Jun 27, 2016 | By Benedict

Rowan Pritchard, a 12-year-old tech enthusiast from Petaluma, California, has launched a GoFundMe campaign for a new made-to-order 3D printing business. The young entrepreneur is looking to raise $3,000 for a 3D printer, monitor, scanner, and recycler.

It’s easy for kids to pick up new technology—and that’s a fact. Just look at a group of schoolchildren using their iPhones, then watch your dad trying to do the same. But despite the younger generation’s overall tech wizardry, we were still surprised to hear that a 12-year-old Californian is planning to set up his own 3D printing service and has launched a GoFundMe campaign to get the business up and running.

Rowan Pritchard, an ambitious youngster who has just finished fifth grade at Petaluma’s Mary Collins School at Cherry Valley, was introduced to 3D printing three years ago when his uncle took him to the San Rafael Maker Faire. After seeing dozens of spectacular-looking machines and learning a bit about what they could do, Rowan started doing his homework on additive manufacturing. After a few days of online research, he was hooked.

Rowan’s parents, Scott and Jennifer Pritchard, recognized Rowan’s passion for 3D printing, but weren’t initially sure if the excitement would stick. They were therefore reluctant to buy the youngster his own 3D printer. However, when they realized the depth of the Rowan’s interest, Scott and Jen pitched a different idea: why not raise money, buy your own 3D printer, and start a 3D printing business?

“We talked to him about the concept of what a GoFundMe was, and he said, ‘I’ll do that!’” Scott told the Press Democrat. “We had him write his own message. We talked about the donors being investors. It was a great opportunity to teach him how to run a business.”

To get the ball rolling, Scott and Jen got in touch with Mentor Me, a California nonprofit which pairs adult volunteers with kids looking for guidance, support, and someone to look up to. Rowan was introduced to Deb Dalton, the charity’s executive director, who gave the youngster some advice about starting a business.

“Rowan wanted to know what I thought about his idea, and I gave him a lot of things to look up—the whole concept of corporations, and how part of their business is donating to causes and the rest of it is for profit,” she said. “He was cute. He basically came and interviewed me.”

That, however, wasn’t the end of Rowan’s interaction with Mentor Me. Rowan, with the blessing of Dalton and his parents, decided that he could teach a 3D printing class at Mentor Me, helping other kids get to grips with the exciting new technology.

In addition to the planned Mentor Me class, the main aspect of Rowan’s forthcoming business will be an online 3D printing service, in the mould of Shapeways or iMaterialise, which will see the youngster taking unique orders, printing them out on his new 3D printer, then mailing them to the customer. Rowan also plans to sell a special “item of the week”, and offer a rotating catalogue of products, including repair parts for quadcopters, smartphone cases, pens, tools, and toys.

In order to raise money for a 3D printer, scanner, monitor, and recyler, Rowan has set a target of $3,000 on his GoFundMe page, and has—at the time of writing—raised over two thirds of that sum. The budding entrepreneur plans to give 10 percent of his profits to charity, with Mentor Me Petaluma one of the potential recipients.

Best of all, Rowan believes he can offer customers a serious and quality service, and will make each 3D printed part as quickly as possible. “It’s a pretty quick turnaround, actually,” he explained. “Eight hours to print, and then one or two days to ship. Faster than Amazon!”



Posted in 3D Printing Application



Maybe you also like:


Baz wrote at 6/27/2016 6:58:33 PM:

12yr old legally engaging in commerce...right. Parents are idiots.

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive