Friday, 28 September 2012

FormLabs Day 2 646 backers, $924,858, 10 times target, 28 days to go

The story surrounding the launch of FormLabs, a Kickstarter funded startup who are aiming to bring low cost stereolithography to the desktop, needs updating. The founders' goal of $100K funding in 30 days was achieved in just 2.5 hours! One day later they now have 646 backers, $924,858 and still 28 days to go.

Watch the incredible success here

Why the great interest? Here's my take:
  1. There is a magic about stereolithography, the emergence of a structured object from a liquid, that is unique and mesmerizing 
  2. Stereolithography yields orders of magnitude finer results in any 3D Print
  3. The quality is suitable for professional 3D designers
  4. FormLabs have brought the price of this capability down to the 'prosumer' level, on the desktop, at about the cost of an Apple Mac Pro laptop .... which just happens to be another piece of kit which the same professionals already own and use in their 3D design work
  5. Before FormLabs, 3D design professionals wanting to 'print' their creations, either could not afford to buy a machine, or would have to use a bureau service
  6. Time and money for any professional is sub-optimal
  7. Many professionals thinking about buying a 3D printer would not bother with the hobby-end plastic-filament lower-resolution techniques, but would jump at the chance of owning their own stereolithography machine (even if they also continue to use pro-bureaus for larger prints or special materials)
  8. The price level of the Form-1 printer will also appeal to a subset of the much much larger 'Maker' community
  9. 3D Printing is an exciting space, and everyone wants a printer for 'instant' gratification
  10. Every school and college is also a market for FormLabs at this price point
  11. Investor excitement about FormLabs may also be due to the expiration of controlling patents, and this will lead others to be going down this path
Good luck FormLabs

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