Update: The consumer-focused, low-cost Micro 3D printer that’s currently raising money on Kickstarter to get its prototype to market, has pushed passed the $2 million mark in pledged crowdfunds — just three days after the campaign kicked off.
At the time of writing, the Micro is pushing north of $2.2M, with more than 7,850 backers pledging money to the project. In an update on the crowdfunding site, M3D said having so many backers means “the opportunity to make many more Micros”.
They also discuss the specter of delays — a common occurrence for crowdfunding projects seeking to turn a prototype into a consumer-grade, shipping product and deliver on backers’ expectations — but they add that they will be focused on ensuring the original schedule they set out for shipping the Micro does not slip.
“We planned for multiple levels of production and are ready to deliver your rewards on schedule. We know that some of you wonder if having more backers can affect your delivery dates, and rest assured more backers actually helps us hire more staff and get more Micros produced quickly and efficiently. As many of you have said, it is important to stick as close to the original design as possible to achieve this goal, and by doing this we can make sure there are no unnecessary delays,” M3D notes.
M3D’s timeframe for shipping the Micro is August 2014 for those paying top dollar for the device ($899+), or February 2015 for the cheapest pledge levels ($199+). The two least expensive pledge tiers for the Micro have all been snapped up, with the minimum spend to get a printer now $299.
The Micro passed $1 million raised on Kickstarter just 25 hours after kicking off its crowdfunding campaign.
Original story on M3D passing that crowdfunding milestone follows below.
The Micro maker’s original fundraising target — of $50,000 — was pledged in just 11 minutes.
According to Statista, the Micro is the fifth fastest Kickstarter project to-date to reach $1 million, managing it in 25 hours, just ahead of Pebble’s 27 hours but lagging Ouya’s 8.22 hours.
The small 7.3 in³ cube is being built by M3D, a team in Bethesda, MD. The printer has a print layer resolution of between 50 and 350 microns, and a print area of 4.6 x 4.2 x 4.4″.
M3D priced the first 250 pledges at $199, helping to drive early momentum to the campaign. The price has since risen to $299 but the pledges are still rolling in — and have taken the committed funds past the $1 million mark in the past few minutes.
The Micro does not offer sophisticated functionality. Which is exactly the point. It’s cheap and cheerful, comprising a bare-bones box that can hide the spool of filament in use in its base.
Calibration and leveling is built into the printer head so the user doesn’t have to bother themselves with such details.
The companion software being developed for the Micro likewise focuses on hiding complexity, with a drag and drop interface that’s being designed for touchscreen use.
But clearly the sweet-spot here is the price. At $199 the printer was a steal — and at that price point, as my TC colleague John Biggs noted, it was likely a loss leader.
At $299 the Micro’s makers should be getting a margin — and consumers are clearly getting a 3D printer at a price they like.
Or they will be, if M3D can deliver. But with $1M and counting in their Kickstarter coffers — and a full 28 days left on their campaign to run — they’re looking well placed to make good on their own pledges (which, since passing the original Kickstarter funding goal, include expanding their own team to get the Micro out to backers as soon as possible).
“We’ll… be growing the M3D team and operations base to deliver The Micro to you as early as possible,” they note.