It may have been around for considerably longer but 2013 was certainly the year that crowdfunding entered the public consciousness. You can tell that it is no longer something new, a passing fad, just by seeing how Kickstarter is referred to in the mainstream press. No longer does it require crowdfunding 101, Kickstarter is eponymous for crowd funding.
An interesting piece over at CNN details 11 projects that have earned over $1m in 2013. What particularly surprised us is to see not one, not two, not three but four of those projects are either 3D printing or 3D print related.
The first we’ll examine is the least related to 3D printing though it does have connotations for the potential for 3D modelling. The castAR system is a headset inspired by a holographic game of chess on Star Wars. Bridging the physical world with the virtual worlds with 3D holographic like projections in AR, the headset was initially built for gaming but many have pointed out how this could be used to model items in a virtual 3D environment like a relative Tony Stark.
The second is Structure Sensor, which took the online community by storm, this tablet or smartphone accessory clips onto the camera of your iPad and captures full colour 3D scans of the environment, which theoretically can be 3D printed right away. Occipital, the company behind the project will be keen to get the product to market as soon as possible. Seeing as Apple have acquired the company behind the Kinect and Sense scanners we don’t imagine it will be too long before this sort of tech is implemented directly into the hardware.
The much documented 3Doodler is also on the list, with perhaps the highest percentage of funding goal – asking for a meagre $30,000 dollars they were backed to the tune of $2.3million! The 3Doodler will be with us at CES and we’re looking forward to some major announcements they have coming up at the show.
The final 3D printing project to make the CNN list is the Pirate3D Bucaneer, the 3D printer coined the term “plug-and-print” and was available for as little as $300 to the earliest of backers. The Bucaneer has sailed into some choppy seas of late as the specs of the final product were a little worse than expected, but it is still full steam ahead for the Singaporian company.
The fact that 3D related items account for over a third of the projects on CNN’s list tells us that 2013 is not just the year of crowd-funding but also 3D printing.