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Crowdfunding Spotlight: Desktop 3D printers

Crowdfunder, Crowdfunding, peer to peer, Reward, Sean Williams | 12/05/2015 | Sean Williams

3D_Crowdfunding_printer
Sean Williams

Author: Sean Williams

3D printing is all the rage right now, but they’re expensive machines with varying quality. Two live crowdfunding projects are challenging that.

Each week we look at the most talked about crowdfunding campaigns. This week there are two 3D printers attempting to be high-quality, at an affordable price. The coffee-machine wannabe, NEA on Indiegogo, and the Starsky and Hutch inspired MoonRay on Kickstarter.

After just one day of its 45 day campaign, the NEA raised a staggering $90,500 – 120% of its initial target. MoonRay, on the other hand, runs until 7 June and has raised $330,000 to date. Let’s take a closer look.

What’s the pitch?

The MoonRay 3D printer was developed to, according to its makers, bridge the gap between high-quality printing capabilities and affordable desktop units.

How much is needed?

The Kickstarter project was originally aiming for $100,000 through crowdfunding but it has already well exceeded that. It will remain live until 7 June when, now that its finance goal has been achieved, it will be able to ramp up testing and mass production.

What does it do?

The founders brought together top engineers, 3D printing and industrial designers to create what MoonRay is today. The team’s goal was always to combine high printing resolution within a small and sleek designed, while being realistically priced for artists, designers, businesses and those looking to achieve high-quality, 3D-printed projects.

According to the Kickstarter pitch, the MoonRay’s UV projector allows for pin-point accuracy when creating a design. The devise can print features as fine as 100 microns, making any manual finishing touches easier to manage.

The MoonRay’s Z resolution – the thickness of each printed layer – is 20 microns and the XY resolution – the detail allowed for each layer – is 100 microns. This thin layering and intricate design capability allows for ultra-fine details whether you’re printing out a jewellery design, or an action figure.

How much is it?

In return for a £65 ($99) donation, you can get a 3D printed bracelet as well as campaign t-shirt and stickers. Or, if you want a device for the office you’ll need to donate £1,950 ($2,999 – $1,000 off expected RRP).

Watch out here, some rewards are outlined for the US only. So make sure you donate to one that covers the European Union.

When will it arrive?

You’ll be able to get your t-shirt rewards in September this year, but if you’re waiting on a MoonRay, you’ll have to persevere until January 2016.

What other crowdfunding campaigns are hot right now?

According to the social media research by Opinium, all of the week’s top three tech crowdfunding projects are from Indiegogo. There’s Emofix, a remote selfie-enabling clicker for when your phone is out of reach, with 2,600 tweets in a week, followed by smart-home devise, Oomi and Rilove, a gesture controlled smart-ring from China.

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