Crowd FundingEditorials

How the ONO smartphone 3D printer became ‘Oh-No’

Since raising over $2 million on Kickstarter in 2016, the ONO 3D printer has left its backers increasingly concerned

Stay up to date with everything that is happening in the wonderful world of AM via our LinkedIn community.

Backers of the popular ONO (formerly OLO) smartphone 3D printer Kickstarter campaign have been asking, for some time now, where their rewards are and what exactly the Italian startup is up to. Since the campaign raised over $2 million in March 2016, it seems that we have just been given a handful video demonstrations, nice booths at events and a new website. Considering that the first printers were supposed to be shipped out in July 2016, questions have been raised about what the $2 million has been spent on and whether ONO 3D will ever deliver.

We’ve had our doubts about the ONO smartphone 3D printer for some time. As time drags on, it is looking more and more like the ONO smartphone 3D printers will never be delivered to all those who backed them on Kickstarter. Understandably, funders are becoming increasingly frustrated, demanding answers and/or their money back. Right now, it does not look promising. According to most comments (and there are several up to just a few hours ago), deliveries are as much as a year and a half late.

“This a joke. Delivery was expected two years ago,” says backer Mas. “I cancel my order and want a refund.”

Another backer writes:

I invoke my rights under Kickstarter’s Terms of Use:
‘Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.’
I demand a full refund for my pledge amount.

There are many more comments just like it. Too many. At the current pace of technology, a delay of two years makes the OLO-ONO a practically obsolete product in many aspects (such as lack of Bluetooth support, for example).

Never gonna get it, never gonna get it

While users are aware that funding a project’s development offers no guarantees, it seems fair to expect that over two million in funding should have resulted in something more. It does not seem like anyone is willing to accept responsibility for this epic let-down. In fact, there is even a new live website that is accepting more pre-orders for the ONO in the U.S. and Europe. The startup is also currently seeking more funding through a StartEngine equity crowdfunding campaign. (The comments on this campaign are equally critical as on Kickstarter, though ONO 3D seems more responsive on the platform.)

It seems that the project’s founders, Pietro Gabriele and Filippo Moroni, are out of their depth and have not found any way to assuage their backers’ mounting concerns. Unsurprisingly, regular live videos posted to Facebook are not quite enough to convince their backers that they’re still being taken into serious consideration.

Still, Pietro Gabriele is proudly showing off the Kickstarter campaign results on his LinkedIn account and Filippo Moroni was still presenting “the future of 3D printing with a smartphone” at an innovator’s conference in London as recently as last November. His talk was supported by nice graphics and videos so at least we know where some of the funder’s money has gone. It also went to get the protective film certified by UL. The same UL that certifies safety and health standards for powders and fumes in industrial 3D printers. However, it seems rather unlikely that UL certification of the film was at the top of most backers’ list of concerns.

The money also went to fund Maker Faire participations (Bay Area, Berlin, Rome and NYC are not exactly cheap). At one of the latest ones in New York, the team appeared quite happy to show off a functioning prototype. Getting even the interviewer Joel Telling (who’s often skeptical of big claims) quite excited about it. However, a $2.7 million (mostly) functional prototype after two years simply does not seem to cut it. Even if the material cartridges do have nice bottles.

Unfortunately, this type of scenario is becoming all too common with 3D printer Kickstarters and crowdfunding campaigns. There are many exceptions, of course, but this latest incident certainly does not help the many engineers and innovators trying to get their products off the ground with crowdfunder help. South Korea’s Team Owl Works is another company that has seriously let its backers down. The company, which promised backers a low-cost resin 3D printer and raised over $200K, has failed to respond to any concerns raised over printer deliveries and refunds. Despite Team Owl Works leader SJ Park telling us an update was imminent over a month ago, the last update on Kickstarter was January 12th.

Composites AM 2024

746 composites AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core composites AM market generated over $785 million in 2023. Market expected to grow to $7.8 billion by 2033 at 25.8% CAGR. This new...

Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites and, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

Related Articles


  1. Creating a printer this big obviously reasons large tolerance values and decrease accuracy. however, the BEAST seems to excel in this location as properly, with the best layer decision of much less than 50 microns, and a Z-positioning accuracy of most effective 1.25 microns. That’s very remarkable for a printer that could produce items that attain as much as 141 liters of extent.

  2. T3D is also propelling their cell phone 3D printer on Kickstarter. In 2015, analysts Taiwan Tech manufactured a smaller 3D printer that utilizations light from a cell phone to fix sap material. The idea was displayed only a couple of months after the OLO 3D printer initially surfaced on Kickstarter.

  3. Man, 6 days before the first small batch is delivered. How’s that egg taste? Click bait journalism…always good for a chuckle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close Popup
Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

Technical Cookies
In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services


Join our 12,000+ Professional community and get weekly AM industry insights straight to your inbox. Our editor-curated newsletter equips executives, engineers, and end-users with crucial updates, helping you stay ahead.