North Drinkware set out to raise a mere $15,000 on Kickstarter for its Mt. Hood glassware. The idea was pretty simple. Create a 3D replica of Mt. Hood and form it in the bottom of pint glasses. I will bet a good number of people in the Oregon area backed this crowdfunding campaign as it raised over $530,000 for a $35 beer glass but the startup is shipping over 7000 glasses to 27 countries around the world having connected with a wider audience online.
Makerbot, a 3D printing company that claims to be “leading the next industrial revolution” by facilitating Makers with their hardware and support, played a significant role in the creation of the North Drinkware glass. In fact, according to the creators, using the 3D printing services allowed them to save tens of thousands of dollars in pre-production costs.
Nic Ramirez, co-founder of North Drinkware, stated;
“By using a MakerBot, we were able to do five iterations for almost nothing, versus, if we had made five graphite molds, it would have cost $20,000.”
Kickstarter requires project creators to have a working prototype before campaign launch and the 3D tech made it pretty simple. The success generated on Kickstarter confirmed the market demand for the Mt. Hood pint and now North Drinkware plans on launch additional “signature landmark drinkware” in other states. That’s pretty cool. The combo of new maker tech and crowdfunding boosted the young company into immediate growth. They have now hired 6 new employees.
“We got to the point where we imagined we would be in five years in five days,” said Ramirez.
This is not the first crowdfunding project where MakerBot has played a role. They also helped to facilitate the success of Coolest Cooler – one of the largest campaigns ever on Kickstarter.
The maker space is entering a new phase of innovation and speed to market. Creative types can go from ideation to proof of concept far faster today than ever before. This is good for the economy and great for small business.
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