Further to the awesome level of success of its Micro 3D Printer’s crowd funding campaign, which notched up an amazing $3,401,361 of a £50,000 pledge target via some 11,855 backers, M3D opened its new 3D printer factory yesterday. The 12,000 square foot location in Howard County, Maryland, is to become a prime manufacturing hub for the production of the colourful prosumer printer. The factory will start with production of around 10,000 units per month, working its way up to a potential capacity of some 30,000 units per month as projected demand increases. The initial batch of printers are shipping right now, with some 2,500 to be produced next month. The full number of Micro 3D printers will have been shipped by February 2015.
The 1kg printer, with its 50-350 micron layer resolution and 15 micron positioning accuracy for just $349 has been widely embraced in the 3D printing community, with some 8,260 Likes on Facebook. The printer comes in a range of Apple-esque colours and is positioned as being a universal desktop prosumer printer: utility for the home; education; light business needs; or just plain fun.
The opening has been embraced by local officials who are aiming to develop Maryland into a centre for 3D printing: “They’re a great poster child for innovation and entrepreneurship, and what’s possible in Maryland,” Jan Baum, director of 3D Maryland, told The Baltimore Sun. Carl Livesay, manufacturing director for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, told the publication that M3D are “a terrific example of manufacturing in Maryland.” The company now employs twenty-five people, a number which is anticipated to have grown to fifty-five by the end of this year.
The Howard County Economic Development Authority will partake in helping firming the funding from lenders for the next round of production further to the completion of the nigh on 12,000 crowdfunding orders. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, who backed the creation of 3D Maryland, said: “I think there’s a real opportunity for us to become a great center of additive manufacturing… My sense is this is just the beginning, certainly I hope so.”