Tag Archives: crowdfunding
Dusty Santos wants to launch her own 3D printing retail store
Inspired by her work in the 3D animation field and experience in selling on Shapeways, Dusty Santos thinks that a physical 3D printing store is a great business move and a way to give back to artists around the world.
To get started, Santos is raising $30,000 in crowdfunding to cover the costs of starting her businesses, buying equipment, and paying her employees. As her prospective business scales, Santos thinks she can fund expansion out of profits.
Visit her Fundable campaign and watch her crowdfunding video pitch here:
We caught up with entrepreneur Dusty Santos for an interview
On 3D Printing: What was your inspiration for this idea?
Dusty Santos: I have to say it was a combination of a few things. Since graduating from ‘The D.A.V.E. School’ in 2006 I worked in the 3D animation field doing freelance. It never brought in enough money though so I used my skills to sell products on Shapeways. So I know what goes into making a 3d printable mesh.
My husband is really into technology and of course 3d printing news. Having him around keeps 3d printing at the forefront of my mind. Also, I had Ashton Kutcher’s teen choice award speech in my mind when my husband, 1 year old, and myself went to the mall.
The whole trip I thought how cool it would be to see 3d printers and 3d printed creations for sale. When we were leaving the store the combination my husbands research and Ashton’s speeach hit me hard. Why not open a store myself?! Why wait, wait for what, someone else to do it? From that moment on I couldn’t get the thought out of my head, that lead me to the research, and to fundable.com and to you!
On 3D Printing: How do you compete with or differentiate from makerspaces and local 3D printing service bureaus?
Dusty Santos: That’s easy, there isn’t any competition. Well, physical store competition anyway, since I’ll be the first physical store (that I know of) where customers can see the 3d printing evolution in person. “3D Print It” will be the only store that you can see a variety of 3d printers working and for sale. With knowledgeable staff that can answer questions and help people understand this new way of selling retail. Like the concept of custom printing and never being out of stock. By the time the copycats get in on it, I’ll have cornered the market with 3d printer companies that will only re-sell with me.
On 3D Printing: What 3D Printers will you be using to start?
Dusty Santos: ’Acuity Design’ has agreed to let me re-sell their Helix 3d printer. It has a print radius of 300mm squared and takes lots of different materials. They will be the first printer I use. I’ll also buy a CubeX Trio to be able to print 3 different colors. I would rather work with companies I re-sell for so we are looking for a 3d printer that can take the place of CubeX Trio. The more variety of printers we can re-sell the better variety of merchandise we will have.
On 3D Printing: How will you market your service?
Dusty Santos: My store will be located in the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua NH. That mall has been recently renovated and looks amazing. It is also located close to Massachusetts, this insures that customers will come from multiple states to see my store.
Beside the obvious location traffic I will be attending conventions constantly. Everything from jewelry shows, to craft shows, to art exhibits, to cons, with 3d printing I can advertise in many different industries.
Good luck Dusty. If you like Dusty Santos’ idea, go check out her Fundable crowdfunding page.
The Open Hand Project Aims to Use 3D Printing to Help Amputees
Joel Gibbard is an engineer based in Bristol, UK and founded the Open Hand Project, which aims to make prosthetic hands dramatically cheaper and more accessible to amputees by way of 3D printing.
“The vision of the project is to make robotic prosthetic hands more accessible to amputees,” said Gibbard. “I plan to continue the development for a further year, and for the prostheses to be in use after that. After the devices are in use I plan to move the development forward into further lowering the cost, further advancing the technology and making it more accessible to children and partial hand amputees.”
The Open Hand Project is a non-profit organization and not affiliated with any other institutions.
Its first product, the Dextrus hand, is a working prototype resulting from this open source hardware initiative. It is a fully-functional robotic hand, with features and capabilities similar to leading advanced prosthetics, but at up to 1/100th of the cost.
The Dextrus hand works much like a human hand. It uses electric motors instead of muscles and steel cables instead of tendons. 3D printed plastic parts work like bones and a rubber coating acts as the skin. All of these parts are controlled by electronics to give it a natural movement that can handle all sorts of different objects.
It uses existing artificial limb attachment hardware and mounts to keep costs down and stick-on electrodes to read signals from the remaining muscles, which can control the hand, telling it to open or close.
3D printing was instrumental to the design and development of the Dextrus hand. “If I didn’t have my 3D printer the development to get this far would have taken at least a year and would have cost 10 times as much,” explained Gibbard. “I’ve only had the 3D printer around 4 months and it was about 3 months between printing my first part, to having the hand you see now.
Support the Crowdfunding Campaign
Mr. Gibbard launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise £39,000 to fund the project for an entire year. The campaign ends on October 9th and he just over halfway to his goal.
Watch this video for the campaign, which includes footage of Chef Liam Corbett, an amputee himself, using the Dextrus hand and explaining its benefits. ”I would be proud to wear this, it would make me feel more confident,” said Corbett.
We asked Mr. Gibbard to share his thoughts on why people should donate to his campaign. Here’s what he said:
People should get on board because we need their support. We have plenty of time to achieve the goal and momentum has really been picking up around the project. Here are 5 reasons that people should donate:
1. One day, you could need this! It’s worth a £15 donation just for the peace of mind to know that it will be available when you might need it.
2. It’s an “all or nothing” campaign. If the funds aren’t raised, you get all of your money back.
3. You can get a great perk in exchange for your pledge. Winter is coming here in the Northern Hemisphere and we could all do with a pair of warm gloves!
4. You’re giving money to a fantastic cause, this could help thousands of people around the world.
5. Every donation helps, even £1 really helps to keep the campaign moving and build awareness. You can keep the amount anonymous if you want to!
Personal Fabricator FABtotum Combines Scanner, 3D Printer, and CNC in One
3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is incredible technology. But milling and CNC, or subtractive manufacturing, are also very useful tools in prototyping and production. And 3D scanning is becoming both more accessible and more in demand for digital replication of physical objects.
So how many machines do I need in my lab? FABtotum thinks you need just one.
FABtotum is a multi-purpose tool, calling itself the world’s first low-cost desktop personal fabrication device. You can scan, cut, mill, and 3D print, all with one machine.
“It’s like having a fab lab in a box,” said Marco Rizzuto, co-founder of the Italian startup that has created the FABtotum. His team is currently in the business incubator at Politecnico di Milano University, Milan.
Related: Read our Fab Lab series.
Rizzuto explained that the FABtotum is intended for designers, makers, and professionals alike.
“The FABtotum personal fabricator can appeal to everyone that dreamed about making things and exploit his creativity but never had the tools or the knowledge to do so,” said Rizzuto. “Common 3D printers allows only one direction: from digital to physical, with FABtotum not only you can go from digital to physical and back,but you can do so in many materials.”
Leading on Price
The FABtotum is pricing a fully-assembled personal fabricator at $1,099 on crowdfunding site Indiegogo.
We asked the FABtotum team how they are able to price an all-in-one device at half that of the market’s leading 3D printer. They explained, “We have spent much time working with manufactures to get the the lowest price possible. FABtotum will, however, be facing fixed costs during production such as rent, machinery and personnel. Maintaining this low pricing policy depends on how those costs will compare with sales, which is looking very optimistic!”
Closing in on $400,000 Crowdfunding
Like many other companies in this space, FABtotum has turned to crowdfunding to overcome the hurdle of initial production. With an initial target of $50,000, the campaign is now close to reaching $400,000 with 5 days left.
What exciting things can the team do with these extra funds?
“For each stretch goal that has been achieved, FABtotum is adding more and more cool features,” said a FABtotum spokesperson. They have added more colors, additive sub-systems, i/o capabilities such as USB, SD, and Wi-Fi, and a CMOS sensor.
Watch the video below to learn more about FABtotum and visit their Indiegogo campaign to pledge.
3D Printing News
A roundup of the top 3D printing news from July 29 to August 4:
Monday, July 29
Wednesday, July 31
Thursday, August 1
Friday, August 2
Saturday, August 3
Protos Turns to Crowdfunding for Next Evolution in Eyewear 3D Printing
Protos is an eyewear company based in San Francisco that combines computer-aided personalized design with 3D printing to create the perfect pair of frames. We featured Protos last fall and recently caught up again with founder and CFO Richart Ruddie.
Protos is turning to crowdfunding to take the company to the next level. With 24 new designs and advancements in its 3D printing process, the company hopes to raise $25,000 in pre-orders for its custom frames.
Go check out the Protos campaign and pledge if you like their project.
Below is our interview with founder and CFO Richart Ruddie.
On 3D Printing: What’s new at Protos since we last spoke? How have you further developed your 3D printed eyewear?
Richart Ruddie: We have designed 24 new frames. We have taken on a new partner who is an expert in the eyewear industry. We have refined our material and finish to be smooth, comfortable, and strong. We are able to custom fit glasses to an individual user’s face in a semi-automated fashion.
On 3D Printing: Why are you turning to crowdfunding now?
Richart Ruddie: We have reached a point where we want to offer our custom fit service, but don’t have the funds to develop it into a web application to be put on our site. We have the back-end programming worked out for it; all we need to do is integrate it into an attractive and easy-to-use interface. To do that takes a lot of development time and a mild barrier to entry in terms of funds that need to be spent.
On 3D Printing: Any plans to expand beyond eyewear in the future?
Richart Ruddie: Yes. We hope to leverage the properties of this new manufacturing for many other products. Eyewear is just the beginning.
Below is a gallery of the design process at Protos.