A 3D printer launch campaign has fizzled. MOTA has suspended their Kickstarter.
MOTA was attempting to launch an inexpensive 3D printer. Very inexpensive. In fact, their least expensive version was priced at only USD$99 until the quota was filled. Subsequent offerings ranged up to USD$799.
The announcement from MOTA’s Kevin Faro stated:
We have learned a great deal from your comments in the last few days. And they tell me we need to go back, work harder, and find a way to reduce the price even more as well as make the technology more open. So we are cancelling the project until we can deliver on that promise.
But what were the comments? It seemed that many people were upset with the MOTA’s requirement for proprietary filament cartridges. Some even said they’d pay more for a machine capable of handling less expensive generic filament. It seems that the 3D printing market is realizing the operating cost of the MOTA would be significant, especially compared to its purchase price. It’s one thing to pay a high price for material if you’re buying a USD$50,000 machine, but quite another if the machine costs only USD$99. As a result it appears that MOTA was in jeopardy of not making their fundraising goal. People who can afford a USD$99 printer are unlikely to afford expensive materials.
MOTA says they’ll eventually relaunch with changes, but we’ll wait to see what happens. This is a case of targeting the market properly.