has launched a crowd funding campaign
through Indiegogo to manufacture 3D printing material locally in Ohio.
The campaign is set to run for 30 days with a goal of raising $20,000 to compliment existing capital. Michael Cao, Owner and Founder of IC3D, says he was persuaded by a friend to use crowd funding to avoid getting banks and interest rates involved. Funds will go toward equipment, leasing factory space, buying materials in bulk, and hiring an operator.
Cao’s goal is to address today’s costly supply chain model of manufacturing 3D printing components. Currently, outside manufacturers supply the plastic filament needed for Cao's 3D printers. Even worse, that filament is designed for use in the plastic welding industry. This sometimes results in an inferior product that may be contaminated.
“The problem is [the plastic welding industry] has very different requirements,” explains Cao, noting that 3D printing is still a young industry. “It has lower quality of requirements, such as cleanliness” and filament diameter. Cao's solution is to manufacture his own 3D printing material in Ohio exclusively for the 3D printing market, allowing him to take some links out of the current supply chain model.
Cao came up with the idea after working as a designer and builder of desktop 3D printers. Customers began asking Cao for filament printing material. At first, he gave it away for free. As this became costly, he began purchasing in bulk, but noticed some quality issues. “It was a frustrating experience,” says Cao, recalling customer complaints. He decided to take his experience in plastics and as an automotive engineer to produce the necessary material himself. Ohio and IC3D’s customers all stand to benefit.
“By obtaining the raw materials and packing the materials ourselves, we’re cutting out those layers from the current supply chain,” explains Cao. “That cost savings will be passed down to the customers.”
Source: Michael Cao
Writer: Joe Baur