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Consumer Funded 3Doodler Turns Five

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Five years ago this month, 3Doodler was a mere concept on Kickstarter. The idea was to simplify 3D printing, putting its power in the hands of anyone through a pen-like device that cost less than $100.

Maxwell Bogue, co-founder and inventor of the 3Doodler (together with Peter Dilworth), explains “We had the idea, but without a community of users it would have ended there.” Enter Kickstarter, and a community of visionary early adopters. Relying on the power of the internet, and our hope that people would recognize the potential of the 3Doodler (or just want to have fun with it), we launched our campaign.

The result was one of the most-funded technology Kickstarter campaigns to date, and a 26,000-strong community (26,457 to be exact) to propel the company journey.

“A decade ago we would have been asking for money, pleading with retailers to take a chance on us, and most likely seen our dream end in disappointment,” Bogue said. “With community-led crowdfunding, this paradigm has been turned entirely upside down.”

During its 2013 Kickstarter, 3Doodler raised $2.344 million to begin operations. When the product was upgraded with a 2.0 version in 2015, an already avid user base responded by raising another $1.55 million in crowd funding.

3Doodler has never taken a dime of investor funding, instead relying on the Kickstarter community to find sustainability.

Under its parent company Wobbleworks Inc., more than 1.4 million 3Doodler products have been sold to date in over 60 countries, while no other 3D printing product has topped the million mark. The company has also maintained profitability, opened offices in Hong Kong and New York City, and just hired its 40th employee.

From dresses, to wallets, vases, jewelry, robots, figurines and home improvement solutions, 3Doodler products offer unlimited opportunity for those holding the pen. The latest notable creation being a 6’6” inch replica of the Statue of Liberty that now lives in the company’s Manhattan headquarters.

Thanks to family-friendly price points (starting at $49+ for the kid-safe 3Doodler Start), seamless ease of use and safety features ranging from temperature control to compostable plastics, 3Doodler is making 3D printing technology accessible for all. This includes more than 100,000 students at 5,000 schools worldwide through its line of Education (EDU) Kits and matching programs like DonorsChoose.org.

“We’ve always known is that there was a demand for a brand like 3Doodler to come in and make the space accessible,” said 3Doodler co-founder Daniel Cowen. “What we’ve since discovered is how impactful products like ours can be from a very young age. Making 3D accessible to education is mission critical going forward. We also could not have imagined how it would be helpful to change the daily lives of the learning impaired.”

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Last weekend at New York Toy Fair, 3Doodler announced the latest in a line of popular partnerships. This time with HEXBUG’s micro robotics through a Make Your Own HEXBUG Pen Set and Activity Kit. As part of its new 3Doodler Start STEM Series, kids can doodle HEXBUG bodies and legs, letting them eventually crawl around and explore their environments. Other new 3Doodler Start STEM Series products include the Robotic Dinosaur Activity Kit, the Make Your Own Figurines Activity Kit, and the new Science & Engineering Activity Kit.

The 3Doodler Create is the third iteration of the original 3Doodler. Compact and easy to use, the 3Doodler Create extrudes heated plastic that cools almost instantly into a solid, stable structure.

The 3Doodler PRO, introduced in late 2016, opened the door for new compounds like wood, metal, nylon and polycarbonate. The long-term vision around this product is based on home improvement and high-impact design uses.

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Anthony Lowder

Anthony has been following the industry since 2010. He works with the editorial team and is responsible for co-ordinating and publishing digital content on our international website. As well as following the tech landscape, he is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist and music producer.

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