Since its initial presentation to the public at London’s 2014 3D Printshow we’ve often covered Kwambio more for its excellent communication materials and business development abilities than for actual 3D printing related activities. In fact I have often used the company as a virtuous example of how startup’s should communicate their activities to the media.
Now, after it joined Techstars and raised $1.2 million it is finally time for this interesting platform to really face the market. Kwambio is focused on making 3D printing as accessible as possible to consumers. “We created Kwambio to change how manufacturing works right now,” said Vlad Usov, cofounder and CEO at Kwambio, “it was shaped by the concept of mass production 100 years ago, but the world has changed dramatically since then. And we changed. There’s no more fear in being unique. People need a simple tool to create unique things that express their individuality.”
“The things we have are more than just physical objects – Vald continued – they are how we identify ourselves. And we have strong emotional connections with stuff we create. We want to unleash the power of creativity that lives in everyone, connecting designers directly to customers and bringing personal relations to manufacturing globally. Returning art to the artists and custom to the customers, that’s what Kwambio is all about.”
Currently there are more than 300 customizable and printable designer products in four categories: Home Decor, Fashion, Art, Tech & Gadgets. Users can becomes cocreators, using controls built right into the web browser or in iOS app to modify and personalize the designs before seining them to be 3D printed. The platform seamlessly streams products directly to 3D printers (including Ultimaker 2, Printrbot Plus & Solidoodle Press), alternatively it is possible to order professionally 3D printed products directly from i.Materialise and get them delivered.
Other services such as Leopoly and Digital Forming have tried this consumer approach in the past, only to find that – at this point – it is more worthwhile to make their software and app systems available to build enterprise 3D printing services upon. Kwambio – and its investors – believe the time has come to target consumers directly and are working with a large team of designers to prove their point.
Names include Daniel Michalik, Kladia Miczan, Alissia MelkaTeichrow, Andrew Sack, Colleen and Eric, Hart Marlow, Angela Eberhardt and Ivan Zhurba. Many of them are already familiar with 3D printing but for some Kwambio represents a new approach and market outlet. With Kwambio designers make money on each customization of their products. They can also keep 70% of revenues originating from their work, with less labor and more time to focus on design. The Kwambio team takes care of promotion, manufacturing, fulfillment and customer support. And this, we already know, they are great at.