We described ORD’s innovative RoVa4D multicolor desktop 3D printer some weeks ago, as launched with a fundraising campaign. How did they do?
Very well, it turns out. Their funding goal was a mere CAD$25,000 (USD$19,000). This corresponds to approximately five or six units, as the RoVa4D is priced at about CAD$4,500. That’s a relatively modest goal, but clearly one that would be achievable if hit.
At the close of their campaign, it seems they’ve raised CAD$216,288 (USD$167,000). That corresponds to over 40 units.
That may seem small, but I believe this is a very good outcome. It’s more than sufficient to keep the small ORD operation busy and provide them with funding to build the required machines.
More importantly, the commitment is small enough to be achievable.
The dream and nightmare of a fundraising drive is to receive orders for vast numbers of units. If a company were to receive orders for a 100,000 units, say, they’ll clearly receive a great deal of money from purchases. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that they have to actually build and deliver the 100,000 units! That’s very hard to do, especially for a small company that’s not capable of mass production.
It’s especially complicated if the design isn’t yet proven. Imagine signing a deal with a manufacturer to produce the units and then discovering a flaw in the design. That’s a lot easier to fix when there’s 40 units than 100,000. Quality issues are also more easily detected and resolved with a smaller quantity of units than with an overseas manufacturer that might not be able to see them.
Launching a new machine is always challenging, particularly with the innovative design of the RoVa4D. It seems to me that ORD has hit the sweet spot in their campaign. It’s not too much, and not too little.