No, LittleRP hasn’t been bought out by the corporates. Instead they’ve sold out their Kickstarter campaign.
This doesn’t happen very often. Crowdfunding campaigns often struggle to meet their goals, although some successful projects significantly blow past their target raise. But in the world of 3D printing, we’ve not seen a launch campaign sell out all units. We’re looking at their campaign statistics and found (as of this writing) that they’ve sold out each of their successively-price-increased batches with 21 days to go.
The initial price on the evidently popular low-cost resin 3D printer was only USD$449, but subsequent batches sold at higher prices: USD$475, USD$499, USD$528, USD$599, USD$999 and USD$1,249 are eacb marked “All gone!”
We suspect the company will open up more batches, possibly even today – so long as they believe their manufacturing capacity is up to the task of making more machines. So far the sales represent only 220 units, so more can certainly be produced. With such strong demand it becomes easier for a company to organize additional manufacturing capacity. Fortunately for LittleRP, most of the sales are kits, meaning the company won’t have to assemble them.
The LittleRP is popular because it promises high resolution prints using UV-curable resin. It’s facing stiff competition from a number of other vendors, but they all seem to be higher priced than LittleRP’s offering; In some cases by well over a USD$1,000 more. The build volume is small, but that’s what you want for a high-resolution 3D printer; extreme detail on larger prints is visually lost anyway.
[UPDATE: We’ve learned LittleRP does not plan to add any additional batches for now, as they’re concentrating on delivering the existing set of orders. They hope to market kits through their website after the campaign closes, however.]