With 3D printers becoming a popular household item, the possibility of bringing a traditionally stationary item anywhere you want is a very exciting idea.
This excitement is why FwdForce issued a challenge to create a portable, modular 3D printing platform. Open to the public, the challenge is intended to create the perfect design for freelance industrial designers, design studios, makers, hobbyists, and anyone seeking to remove the constraints and inconveniences of needing to visit a 3D printing station to prototype. Also, the challenge poses need to achieve larger printing volume by collaboration of multiple modular units.
The challenge was created by FwdForce — the first crowdfunding platform for crowd-powered open challenges. It flips the traditional model of crowdfunding, supporting only challenges that gain a critical mass and introduces the element of competition into the model. From members of the crowd and makers who look to embark on new ideas, to companies looking to sponsor, FwdForce allows anyone to submit product ideas and concepts, research or academic challenges and set a goal.
Promising contenders and their solutions’ concepts are voted by the community, with the top three ones receiving funds to develop prototypes -$10,000 each to solve the disadvantages of a stationary 3D printer with limited printing volume. Once developed, the prototypes are then validated by certified lab to qualify the winner.
Here’s another look at how it works:
Rewards for those that help with funding include a 5 percent discount for every $50 funded and up to 75 percent discount per unit (additional pledge applies to the next unit and so on). With a total goal of $160,000, $25,100 has been raised so far. Funding will only be charged when the goal is met.
Specifications for the ideal portable 3D printer are as follows:
- It must have the ability to fold into a backpack
- The product must take less than two minutes to unfold and set up
- Its weight must be under 14 pounds
- The portable printer needs to have a volume of 10”x10”x10” at a speed of up to four hours
- The platform must have a scaleable, modular design for larger volumes to be printed by multiple units operating together
For inspiration, FwdForce created images of a hypothetical prototype that fall under the criteria:
To learn more, submit your design or fund the challenge, visit here.