Congratulations Formlabs! Few Kickstarter projects have raised quite so much funding, and certainly none related to 3D printing. Measured as a percentage of the goal, Printrbot’s performance of 3,323% funding outpaced that of the Form 1’s 2,945%. But the Form 1 raised over $2 million more at $2,945,885. This is great news. That’s almost $3 million that the people of Formlabs didn’t have to borrow. Beyond that, the project’s success serves as marketing, directly through those that pledged enough to snag a printer, and indirectly through all their friends and family that will see those printers and want one of their own.
The Form 1 3D printer is straight up awesome. Because it uses stereolithography technology, which until now was only found in professional printers that cost significantly more, its print quality is unmatched by any personal printer, even the other Kickstarter success, the B9Creator that also employs stereolithography. The price is another selling point, as there are several printers with lower definition prints that have higher price tags. In my opinion the Form 1 is the most attractive of all 3D printers, mostly because of its translucent orange shield that keeps UV light from entering and exiting the build area.
Kickstarter is really helping 3D printing enter the mainstream. User-friendly devices require capital to develop and manufacture, and raising capital without incurring debt is a more efficient method thanks to crowdsourcing. What’s interesting about the Form 1 project is that its goal of $100,000 was more than met in the first days, and then at the very end there was another surge of backers wanting in on the victory. As much as I want a Form 1, I’m also tempted to wait and see what pops up on Kickstarter next week.