With all the fervor and frenzy about 3D printing, it’s easy for something to gain a lot of attention without a lot of scrutiny. Case in point — the 3Doodler Kickstarter project, which is hyped us as being “the world’s first 3D printing pen.”
Thanks to some fancy graphics on its Kickstarter page, a lot of lofty marketing speak, and tons of media coverage, 3Doodler managed to hit its $30,000 goal in a matter of hours. Two days later, it has reached more than $1.2 million from its 13,000+ backers, and with 31 days left in its campaign it’s already almost sold out of every pledge opportunity available.
Most people look at those facts and become enamored with 3Doodler. But not Russian blog Habrahabru.ru. The site posted a mocking post of 3Doodler, showing that it was possible for an enthusiast to build his own version of the 3D printing pen in just 20 minutes.
He posted pictures of an object, which looks like an unrefined 3Doodler, creating physical objects, such as different-colored stars, and a cube encompassing the words “F*** 3doodler 1.000.000$”. As you can see above, the knock-off version is little more than an extruder, a heating element, the electric motor to feed the filament, and a few power cables. Like the 3Doodler, the knock-off 3D printing pen requires a connection to an external power supply.
The Google Translate version of the blog post reveals comments from users that also mock 3Doodler. One user writes that if the blogger had come up with the idea earlier he could have earned a million dollars. Others, however, defend the Kickstarter project, saying that the average consumer wouldn’t be able to drum up this kind of 20-minute solution, and that the $75 asking price on Kickstarter is reasonable.
So, obviously 3Doodler is not any sort of scam, but it may be an example of how Kickstarter can be used to capitalize on a hot trend without a ton of substance.
Crowd funding is where people from any background can seek financial help for an idea that they have. One of the more popular firms in this industry is Kickstarter and now it is easier for UK based entrepreneurs to get involved in the Kickstarter phenomenon. It should be noted that Kickstarter is not a charity and the processing fees for funded projects is currently around 3%.
According to the posting on the Kickstarter Blog, this is what has changed;
Beginning October 31, people in the United Kingdom will be able to launch their projects on Kickstarter. Beginning today, people in the UK can get started building their projects by clicking on the “Start a new project” button on the Start page and selecting the UK as their country. When we’re ready for projects to launch on October 31, we’ll send an email letting them know that they can hit the launch button whenever they’re ready.