Pirate3D once had a record breaking Kickstarter campaign, raising $1, 438, 765 through backers of the now infamous Buccaneer 3D printer. But, if you scroll down on that Kickstarter campaign, you will see how badly Pirate3D has disappointed their backers: Unbelievably long shipment delays (we’re talking about more than a year), the redaction of upgrades, ridiculous waits on refunds (they’ve only returned 15% of those that wanted refunds), and what sounds like poor performance reviews by those lucky enough to receive their printers. Sounds horrible, no?
Well, you’ll be infuriated to know that the Singapore company has received a $2 million investment from Low Capital Management and private investors from Singapore and Germany. Pirate3D co-founder Brendan Goh told Tech in Asia that part of the funds will go towards fulfilling KS orders and refunding money. He also adds that, “[We want] to really ramp up production and get those sweet volume discounts. If we buy materials in bulk we save 25 to 30 percent off the printer bill of materials price, which is fantastic.” But, really, if they don’t use this money to also square up their disastrous failure, I say break out the pitchforks and torches.
Goh also says that the company is moving towards professional applications and found a market that needs a larger 3D printer that is “superbly quick and reliable and under $5,000.” Um, no. Give your initial backers who put you in business definitive dates and personal apologies. Then, either deliver those printers on time or give them their money back immediately.
Unbelievably, Goh seems to justify this shift away from consumer 3D printers, saying: “I wouldn’t say consumer printers won’t work but when you deal with a certain segment and you see some needs there, why leave money on the table?” Why leave money on the table? Really? I hope he decides to make the right choice and take care of everyone who feels totally screwed over.
3DPI’s Editor, Michael Molitch-Hou, covered this “sinking ship” and posted an example of an email received by backers who chose a refund confirmation for an order of the Buccaneer 3D printer.
This email serves as a confirmation that you have selected a REFUND for your order of the Buccaneer 3D Printer.
Refund Amount: $497.00
Paypal Address to Receive the Refund:
Your refund has been queued based on a First Come First Serve basis and will be processed in chronological order. It is expected that you will receive your refund on September 2016