The Flux 3D printer wants to be a one-stop fab shop for scanning, designing and building various things thanks to a design with interchangeable heads. Flux’s team took to Kickstarter to generate interest in the project, and generate interest they did: The project has raised over $1.3 million, with five days yet to go, after seeking just $100,000 as their starting goal.
Flux hitting that threshold is more impressive in the new era of Kickstarter, where there’s less oversight and a more “anything-goes” attitude to projects. Passing the $1 million mark is also impressive given that 3D printing is still largely a niche market, despite some suggestion with Makerbot and its ilk that we were on the verge of a new era of mass market adoption.
The project has introduced a number of stretch goals to help encourage further backers, and real-time monitoring via a camera built into the array that houses a scanner designed to provide the printer with feedback on the printing process is the only one left unattained at the $1.5 million mark, and there’s still a chance it could meet that target in the time remaining, given the second batch of Flux pre-orders still has some units available.[gallery ids="1095032,1095033,1095034,1095035,1095036,1095037,1095038,1095039,1095040,1095041,1095042,1095043"]
Flux’s challenge now will be meeting the expectations that its pre-launch success have set: In the video above, co-founder Simon Ko explains how they’ve staggered production to avoid hiccups on the manufacturing side, but there’s still bound to be speed bumps with a project of this complexity when it has managed to achieve this much success before even shipping a single unit.
As you can see, Flux at least has working prototypes that do what they claim production units will be able to, and that’s more than a lot of crowdfunded projects can say these days. A modular printer that goes beyond simply swapping out printing heads still presents a lot of engineering challenges, especially when you’re letting the community build its own swappable components, so we’ll be watching closely to see how well they meet expectations.