http://3dprintboard.com/showthread.php?1524-CrowdFunding-and-3D-Printers