Kickstarter Printers - do you?


I am an avid kickstarter contributor and have found that 3D Printing related kickstarters are becoming more and more prevalent. I’m wondering how many of you take the plunge?

For example, here is a new kickstarter that I am backing and the more I look at it, the more I wonder if it’s ‘too good to be true’ or if it’s the sign of the times that a capable printer can be had at this price.

Your thoughts?

I’ve been burned by kickstarter a few times for other things before so I am super wary of it. I’m really only comfy funding smaller/cheaper projects on kickstarter.

For something bigger like a printer, I’ve heard too many kickstarter horror stories (looking at you creality cr6) to back one.

That being said, if a super cool one that really wows me comes along, I might still consider backing it :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I’ve been burned by Kickstarter / Indiegogo several times and if my last remaining project ever comes through (3 years and counting) it will be the last I ever have to do with either of them. Even when they facilitate an outright fraud, they won’t even refund their percentage of the money.

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I have a Tiko from Kickstater. I think kickstarter / Indiegogo are fine. There is a huge caveat . You are GIVING money to support a project, you might get a reward for your gift or not. NEVER forget you are not buying something. You are gifting money and you may get a reward/gift in return.

Too many forget this is not a store.

Oh and the Tiko was a great idea, badly excited. It never really worked, too many design flaws. I would not suggest volunteering to be a beta tester unless you are comfortable with what ever you are purchasing.

To be clear, it wasn’t that I ever expected it to be a store, but I certainly did expect some level of vetting and accountability. While I understand that they can’t guarantee that any given project will come to fruition, they must, at the same time, be fully aware that their platforms can facilitate outright fraud.

I backed a project on Indiegogo that I had hoped to give my daughter as a gift. It never materialised. One of the other backers eventually found a photo of the product, made by another company, where only the name badge had changed. So either they slapped a label on someone else’s product and claimed it was a prototype, or they actually did create the product and, after it was completed, changed the company name to avoid their commitments to their backers. Either way, that constitutes fraud.

So what’s Indiegogo’s response? Contact the project owner. Who is the project owner, how do we contact them? Indiegogo are the only source of that information but they don’t appear to make any effort to verify the identities or contact information for the people they are collecting money for.

The point is that the backers have no direct contact with project owners. Everything has to take place through Indiegogo. Backers have no control over that information and are entirely dependent on Indiegogo to do the vetting for them. “Buyer beware” implies the buyer (backer) is responsible for doing their own research - fair enough - but Indiegogo shields the project owners’ identity, forcing all communication to go through the Indiegogo platform.

I would argue that, since Indiegogo actively puts themselves between the backer and the project owner, controls and limits all communications and thereby prevents the backer from properly vetting the owner, that Indiegogo should be expected to at least verifty that the contact information they are providing is accurate.

Then there’s the whole issue of Indiegogo taking a percentage. If a project can be proven to have been fraudulent (as opposed to just unsuccessful), and given that fraud is a crime; it would mean that Indiegogo is in fact profiting from criminal activity. You would think they would at least, in good faith, refund their portion, but of course, they don’t.

End of rant.


They are not required to refund anything. That is in the terms. I backed mu optics. They decided that since FLIR released a phone based camera they would not bother to continue the project, and walked away with millions of dollars. Unethical absolutely! Illegal nope not at all.

I have yet to support any kickstarters myself, but would rather deal with a pre-sale than something like a kickstarter platform. More accountability, or so id like to think.

I’ve bought quite a bit off Kickstarter and Indigogo and have only been burned a couple of times, I’m careful what I back and rarely back very expensive projects, especially if I can buy something similar “off the shelf”. I’ve had some great items, but also a few duff ones, like a camera strap that broke the first time I used it, luckily the camera had a soft landing. They gave me a full refund BTW.
I did buy a Kodama Trinus off KS, and I really enjoyed using it and learning about 3D printing, but it always felt a bit too small to be really useful. I was close to buying a Creality, but then I was offered a Snapmaker A250 by the widow of a friend that passed recently, he bought it through KS and saved quite a bit and it was offered to me at an even better price, so I couldn’t refuse.
I’m really impressed with the first few prints off the Snapmaker, they are way better than the Trinus ever produced, and I’m looking forward to trying the Laser and CNC options at some point.
I know the SM is probably more expensive than many other 3D printers, but having the option for Laser and CNC in the same machine is really appealing to me, plus my wife doesn’t get really annoyed at me having too many toys! :slight_smile:
I do want a bigger CNC machine at some point, and I think I’ll probably end up building that, no KS or IGG this time.

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Just a caution on CNC: They require a really rigid frame given the amount of force they have to exert and the vibrations they produce. The faster you try to run them, the worse it gets. That is diametrically opposed to 3D printers and laser engravers where high speed and low oscillations are usually called for which means the frames are kept light weight. My concern with trying CNC on a laser printer are therefor twofold: 1) given that 3D Printing requires tolerances in the 100μm range, I suspect CNC use will throw it out of alignment over time and 2) CNC milling throws up a lot of wood chips, metal shavings or plastic dust all of which can easily gum up a 3D printer’s rails, wheels and belts. I’d strongly recommend you avoid it.

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Please don’t be offended if I respectfully ignore your advice.
This machine is designed and built as a 3 in 1 and that’s why I bought it, and that’s what I’ll use it for. If it turns into a wobbling mess over time then at least I’m not out of pocket anywhere near as much as the people that paid (and are still paying) full price for it.
I bought the machine to use and learn and have some fun in the process, it’s not so precious that I feel it needs to last forever, if I wear it out or it fails because I used it for the purpose it was built for, then so be it, I’ll just move on.
Thank you for your reply anyway, maybe others can learn from it, but I fully intend to explore the CNC capabilities of the SM, I’ve seen some impressive results form others and would like to try for myself.

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Lego was that your experience with the snap marker?

We have one at work. I don’t run it but have had a few things CNC they look good. The tech who runs it likes it quite a lot I think he owns one personally. I have not heard huge knocks on it from people using it. Generally it is a positive experience the only common complaint is it is small. I am curious to hear other experiences.

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I don’t own a Snap Maker. I did, however, look it up and it seems quite robust.

It uses 5 lead screws to move the tool head (2 for Y, 2 for Z, 1 for X) which they’ve managed to somehow cover. The second one that I made for myself had no covers on the lead screws as I couldn’t figure out how to cover them while allowing for a moving carriage. I’d love to see close-ups of how they did it.

I watched the CNC Kitchen review of it. Apparently it’s quite hefty. It’s more of a CNC machine with a 3D print head than a 3D printer with a CNC attachment, which is what I was originally expecting.

In the end Stefan from CNC Kitchen has the same conclusion I do: Jack of all Trades machines are inevitably a compromise. I suppose if I didn’t own anything else, I might have considered spending $2000 for one, but having a laser and 3D printer, I’d buy a dedicated CNC. Still, if I came across one at a really good price I’d consider it.

Like many other posters here, I’ve been burned by kickstarter a few times to the point of not being interested in backing anything too expensive or significant. If it’s “too good to be true”, it probably is.

The last project I backed was a laser engraver, only because the price point was low enough that it wasn’t a huge loss if it didn’t work properly, and I could likely harvest the parts and Frankenstein my own machine together from them.

Did your last kickstarter follow through? Or are you still waiting for it to ship?

These look like rodless tape cylinders and reminds me of Festo linear drives. The last time I looked at them they were about $5k per axis, which goes to show how this technology gets so much cheaper as time goes on.

Here’s a link to how the rodless tape cylinder work. They are all generally the same. these likely have lead screws inside instead of a piston, but it’s the am idea.

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thanks for the link. I didn’t even know what term to google.