Mar.1, 2012


Makible is a website similar as Kickstarter that designers and engineers can raise initial funding for their creative projects.

Makibox is the first project launched by Makible. Designed by Jon Buford, one of the co-founders of Makible, Makibox is a spin-off of open source RepRep 3D printer designed for students, designers and hobbyists to experiment a compacted 3D printer with very low cost. The MakiBox kit starts at $350 while an assembled kit costs $550.

Why the price of Makibox can be so competitive? Based in Hong Kong, Makible is sourcing all the parts and materials in China, a larger manufacturing base where cost of materials and labor are much cheaper than the western countries. Secondly Hong Kong is a free port and does not impose duties on imported and exported goods.

The Makibox project started on Jan.31, 2012. By Mar.1,2012, the last day of funding raising, Makibox wound up receiving $88,650 in total or 216% of their goal. - but the number of funding is still rising, looks like you can now just click "Buy this product" and make your order anyway.

Makibox has used some good tactics to get the project successfully funded. Jon Buford actively answered the questions on the site; photos, videos and updates were regularly added as the project went on.

Congratulations to Makibox for the successful funding! At the same time We would like to mention Printrbot. Before Makibox, Printrbot was the smallest, simplest, cheapest RepRap 3D printer in the world. The Printrbot project has used KickStarter to crowd source seed funding and it overshot their target by more than 3,000%, achieving pledges of $830,827 from 1808 backers.

Now with a price tag $350 Makibox should be the cheapest RepRap 3D printer in the world. Why hasn't Makibox reached the same high figure as Printrbot?

Comparing these two projects, there are some differences between the ways Makibox and Printrbot execute the process:

1. Working prototype

Printrbot has built up a prototype before the crowd-funding and uploaded pictures, video of the Printrbot and sample of printed objects from the first day of the funding - which is very convincing to the donors.

Makibox began the project with a 3D animated image, but no printed part to show, no working prototype. When project went on they have added more photos and videos, but a working prototype or a finalized design capable of printing is still not ready even when the funding period was over.


(Makibox vs Printrbot)

Already since day one, people showed great interests in the project but they kept asking:

- Can we see examples of printed objects?
- I'm a little nervous, it looks like you guys have not built a working printing model or printed anything yet.
- I'm also very intrigued to fund but I was hoping to find out a little bit more.
- And when can we expect a working prototype?
- What will happen if you don't get the 100 supporters or the money that you are hoping for? Are you still going to develop it as a product that can be purchased, or will it be dead?
- Do you have a fully working Prototype? If yes: why don't you show it? If not: how could you know that it's doable (or doable for that price?)


You can feel the tension and uncomfortable feelings between the lines. People were even talking about if it was to kickstart the funding site instead of a desktop 3D printer. When the funding reached 100% on Feb.27 a lot of people are relieved - at least the project will not be dead. Thanks to the German group that 20 pieces 3D printers bulkorder gives quite some confidence to others donors.

2. Estimated delivery time

The estimated delivery time of Makibox is not clear. When there is no complete prototype, it is hard to tell when the products can be shipped. Though in the funding site it is mentioned that shipment will be in March, But Buford self can also not promise it because it depends on the prototype. Working prototype will be complete within February, according to Buford. So there will probably be a delay in getting the first new orders out. Buford said, "As far as making a design that is printable, it can be done, but will require some additional design time versus what can be done with laser cutting and CNC parts."

3. Rewards system

The Makibox rewards started with $350, for $350 you will get a Makibox A6 kit. And the PrintrBot started with $1. If you pledged $1 you will receive a thank you on the PrintrBot website. For $5 you'll receive a personalized thank you card. For $89 you get a "Full set of printed parts to build a Printrbot - just add hardware",and so the list goes on.

There should have been other rewards below $350 for Makibox, in our opinion, because $350 is a big commitment for many people, especially when the Makibox project didn't have any amazing videos or even photos for prototype. First of all, many donors will be encouraged to donate to your project if you are offering interesting, once-in-a-lifetime deliverables such as thank you cards, keyrings, bottle openers etc. Secondly, Small donations can make a big difference when added up! If you added those donations for Printrbot below $424(a RepRap basic kit without plastic parts) they are surprisingly a lot of cash - $7,569! We think, the more creative you are with offering rewards, the more donors you will be able to attract.

Despite the above, we still think this is a very successful project. Actually the last 116% funding adding up was happening in the last two days since it reached 100% on Feb.27, 2012. Enough to see that people love the project and really love to have a 3d printer for $350 but just waiting for more facts and details like the real build volume, the detail quality, the printed samples, etc. Now the funding period is over and the guys have reached their goal, we all expect them to fulfill their promise and forgo all fun to build their Makibox project. In a month time we should see what $88,650(or more) and a powerful vision can produce - "to be the first 3D printer to break out of the hobbyists' garages and into the mainstream consumers' living rooms!". Success, guys!


Posted in 3D Printers



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javelin98 wrote at 1/2/2015 10:20:20 PM:

My order was supposed to ship in October 2013. Sadly, I have no printer, can't get my money back, and get zero response from Mr. Buford. The man belongs in prison.

ACG wrote at 4/13/2014 10:46:25 AM:

ED, you need to take a look at the current status at Makibox. Sadly thinks not working out well.

ED wrote at 5/2/2012 7:16:12 PM:

Jon Buford is not trying to get maximum orders at the current stage as it would be impossible to complete them all. Instead he is funding the developent rather than the sales. The high volume sales will come later when he has completed the project.

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