There’s a mystery 3D printer project underway, it seems.
Arcadian 3D was first seen several years ago when they launched a desktop 3D printer project on Kickstarter. At the close of their campaign in January of 2016, the project had raised only USD$53K of their USD$300K goal and the project did not proceed as intended.
I suspect they were simply caught up in the glut of desktop 3D printers launching at the time. I recall we would receive notice of yet another new 3D printer launch on Kickstarter at least once per week, sometimes several times. The result was a noisy cloud of offerings, most of which were technically identical.
Most of the money spent on such machines at the time went towards the lowball cost options, and of course, many of those companies failed because of one reason or another. Was Arcadian 3D one of those?
It seems not. An inspection of their publicly available material shows what appears to be a campaign of mystery surrounding the development of yet another device.
Their web page shows only a signup page for their mailing list, and doesn’t even explain what their company is developing.
Their Facebook and Instagram pages show very little, other than shadowy images of what might be a 3D printer. It’s hard to tell when the only thing you can see is a glowing control panel. Well, there is one image that does show some small amount of machine detail, here:
In this image we can see what might be a linear rail, some end stops and z-axis rods? Hard to tell.
They have published multiple ambiguous images of industrial design for the machine’s exterior case, but there is no information about the machine’s target performance or even anything confirming what 3D printing process it might use. It could be a resin machine, or a filament machine, who knows?
They’ve published an image of a new workspace for their team, which looks reasonably pleasant, but as you can see, there is nothing in there.
As this unnamed machine is obviously not an option for anyone at this point, or even in the future, what can we learn from this?
I say the market for desktop 3D printers remains highly competitive, perhaps even more so than in 2016 when Arcadian 3D launched their previous machine. Today we have perhaps a bit fewer competitors, but most of them are well-entrenched companies with established products and markets.
This presents an extremely tough barrier for a company like Arcadian 3D to penetrate, so they will have to do very special things to attract buyers.
Certainly machine performance would be a major factor, as is price, but at this point we have zero idea of what they might be.
An attractive industrial design for the exterior casing would be of some interest, and it seems that’s one avenue they’re taking, based on the sketches. However, those are merely sketches and must be translated into an actual, nice-looking case that is also manufacturable at scale.
Finally, they should have a sophisticated marketing plan to get attention. I think that could be their plan, given the multiple mysterious posts from this company.
What should you do? I say let them continue developing and take a look at what they come up with - when they do. In the meantime there really isn’t a need to explore emerging 3D printer vendors when there are so many well run companies providing basic equipment these days.
Via Arcadian 3D