Here at personalize we’re unsure whether we’ve ever seen such a hit as the 3Doodler, as it stands the 3D printing pen is about to hit 4,000% of funding on Kickstarter (KS) which by our reckoning is the most funded project, ratio wise, in the history of KS. The press releases and KS updates alone were simply not enough; we wanted to know more. So we’ve secured an exclusive interview with 3Doodler’s co-founder and inventor Maxwell Bogue plus Communications and Marketing Director Daniel Cowen.
How are you guys feeling? It’s been Crazy couple of days for you.
Daniel Cowen (DC):Tell me about it! We’re okay, just about!
You look set to be the most funded project in the history of Kickstarter; you’ve hit one million dollars in three days, what does that feel like?
DC: I’ve got to say we didn’t expect it! We really believe in this product, you don’t spend this amount of time on a product unless you do. But the pace of adoption and the responses from people has just been phenomenal.
#3Dprinting is obviously on loop on our Tweetdeck and for the minute it appears nobody is talking about anything else!
DC: Apparently we are #3Dprinting now! Our PR guys told us that if you Google 3D Printing right now, we’re at the top. Which is not something we expected after two days.
We’re keeping level heads here though and the priority is on delivering.
Has the success become a hindrance in any way?
DC: No not at all really, the only hindrance is the amount of emails coming through but in terms of the wider picture not at all. We’ve posted a couple of updates this on Kickstarter and those are worth reading.
We found a factory and production partners that allowed us to manufacture really small quantities, which is why we only went for $30,000, but there’s always been a structure in place that allows us to scale up very rapidly. As we’ve introduced these new crops of 3Doodlers we’ve set realistic dates for those. Early backers will still get theirs on time, the next bunch of backers will get theirs in early October and then Novemeber, plus as you can see we’ve just released a December batch. It may turn out that we can move ahead of that schedule, our dates are conservative and are there to make sure backers get theirs at the time that we promised.
How did the 3Doodler come about?
Maxwell Bogue (MB): So Peter Dilworth, who is my co-founder of WobbleWorks, and I were sitting around one day, Peter had this 3D printer sitting there and we decided to try something crazy. he took the printer head off and put a little handle on it, which we call the tea-cup. It was the first prototype, it worked… horribly.
Nevertheless, it worked so we knew that there was something there, we figured out very quickly that we needed to cool the plastic in order to get it to harden faster to allow us to draw in the air, which when we saw initially, we were like “Wow this could totally be something”
We improved it a couple of times,, each generation we found little secrets to up its capabilities at the same time as making it thinner, more compact and simpler until we arrived at the one you see on Kickstarter. That is pretty close to the final product; there will be some minor tweaks on the exterior shell and a couple of changes to give more protection around the tip. Otherwise it’s damn close to being the finished article and we have the factory whipping out some samples soon.
We’re hoping to ship out those $1,000 pledges in the next month or so, we may even hit things a little earlier, manufacturing is always a dicey business and timetables can slip but keeping our Kickstarter deliverable times is of the utmost importance to us.
What about you Max what were you up to before this explosion?
MB: I’ve been involved with the manufacturing process a long time; I lived in Hong Kong for four years going to and from the factory on a daily basis. I know this process really well, we’ve built up a really good team here, in Hong Kong and Southern China to help us do this project. They’re all former colleagues who we’ve worked with before and know the ins and outs of factories. They are going to help us make sure we hit this on time which is of the upmost importance to us.