Before launching, I chatted with a couple other 3D printing companies that ran successful Kickstarters in the past. They recommended I set the goal as low as possible – $20-30K, which we easily would have hit.
Instead, I set the goal at $80K so that I could:
- Successfully deliver the printers, at the price point of the Kickstarter
- Hire some help to meet the promised deadlines
- Re-coup development costs
- Have some cushion to pay myself
Without being able to do all those things, it doesn’t make sense for me to follow through with launching the Tinybelt.
I’m sad, and I’m disappointed. Based on the numbers in the email group, social media engagement, and launch party registrations, I really thought we’d make it. I had some other marketing planned that didn’t quite pan out for a variety of reasons.
On my end, this project started in January of 2021 – my first month working on Powerbelt3D full-time. I’ve learned so many lessons since that point that I can’t possibly list them all. I know some people reading this have been following my work for a long time, and I am so thankful for your support and attention.
When I ordered parts to make beta printers, I ordered extras so that I could have a print farm ready to make the Kickstarter production batch. I don’t need the extras, so I’m selling them for $349 to re-coup some of what I spent on them. Check them out here, and please read the page carefully – they’re betas, so they have some quirks.
I was pleasantly surprised how much excitement there was for the purpose-made belt printer nozzles, and I have a supplier ready to make them. You can pre-order a nozzle pack here.
You can’t kill the revolution
I’m going to keep making conveyor belts for 3D printers, which means if you choose to adopt a quirky Tinybelt beta, you’ll still be able to get replacement belts for it. I’m going to keep them on sale at a steep discount through next Wednesday, April 6.
Conveyor belt sales have been pretty good the past few months! Which means I’ve shipped belts all over the world to people innovating, building their own printers.
I believe there’s a world we can create where physical products are made in a drastically different way than they are today, and that 3D printing+Automation can get us there.
- New physical products will be easier and cheaper to launch
- Consumers will have infinite selection and customizability over what they buy
- Automation will keep creating value while people sleep, to improve the lives of the people that help the automation keep running
In the short term, this concept can be used to launch products cheaper, and therefore make more profit.
You know how there’s a lot of really good, free software?
Software can be free because once it’s made, it can be distributed to users very inexpensively online. Long-term, I imagine the same can be possible with physical products. When you remove the human labor involved, we’re taking a huge step in that direction.