Formlabs launches on Kickstarter, raises US$500+K in 22 hours

The Form 1 next to its Form software

I know this is 24 hours late, but I’ve got a legitimate excuse since I’m in Tokyo with back-to-back meetings.

I wanted to give some investor love to David and Max of formlabs for announcing the Form 1 and raising a good ruckus on Kickstarter, to the tune of (not!) US$540,223 (not!) US$543,222 US$551,997 in 22 hours. Neoteny Labs invested in formlabs’ seed round in Q4 2011 and the Formlabs team has been running at 120% ever since. Now that (not!) 205 (not!) 206 210 (and counting) Form 1s have been pre-ordered, David and Max will have to rally the team together for the next lap and ship those 3D printers into the hands of their backers as soon as possible.

Update: I signed up for one at US$2,999 for more investor love – the Form 1 Kickstarter campaign is now at US$831,256 with 306 machines on order. Bre Pettis of Makerbot has also backed the Form 1, which is awesome. There’s also the B9Creator, which is another light-based 3D printer on Kickstarter that requires self-assembly and uses a DLP projector for the light source; neat!

The Form 1 next to its Form software

I’ve been watching the 3D printing space heat up over the past year and am excited by its growing prominence. Humankind has advanced itself more significantly in its last 50 years than its ancestors 500 years ago because we have gotten quicker and better at using technology to build better tools. Apple has shown us that the importance of the marriage of hardware and software, be it with the original iPhone + iTunes or with its absymal iOS 6.0 Maps app. It is inevitable for our children to surpass us in aptitude, passion and need for the holy trinity that is hardware, software and design. I had lost my Maker ways after leaving school; I still recall fondly the countless hours I spent in school as I grew up, building Lego robots, Micromouse, Mobot (search for “winners 2003″ in this link heh) and other electronic paraphernalia. Being an investor through Neoteny Labs in companies such as littleBits and formlabs has kind of brought me back to the future; I fully intend to get back some of my Maker mojo in the months ahead.

A 3D print of the Eiffel Tower using Form 1 that shows off its high resolution.

You know 3D printing is coming of age when even the Chinese are talking about it, and the 3DP open source community which, up until Makerbot’s Relicator 2 had been relatively united, are now taking sides.

Good luck formlabs team, and godspeed. May your aim be clear and true.

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