M3D’s explosive Kickstarter campaign from last year raised a huge amount of cash for the startup company. Now they’re entering a key transition.
We’re always a bit wary of giant Kickstarter fundraises, as they often put a small startup manufacturing company in a challenging position: somehow produce huge quantities of product in a reliable, cost-efficient and effective manner. In some cases, these “successful” companies are required to produce ten or more times the number of units they originally anticipated. That and improve the machine at the same time.
For many companies, the success of raising money is their eventual doom, as they can prove unable to handle the extreme demands. This is the main reason many Kickstarter campaigns fail to deliver equipment to subscribers.
Meanwhile, M3D seems to have made it through this barrier. After raising an astonishing USD$3.4M, representing almost 15,000 units, they’re now transitioning to “retail mode”. This means they’ve apparently completed shipping 99% of the crowdfund-ordered units and now focus on accepting orders from the public as a “normal” company might do.
But this is not just a corporate shift; the M3D Micro itself has undergone some changes. As you can see at top image, the machine does not visually appear differently, but we’ve learned that internally, the Micro has been slowing refined “under the hood” and is now considered by the company “ready for retail”.
That said, how will the machine be sold? Evidently M3D has made deals with “many retail locations”, including Amazon and Micro Center, and even some international outlets.
It’s good to see a startup company make this transition, as so few have successfully done so in recent years. It’s also a lesson for others considering launching an amazing 3D printer, scanner or hardware: make certain you can honor your commitments!