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Mendrel Kickstarter

Posted by lcomtois 
Mendrel Kickstarter
October 22, 2009 10:15AM
After seeing the success of the makerbeam on www.kickstarter.com it gave me a idea. Someone could start a Mendrel with kickstart and send parts kit to the big pledgers.
I would do it, but since you need to be in the US to start a kickstarter project and I live in Canada, I can not do it sad smiley

Any volunteers ?
Re: Mendel Kickstarter
October 22, 2009 02:36PM
Icomtois, that's an interesting idea, and one I'd be willing to explore.

MakerBeam has an invite left for an open-source hardware project, and we could also simply host the project.

Could you give me more of a sense of what you have in mind? I picture distributed printing of the plastic parts; are you also talking about getting a batch of the electronics created?

Kickstarter works well for projects with minimum up-front costs. If you simply wanted to sell 3-d Mendel parts kits, as they were printed, there is probably a simpler way to do that.

On the other hand, if you're talking about a scenario where, say, 50 electronics kits is the minimum order to get a good price, Kickstarter might well work for that. Between Kickstarter's fees and Amazon's, you're looking at about 10% of your money going to service fees, assuming the funding goal is reached at all. If not, no risk, which is a big benefit of Kickstarter also.

I'm just getting oriented on the RepRap project and more so on Mendel. Would it be accurate to say that Mendel splits into roughly 3 types of part: 3-d printed, electronic, and hardware?

I guess what I'm saying is, great idea, tell me more! I'm not going to have the time to create, promote, or execute something of this magnitude. But I'd be happy to help, and also to host the project on our Kickstarter account.
Re: Mendrel Kickstarter
October 22, 2009 04:03PM
I want to build a Reprap Mendrel and finding printed parts is almost impossible. I think it is because if you build a Repstrap or buy a Cupcake CNC you dont feel obligated to give back to the community because you did it with your money or skills. My idea was to get pledges to buy a Cupcake CNC and material and then give back printed parts kit to the pledgers. The more you give the faster you get your part kit. And the person who start the project get something out of this for the trouble.
The minumum pledge to get the parts should be something like this:
Price of the material to printing the parts plus
Price to ship the parts internationally (to allow reprapers to be anywhere in the world) plus
Actual pledge to buy the Cupcake CNC something like 10$ minimum. plus
Agre to print parts for someone else for the price of material.

I think this would get the ball roling and RepRap printing.
Re: Mendrel Kickstarter
October 22, 2009 04:14PM
Extra funding could be used to buy more cupcake cnc and build faster and the extra cupcake cnc could be given to the highest pledger level.
Re: Mendrel Kickstarter
October 22, 2009 04:22PM
It's not a bad model, necessarily. Not at all unlike this project:


Although I'm not sure they're really giving value for their pledges so we'll see how the next 9 days goes for them. Their model is idealistic, and I hope they succeed.

Am I right in thinking that the electronics and extruder are also in short supply?

I think you're better off working with the people who have 3-d printers already. Let's say people would be willing to print a Mendel for $f00 dollars. You could find, say, five people who are prepared to print 20 Mendels between them. Make the pledge level 1.5 $f00. 10% goes to Kickstarter/Amazon, leaving you with a profit of .35 f00. Connect pledgers directly to printers, and handle payment on delivery as a trusted 3rd party.

If $f00 is $100, you have $35 a Mendel; 20 of them is $700, and you're well on your way to a Cupcake. If you fulfilled an order or two yourself, your machine is covered, and there are 20 more Mendel skeletons in the world.

Something similar could be done in parallel for electronics and hardware packages. Once you have a Kickstarter account, it's as easy to create three projects as one, and one may as well section out the accounting and work.

If someone wants to do this, and again I won't have the time to coordinate this venture, I will either host if you're outside the US or offer an invite if you are US based.
Re: Mendrel Kickstarter
October 23, 2009 03:44AM
I'm wondering if Fabroot is not violating the license on the wistle and other thingiverse items they offer printed in return for a pledge...
Re: Mendrel Kickstarter
October 23, 2009 10:34AM
The main problem I see with fabroot is that it is not promoting the reprap replication. I don`t want a machine for free I want to kickstart the replication of reprap machines.

Like I said to host a kickstart project you need to have a US adresse an US bank account and I live in Canada so I am no eligible. Mabey if I could get MakerBot industries involved in this project as a trusted 3rd party I could could do it.
Re: Mendrel Kickstarter
October 24, 2009 12:10AM
I like the idea of Kickstarter as it is moving the world towards a post scarcity economic system (in conjunction with projects like RepRap).

Information is already capable of converting to post scarcity models. For example:

If you were to use Kickstarter to produce a music album by offering to release the album for free when the amount of money exceeds the goal (cost to produce the album/income for the artists/etc). However using the rewards system you can offer other things of value (like tickets to the next concert or such). This way everybody (including the other people who didn't contribute) can benefit.

For RepRap, I can actually see a way that might work.

Like the KickStart system (call it the Broker system) you have people that can pledge, but they can pledge not just money (Pledgers), but they can also pledge components (Printers ).

The Broker co-ordinates the delivery of pieces by the Printers to the Pledgers as the Pledgers pay the money, then the Broker co-ordinates the delivery of money from the Pledgers to the Printers.

This can occur by having a pool of money from the Pledgers held by the broker. When a Piece is given by the Printers, the Broker give the money to them and send the piece on to the Pledger.

No money or pieces need be transferred until there is both a Pledger and Printer have given to the system.

You can also put into place a reward scheme for pieces that are needed. If there are only a few pieces pledged of a certain type, and more will be needed, then you can slightly increase the amount of money given for Printers who pledge that type of piece.

Also, if a person buys a RepRap this way, they can pledge pieces from their machine back to the community are recover their costs for their Reprap.

This can also be expanded upon. You don't have to stop at the pieces for the RepRap, but this can include any object the RepRaps could make, so even if you don't own a RepRap, you can get access to the manufacturing capacity of the entire community.

This actually reverse the Kickstarter system. In kick starter the Pledgers are the ones creating the projects and the Printers are supplying the "money" (the printed objects).

In this scheme the Pledgers are the ones that are creating the projects (print me something) and the People who own RepRaps are the ones allowing these projects to be completed (the reward is the money).

This, of course is a highly competitive market. If you can pledge a printed object for less than anyone else (due to suppliers, transport costs or whatever), then you will take preference. This forces the price due to scarcity of the objects down (and into a post scarcity economy). But the fact that multiple people can print the part means that no one Printer dominates the production.

The main problem I can see here is to do with Quality Control. How can you assure that the final piece received is of sufficient quality (this could be crudely solved with a simple rating system).
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