Snapmaker completed their recent Kickstarter campaign with astonishing results.
The company had launched their second major product, the Snapmaker 2.0. This is a combination 3D printer, laser engraver and CNC mill all in one device. The different functions are accessed by swapping the tool head as required.
There have been a few examples of this type of device in the past, but none seemed to have as successful a launch as Snapmaker. The company set what now appears to be a ridiculously low target for their fundraising, and blew past it only minutes after their campaign opened. In fact, they reached a total of US$1M in only seven minutes!
In the end, Snapmaker raised an enormous US$7,850,866 when the campaign closed. Apparently this is the highest amount raised for any tech product appearing on Kickstarter.
This huge amount was contributed by 7,388 backers who placed orders for 7,202 devices from Snapmaker.
Manufacturing Kickstarter Orders
Now the burden is on Snapmaker to successfully manufacture and deliver this relatively high number of units. While there are several 3D printer manufacturers that could be producing this quantity or more of devices each and every month, for a smaller player like Snapmaker it will be a big deal. Designing a machine is one thing, but designing it in a way that allows for efficient larger-scale manufacturing is quite another, to say nothing on the trials of actually executing the manufacturing and shipping steps.
That’s not to say we think they may be unsuccessful. Rather, it’s likely they will be able to deliver the Snapmaker 2.0 to backers simply based on the fact that this is not their first such launch. Their original Snapmaker, which we might as well at this point name the “Snapmaker 1.0”, sold 5,001 machines to a similar number of backers.
By examining the feedback on their original campaign page, it is clear the company did actually deliver all ordered units. That is quite an accomplishment for a startup company, and bodes very well for their Snapmaker 2.0 campaign.
If they’ve done it once, they can do it again. In fact, they could be more successful, as the experience from their first foray into launch campaigns should have enabled them to optimize their design and more properly line up supply chains for manufacturing.
Multitool 3D Printers
The other interesting aspect of this milestone is the incredible demand by backers for this type of product. In our experience, such devices are suitable only for solo makers doing rather modest projects, because the CNC and Laser functions are far less powerful than even introductory units from firms making dedicated-function equipment. While they may be tempting for use in makerspaces and libraries, the complexity of multiple tool heads is often beyond the skill level of participants.
Nevertheless, there seems to be a substantial number of hobbyists quite interested in this functionality.
What I’m now wondering is what Snapmaker does next, as the huge launch will no doubt help fund Snapmaker’s next venture.