Crowd Funding

Snapmaker 2.0 Kickstarter raises $3.5 million for 3-in-1 3D printer, breaking previous record

U.S.-based 3D printer provider Snapmaker has launched a crowdfunding campaign for its new Snapmaker 2.0 series. With 28 days still to go, the project has already exceeded its initial target. At the time of writing, the Snapmaker 2.0 campaign on Kickstarter, has received over $3.5 million in backing from more than 3,000 supporters.

Of course, the Snapmaker 2.0 is not be the first 3D printer to receive a large amount of financial support through the popular crowdfunding site. However, it is encouraging to see such a high-level of support for a 3D printing project on Kickstarter. Especially as an element of (not-warranted) wariness about Kickstarter projects has crept in over recent years.

Could the Snapmaker 2.0 suggest a renewed faith in 3D printing on the platform?

The Snapmaker 2.0: Modular 3-in-1 3D printer

Founded in 2016, with the successful funding of the first Snapmaker 3-in-1 on Kickstarter, Snapmaker seeks to provide low-cost multi-tool 3D printers to the DIY market. The USP of Snapmaker’s machines is that they provide 3D printing, CNC carving and laser engraving all in one compact package. The engineering team at 3D Printing Industry reviewed the Snapmaker 3-in-1 in 2018 and were satisfied will the manufacturers claims.

An upgrade to the first machine, the Snapmaker 2.0 range promises to be “smarter, faster, larger, and more powerful than ever before.” It comes in three different sizes, the A150, A250 and A350, with build volumes ranging from 145 mm x 160 mm x 160 mm (L x W x H) to 320 x 350 x 330 mm. Each unit is completed by the modules needed for 3D printing, engraving and carving, and can be updated with other add-ons as required, such as a rotary cutter and dual nozzle extruder.

Through Kickstarter, each Snapmaker 2.0 model is currently available for half the eventual retail price for the system. The A150 package is priced at $719, the A250 at $899 and the A350 at $1,079 respectively.

3D printing on a Snapmaker 2.0 3D printer. Image via Snapmaker
3D printing on a Snapmaker 2.0 3D printer. Image via Snapmaker

A sign of new trust in 3D printers on Kickstarter? 

All of the early bird prices of the Snapmaker 2.0 have already sold out, resulting in a backing of $1 million within the first seven minutes of the campaign’s launch. Now backers are pledging money for the other limited runs of the systems, with funds reaching in excess of $3.5 million. The first batch of Snapmaker 2.0 machines are expected to ship in November 2019, with subsequent lots to be shipped in December 2019, and early 2020.

Snapmaker’s crowdfunding success follows past standout 3D printer projects including Formlabs’ $2.95 million launch of the Form 1 back in 2012, and the $800k raised by Printrbot in 2011. Since the early days of 3D printers on Kickstarter however, unfortunately there have been many more projects which have failed to deliver, even when highly funded.

In 2017, 3D Printing Industry discovered that, contrary to reporting by other publications, the  Next Dynamics’ campaign for a multimaterial 3D printer was actually not what it seemed. After raising several red-flags and attempting to visit the company the Kickstarter campaign was eventually suspended. Elsewhere, backers of smartphone-powered 3D printer from OLO 3D Inc. are still waiting for deliveries almost three years since the initial launch.

Though such failures have made many people rightly wary of backing crowdfunding projects, the achievements of the Snapmaker 2.0 could yet be the next greatest success of 3D printers on Kickstarter. Hopefully, it is also a sign of renewed trust in the platform.

When Snapmaker delivers its 2.0 systems it will become the highest back 3D printing project ever funded through Kickstarter. Image via Snapmaker
When Snapmaker delivers its 2.0 systems it will become the highest back 3D printing project ever funded through Kickstarter. Image via Snapmaker

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Featured image shows the Snapmaker 2.0 3-in-1 3D printer on Kickstarter. Image via Snapmaker