Kickstarting the Next Generation 3D Printer

In an exciting display of just how the power of the internet can assist with bringing to life new products and technology an innovative startup has sort the funding they required to bring affordable 3D printing to the masses.  Instead of paying thousands of dollars for a 3D printer most contributors should acquire the remarkable gadget for much less. From replacing shower hooks at home or creating 3D hobbyist figurines  to building prototypes in the office, printing the necessary tools for these tasks has been made accessible by The Micro. With the aim of making 3D printing available to the comforts of every consumer’s home, Michael Armani, a Bioenginner PhD, and David Jones, an expert software programmer and robotics engineer, founded M3D to create The Micro, “the first truly consumer 3D printer.” Pre-launched at Kickstarter for only $299 until the end of campaign, The Micro is said to be the most affordable 3D printer that is “incredibly intuitive, easy to own, and seamless by design.”

 

The Kickstarter Campaign

Launched in 2009, Kickstarter allows independently made creative projects to accumulate sponsorship through pledges. For backing a project, a pledger will be given an option to choose a reward of the same worth as the pledged amount or lower. Through this process, 60,000 projects have been funded so far with 6.1 million pledgers raising $1 billion. Included in this pool of successfully financed projects is The Micro.

With a goal of only $50,000 and a 30-day funding period to purchase the costly injection moulds, M3D has well surpassed their goal. The Micro project already received an estimated total of over $3 million. After immediately selling 250 pledges worth $199 each, they were able to sell 500 more $249-pledges. But the chief contributors to the project are the 9,113 backers (and counting) who each pledged $299. In exchange, these backers will be getting rewards based on their pledged amount—with backers who pledged $199 and more receiving The Micro 3D printer each. Delivery of the devices is expected to begin in August this year until March of next year. This is in accordance to their timeline which states that assembly and manufacturing preparations will start in May at their office in Bethesda, Maryland. By August or September, production is expected to ensue.

 

The Micro 3D Printer

“The next generation 3D printer meticulously designed for work, for fun, for education.”

The vision behind The Micro is to produce a 3D printer “designed for everyone.” As such, aspects of other 3D printers were remodelled to create a power-efficient smaller version that reduced the cost of production. Thus, it is more affordable than any other available 3D printers at present. Nonetheless, quality is guaranteed as the design was “CNC’d (which is Computer Numerically Controlled) and 3D printed so that the injection molds are as close to our prototypes as possible,” according to the creators. M3D has also created user-friendly open source software for beginners and professional users. The Micro Filament spools that come with purchasing the printer is the standard material for printing using The Micro. However, creators ensure that other filaments may be used as their product can print both PLA and ABS which are clever plastic raw materials that can be melted and sued as required and then set as the solid object after cooling.

 

M3D’s Kickstarter campaign was not only an excellent avenue to advertise The Micro, but it also provided a way to analyse the marketability of their product before the official production began. As apparent in the pledges, the product harnessed a positive consumer response. The real challenge now is meeting the remarkable demand but with over $3 million in the bank that’s a nice problem to have.  Successful funding of a project does not necessarily guarantee delivery of the product so money pledged has an element of risk.  We’ll keep an eye on this and let you know if they follow through.

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