We’ve been told of controversy swirling around the products produced by iBox Printers.
iBox Printers is a Florida-based company producing inexpensive resin-based 3D printers. Their initial product was the “iBox Nano”, billed as the “Worlds Smallest, Least Expensive 3D Printer”. The initial orders for this 3D printer were priced as low as USD$189, with “higher” pricing still quite low. The company accepted orders for over 1,500 units and raised a significant USD$456,953, one of the more successful campaigns.
But as experienced crowdfunding watchers would say, the proof is in the delivery. A perusal of the over 2,000 comments on the Kickstarter project page suggests that a large number of clients have not yet received their products, and many have sought updates, refunds or even begun lawsuits against the company. We’ve rarely seen a more upset group of folks by reading through the comments. It appears that a large group of clients has lost trust with the company due to delays.
What’s really happening? No one can truly know unless they are inside iBox Printers itself. However, it is true that many small startups make the fatal mistake of generating too many orders for products that are priced too low, making it at least challenging, if not impossible, to deliver the products. Such ventures also must ensure their products work reliably, too. That’s the risk incurred when you engage a crowdfunding campaign. We tend to shy away from ultra-low priced offerings unless there is a very good reason for the low price.
There’s more: the company has now launched a SECOND Kickstarter campaign for something called the “iBox Macro”. Is this a bigger unit than the “Nano”? Yes, it offers a build volume of 154 x 94 x 175mm, vs only 40 x 20 x 90 inside the Nano. The Macro also boasts a higher resolution.
But that’s not the Macro’s claim to fame, which is that it is a “Carbon Fiber Resin Printer”. We’re a bit confused, as it would seem to us that you don’t need a 3D printer to do that, you’d only need a peculiar resin that likely could be used in many different resin-based 3D printers. iBox explains their resin:
The iBox Printers Carbon Fiber Resin is resin with carbon fiber strands suspended in the resin matrix using a proprietary methodology resulting in greatly increased tensile strength with no increased weight.
Now the question is, would you order an iBox Macro, after seeing controversy over their previous (and apparently not completely shipped) product? By reading the comments on the iBox Macro’s funding page, it appears that many people are skeptical of iBox’s future.
Nevertheless, it seems that iBox Printers has still raised over USD$30,000 in pledges for the Macro towards their goal of USD$200,000. It’s unclear whether they’ll hit their target.