There’s a lot to love about the Photon 3D Scanner: small size, ease of use, affordable price point and attractive design. If you’re curious about 3D printing, it might well be a better strategy to buy a scanner and print your designs at your local maker space (e.g. MakerHaus in Seattle, which we wrote about yesterday.)
And it seems that many people agree — in only its 3rd day on IndieGoGo, Photon 3D has already passed 50% of their total funding target with nearly a month to go.
We interviewed the founders to learn more about their experience with crowdfunding and manufacturing.
Hack Things: Please tell us a little bit about Photon 3D Scanner. Who is it for? How did you come up with the idea?
Photon 3D Scanner: The Photon is for anyone at all interested in 3D printing, 3D modeling, or 3D animation. We had a desire for a scanner while using our 3D printers to prototype ideas for clients. In many cases we needed parts that would fit onto, or hold existing parts. Calipers only work on geometric shapes, and we needed something that could capture sculptures or organic shapes. We then made it super easy to use so that it wouldn’t just be for us, but for everyone.
Hack Things: How did you choose IndieGoGo vs. other fundraising sites and vs. other fundraising strategies?
Photon 3D Scanner: Kickstarter is unavailable to Canada which is where we are located. Indiegogo was the next best thing. We choose not to seek out venture capital because we wanted to retain control over the future path of our company. We wanted to make sure we could release our work as open sourced if we wanted to. Also we didn’t want anyone else deciding if THEY thought a product was a good idea or not. We want to build the projects that we ourselves would buy.
Hack Things: Do you already have a manufacturing partner lined up? Where are you making this?
Photon 3D Scanner: If we reach our goal, it’s going to be made here in Toronto. If we reach our stretch goals, we have partners already lined up in the USA to do the manufacturing, but regardless, we are planning to keep it all here in North America and not overseas.
Hack Things: What did you do to prepare for marketing Photon 3D Scanner before you launched on IndieGoGo?
Photon 3D Scanner: We actually did very little. We began contacting blogs after we launched on Indiegogo. The video for Indiegogo was the biggest piece. We were just too busy making stuff.
Hack Things: How did you choose your fundraising goal?
Photon 3D Scanner: A lot of calculations. We really wanted to make this as affordable for people as possible.
Hack Things: How well did you understand your production costs before setting your reward levels?
Photon 3D Scanner: Very well. We have multiple strategies priced out for varying levels of success and multiple different manufacturing methods so as to not get caught off guard.
Hack Things: What do think is the single smartest thing you’ve done with your IndieGoGo campaign?
Photon 3D Scanner: Call on our friends. a large majority of our sales came via our friends seeding our link via facebook into their social networks. This got the ball rolling, and has kept it rolling even though we’ve had relatively little press.
Do you have any other questions for the Photo 3D team? Please leave them in the comments below. Or, pledge on their campaign and be part of the effort to bring the product to life.