Skriware launched late last year with a reasonably successful Kickstarter campaign, but where are they now?
We covered the project back in December, where they were in the midst of fundraising. As of their campaign close, they had raised SEK528,140 (USD$63,000), well over their project goal.
As promised, they’ve actually started shipping machines as of late June. With the numerous crowdfunding failures recently, it’s important to make note that this company actually got the job done and pretty much on time, too.
But one of the interesting aspects of the Skriware concept was an integrated content system. Normally, such systems are added after the fact: Ultimaker, for example, added their YouMagine system. MakerBot was foresighted and launched Thingiverse about the same time they launched their first 3D printer, but others have typically added content repositories afterwards.
Skriware have now launched their content marketplace just as they shipped their first units. The “Skrimarket” is now ready to be used, if you are a Skriware 3D printer user. You see, the 3D models present in Skrimarket are only for use on the Skriware 3D printer.
When you register, you must supply the machine number of your equipment. You are not allowed to download the 3D models directly. I suppose this is a way to encourage people to use the Skriware ecosystem, but it seems overly restricted to me. Most other ecosystems permit free use.
Aside from that, Skrimarket contains a number of interesting 3D models, some made by Skrimarket themselves.
The company hopes to attract designers to their ecosystem, particularly those with unique designs that appear only on Skrimarket. This could in turn attract more Skriware printer users.
However, I feel this is going to be quite challenging for Skriware. According to their Kickstarter, it seems that they’ve sold something less than 100 units, which is not going to be a big market for designers. To be sure, they may have sold additional units after the campaign ended, but unless you have tens of thousands of users, it’s hard to get an ecosystem working properly.
The company could gain many customers, however, if their concept catches on. The idea was to simplify the 3D printing experience sufficiently to attract buyers from the general public. My perceived constraints on their marketplace actually fall in line with this approach very well: buyers don’t have to worry about much, just select a model, touch and print.
Meanwhile, you can now get a Skriware 3D printer for 20% off.