I have backed very few Kick starters, but this one has my attention. The price seems to good to be true honestly. Im really loving the resin feed system. I have done 24 hour prints before, and ran out of resin at the 90% mark… -_-
With no comment on this printer, I am getting tired of the crowdfunding for well established companies. Elegoo cannot not afford development of this unit? Unlikely, it is just marketing and a sale. It really has undermined the whole process of crowd funding where start ups can seek support to attempt to get a product to market.
It looks like a super cool machine, I am just saddened by the platform being eclipsed.
It’s not the established companies that undermined the process of crowd funding, it’s the lack of accountability on the part of the crowd funding sites themselves. They take a percentage of sales but appear to make no effort to protect consumers from scammers.
I tell everyone I can to steer clear of these platforms.
I actually think that isn’t the biggest issue, I think many backers think they are buying something. Kickstarter is not a store.
Kickstarter is a group of people backing a creative concept or idea. Quite literally Kick Starting something. In appreciation for support the backers are given a reward.
I have backed many ideas, some ended in a good idea gone badly, my cool little flashlight keyring that promptly unscrewed itself and the flashlight was lost. Bad design.
I also backed a thermal camera, the first phone driven one. Great idea, it takes a really long time for 4 people to build design prototypes and figure out manufacturing when you have never done so. FLIR looked at the good idea and got a functional unit out before they had the first manufactured prototypes. FLIR did it faster and cheaper. The shuttered and closed up, good idea but someone else did it faster and better. I am at peace with this, and was at the time.
Their decision to not go bankrupt attempting to give a product that would cost more than was pledged is wise. It isn’t a scam it is just business, a bit ruthless perhaps, and giving back a portion of the pledges might have been good PR but they were not required to do so.
Tiko my little delta went bankrupt before they were fully complete. The reward was delivered but support folded as they spend more than they brought in.
This is the crux of my issue, you are backing the idea of another elegoo printer. So amazing, its not like they have not done so before. They MAY give a reward for your support, or not. At this time you cannot buy a Jupiter printer. You likely will be able to but backing the idea of the Jupiter printer is not buying one.
Elegoo (and many others) has created a situation where it feels like you are buying a printer. This undermines the principal. This generates people rightly believing that backing a creators project and have it go wrong makes it a scam. It isn’t it is exactly what it seems like, an interesting idea. (one would assume you thought it interesting anyway you gave them your money) Sometimes a good idea goes wrong, building a one off in a shed that took years of tinkering is a far cry from an industrial product on a per unit budget.
There is a distinction to be made between a failed business venture and outright fraud.
I grasp the fact that some projects will legitimately fail, but the final straw for me was a project I backed for a cell phone camera stabiliser. They produced a well made video of it which made it look like they had a functioning prototype and so I bought two - one for my daughter and one for me. For months they strung us along - long enough to make sure the opportunity to do a charge-back via our credit cards had expired and then they went silent. One of the other backers eventually found an exactly identical (down to every last screw-hole) product on-line. It isn’t clear whether they took that other product and re-badged it as their own or took our money, went into production and sold it as a different brand so they wouldn’t have to pay their commitments to their backers. Either way, Indiegogo took their cut and told us that if we had any complaints, we had to contact the campaign organiser. But who is the campaign organiser? Only Indiegogo knows for sure and they won’t tell us. All the communication has to take place via their site, so the backers have no way of verifying the identity or contact information of the campaign organiser. The backers are left powerless.
I filed a complaint with the RCMP as requested by MasterCard, but of course, the company is based in China so there’s no hope of ever recovering the money. Indiegogo could, of course, provide (perhaps optional) insurance for cases of provable fraud, but they don’t. They could also provide contact information so that backers could follow up themselves or at least build a blacklist, but Indiegogo protects these people’s identities.
I have another one that I backed where I received the watch I was backing and I was legitimately impressed with it, but the company stopped backing it immediately afterward (they still exist, btw) saying that they had reached their budget limit for software development. Several backers, myself included, pleaded with them to make the API (application programming interface) available so the backer community could further develop the software ourselves, but we never heard back. As a result, we have partially functioning watches that are built well but with an illogically laid out user interface (to scroll up, for example, you have to swipe down). Indiegogo could easily have stepped in to put pressure on the company to meet the backers half-way (ie. if they can’t give us functioning software, give us access to the API).
The API, in case you aren’t familiar with it, is a system which allows software developers to create applications without having access to the proprietary source code. Microsoft Window, for example, has a published API although almost no one except high-level developers have access to Microsoft’s actual source code.
A current campaign that I haven’t completely given up on yet (haven’t heard from them since January) involves putting LEDs inside LEGO bricks and powering them with wireless charging technology. Last year they said they were having problems getting them produced - it was taking too long to build each unit - and they were looking to find additional help. As a retired Electronics Technologist, I volunteered to build units for Ontario/Eastern Canada/all of Canada. I never heard so much as an acknowledgement. But again, I have no way to contact them directly. Only Indiegogo knows who they actually are and as soon as Indiegogo go their cut when the campaign ended, they went completely hands-off, saying I had to contact the manufacturer myself but refusing to provide contact info.
This is why I’ve lost all confidence in the crowd funding model. It’s clear that the crowd funding sites are not in the backer’s corner beyond what it takes to get paid.
I get that. When I worked in fashion years ago, I remember visiting a Chinese factory producing our jeans. When they stopped removed our custom stamped buttons and replaced them with slightly different buttons, are started back up. The counterfeit jeans were made in the same plant same tooling same staff. I know of at least one company accusing one of the manufacturers making their product of making the copies.
I don’t suggest anyone support a kickstarter idea unless you are willing to walk away from your money. I tend to support actual start ups.
You will find scams around every corner. They are hard to avoid. I have hit more scams on Wish than on kickstarter.