41 days ago we launched our modest eMAKER Huxley beta program with our campaign on the crowd funding website indiegogo. I say modest because we initially aimed to release 100 sets of eMAKER Huxley kits as part of a beta program, offering the machines for a very competitive price in return for feedback on the product and its use. Thanks to the power of the internet, soon after word got out via boingboing.net and gizmodo, it became apparent that 100 units would not satisfy the demand. So we decided to offer full kits at a pre-release price, but with the understanding that the beta program would have priority.
So having started out with a $30,000 goal for the campaign, we actually ended up taking over $150,000 to provide over 300 eMAKER Huxley 3D printers to people literally all over the world.
What happens next?
I think most people can probably visualise how printing 100 sets of parts would be a daunting but manageable task. However, over 300 sets present a challenge on a totally different scale. Sure we could just have kept to our initial shipping schedule and planned to ship kits well into 2012, but I certainly wouldn’t like to wait that long for a 3D printer, so we have adapted out manufacturing strategy to aim to ship all kits in the next 3 months. In order to achieve this, we are finalising negotiations with some notable figures in the RepRap community, who will use their own RepRap 3D printers to print sets of eMAKER Huxley parts. In addition to this, we have decided to take on a small business unit in which we will setup our very own RepRap factory. More details will follow in the coming days and weeks, as we plan to keep posting regular progress updates to this blog.
As for those 300+ of you eagerly waiting for your kits, you may be wondering why we haven’t started printing yet. Well actually we have. Here is the first set of parts printed on eMAKER Huxley No.2
We will also soon put up a counter to keep track of the number of sets printed to add to the excitement.
Now that the indiegogo campaign has come to an end, we have setup a forum here on eMAKERshop for you all to get to know each other and (once the kits start to be assembled) to provide feedback and seek advice from us should you require it. As the eMAKER Huxley is based on existing open source RepRap designs, we will be publishing full details of the machine’s components as soon as we can. This may not be for a few days since we have a not insignificant task of managing our first UK RepRap master class this weekend in Bath, UK.
We are so pleased that so many of you will have the chance to play, and in many cases work, with what we feel is a great little 3D printer.