Wednesday, February 6, 2013

DeltaMaker Passes First Hurdle

Well, DeltaMaker passed its first serious hurdle by meeting and exceeding their KickStarter funding goal of $107,000.  With 22 days left to go in their KickStarter campaign, they have already raised... as reported a few minutes ago, $108,559!  

Congratulations to the DeltaMaker team!

One of the things I like best about the DeltaMaker effort is that it is a TEAM endeavor.  It's not just a guy working alone.  While I have nothing against lone inventors, it takes a lot of different skills to pull off designing and producing a successful product as complex as a 3D printer.

Right now, the team is a bit heavy on the technical side of the equation.  And, they seem to be pretty astute guys.  So, it shouldn't take them long to realize and appreciate that they need expertise on the marketing and sales side of the equation as well.  The DeltaMaker isn't a kit that narrowly appeals to hobbyists.  It's got real potential to be a mainstream consumer and small business product.

It's not enough to create and build a great product.  It's also important to grow the company behind it with solid understanding of their target market and the best sales distribution to serve that market.

You might think that I'm getting ahead of myself on a startup that hasn't delivered the first unit as yet.  For all we know, it could all be just smoke and mirrors.  But, I have a gut level feeling about this management group and this particular product.  And, I do NOT sense failure on the horizon.

My mind works in strange ways.  And, for some reason, I cannot get the connection between the Keurig coffeemaker system and the DeltaMaker out of my head.  It's hard to believe it now; but, I'm absolutely certain that back in 1990, when the Kuerig was first organized, that the idea of a single cup coffee maker in homes and offices seemed as strange as the idea of a 3D printer does today.  They didn't have a KickStarter back then.  And, Green Mountain didn't purchase them until 2006.  That journey took 16 years!

But, what they did have was a fantastic team of designers.  And, that is certainly part of their success.

But, great design was not all of their success.  They eventually came to have, at least in my opinion, a true genius when it comes to consumer marketing.  In a long list of people I admire, he is certainly at the top.

While I don't know when he originally came on board with Keurig, I am certain that a great deal of Keurig's success is due to the expertise of John Whoriskey, who is the VP & General Manager At Home Division. He has grown the home market business into producing staggeringly successful numbers.  I have never met Mr. Whoriskey.  But, we have corresponded over the years as we've discussed the success of Keurig's remarkable market growth.  And, it's been a joy for me to follow that success.

I hope that I can experience that same joy as I watch DeltaMaker grow from a small startup to a wildly successful company bringing the enormous benefits of 3D printing into homes and businesses.  Somehow, I think that will happen. I don't expect those that pledged funds to the KickStarter to be disappointed.  In fact, I think they will be able to look back and be proud of how brilliant they were at jumping at that opportunity.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

DeltaMaker - A Wonderfully Innovative 3D Printer

Every now and then I stumble onto something that completely enthrals me.  That happened to me today.

I have NO idea how I got there; but, somehow I ended up on the KickStart Page for one of the cleanest and most innovative 3D printer designs that I have come across.


Kickstarter seems flooded with new 3D printer entries these days.  But, the DeltaMaker is in a class of its own.  First, it is NOT a kit. (Otherwise, I probably wouldn't be writing about it.)  Secondly, it does not use the traditional four-corner, boxlike X-Y-Z axis controls of virtually all other 3D printers.

Instead it uses a 3-point pivot system.  While not the first 3D printer of this type, it certainly is the cleanest and most professional looking.  Watching it print is poetry in motion!   Perhaps it's best to see for yourself.

As you can see, it's quite a unique design. It makes you want to go, Why didn't I think of that?"

While I have many unanswered questions, like reliability and, of course, actual accuracy over a long period of time, the DeltaMaker looks like a real winner.  So, while I'm not going to put my money where my mouth is quite yet (After all I already have some great 3D printers.), I certainly am going to follow their progress very, very closely.  I would love to see DeltaMaker succeed and succeed BIG.

Here is the link to the DeltaMaker KickStarter page. 

Until we see how the production models of DeltaMaker actually perform, there is little more to say.  As the old cliche goes, "The proof is in the pudding." and it will be a while before the pudding is served.  In the meantime, however, I think all of us can be glad that we have innovators like the DeltaMaker team.  Way to go guys! 

As I learn more, I will keep everyone updated.  Like all new ventures, they will face some big challenges whether they limp along or are wildly successful  But, I have a feeling this group has the right stuff to meet those challenges head on.  And, if they can prove that their design functions at the same level as their "Cool Factor", I'll certainly be cheering them on.