Jan 26, 2017 | By Benedict

Kickstarter has suspended funding for Next Dynamics’ controversial crowdfunding campaign for the NexD1 3D printer. The campaign had been plagued by allegations of improper behavior, and had just one day left to run prior to its suspension.

The NexD1 3D printer from Next Dynamics

Kickstarter’s Integrity team has put the brakes on one of the most controversial 3D printer crowdfunding campaigns of recent times. After serious questions had been raised over the status of the NexD1 3D printer, a PolyJet 3D printer being developed by Berlin-based startup Next Dynamics, the crowdfunding platform has finally intervened, ensuring that no money will change hands between backers and Next Dynamics.

Funding for the 3D printer crowdfunding campaign was suspended at around midnight last night (EST) while funding stood at €363,994, far above the campaign goal of €200,000 but still a considerably lower figure than the campaign’s high water mark of €550,000+, registered in mid-January before allegations prompted many backers to withdraw their pledges.

It appears that Next Dynamics was unaware of the impending suspension, as it continued to post video updates of its 3D printer prior to the Kickstarter’s interruption. The startup’s last YouTube video, embedded below, purportedly depicts the NexD1 3D printer fabricating the now-notorious Mosaic Egg design that had been part of the ongoing controversy. Many backers suspected, based on good evidence, that Next Dynamics had pretended to print the egg and other prints, and had actually purchased pre-printed models from Shapeways.

Backer responses to the news have been overwhelming positive, though many have expressed support for Next Dynamics, encouraging the startup to continue working on the NexD1 3D printer until it is ready for production. A Facebook group, NDBackers, has been set up, independent of Next Dynamics, to allow followers of the campaign to continue discussing the project once the Kickstarter campaign is removed.

Superbacker Andy T, who had followed the progress of the campaign closely, commented that “the integrity and trust in [Next Dynamics] has been pretty much destroyed…with Kickstarter's message driving the final nail in their coffin.”

Kevin Holmes, another backer, offered the following opinion: “Campaigns like this can be extremely corrosive to crowdfunding as a whole, because when they take significant amounts of money, they erode Trust, and even though you can't measure it, Trust is still [a] finite resource.”

Kristian (KRS), the backer whose visit to the Next Dynamics office was something of a catalyst for the chain of events that followed, added: “As everyone here on this campaign, I wanted this machine, and I believe we will some day see a matured product, even from Ludwig and his team, but for the moment being this is definitely the best solution for everyone.”

It is not yet known how Next Dynamics plans to respond to this setback. Interestingly, the startup has continued to post updates about the status of the 3D printer despite the suspension of the crowdfunding campaign. Roughly two hours after the suspension of the campaign, the startup posted a series of tweets concerning the videos they had uploaded a few hours prior, with no mention of the Kickstarter action.

Despite the ambiguity of the term “suspension,” Kickstarter makes clear that the decision to suspend funding is irreversible: “Once a project has been suspended it cannot be undone.” The crowdfunding platform also lists the various violations of Kickstarter rules that would prompt the suspension of a campaign. These include:

  • Misrepresentation of support, through self-pledging.
  • Misrepresentation or failure to disclose relevant facts about the project or its creator.
  • The creator provides inaccurate or incomplete user information to Kickstarter or one of our partners.
  • The characteristics of the creator account overlap with the characteristics of backer accounts that pledged to their project.
  • A party related to the creator is posing as an independent, supportive party in project comments or elsewhere.
  • The creator is presenting someone else’s work as their own.
  • The creator is offering purchased items, claiming to have made them.
  • The creator or an affiliated service is spamming potential backers with promotional materials.
  • The creator is repackaging a previously-created product, without adding anything new or aiming to iterate on the idea in any way.

Although Kickstarter is not obliged to explain why it chose to suspend the Next Dynamics campaign, backers have alleged that the startup may have been guilty of several of the above violations.

Backer Richard K satirizes the debacle with this amusing 3D printable model

See yesterday’s article about the controversy surrounding Next Dynamics and the NexD1 3D printer for more information about this bizarre and frankly fascinating crowdfunding campaign.



Posted in 3D Printer



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darren wrote at 2/24/2017 4:29:23 AM:

So when is the Integrity Team putting the brakes on Kickstarter itself LOL. Totally washes hands off after project is funded. What do you need KS team for? Safer to 'fund ' projects posted on ebay, at least there's buyer protection.

streaky wrote at 2/3/2017 2:04:10 AM:

Craig - I think there's something to what you're saying, it's something I've mentioned before. Using Kickstarter to bootstrap a company is extremely risky and I think people are learning that now - both as startups and as consumers buying in. The only thing I think it's valuable for is when you have a working device and you need help to put into mass production but when that's true banks are an approachable resource and they'll provide advice. The problem with kickstarter is using using people to provide funding to start a company but they're getting no equity in return, there's a huge gulf of moral hazard in that.

CRAIG BILLINGS wrote at 1/30/2017 1:57:51 PM:

This is why we didn't do a kickstarter. It takes time to prototype, test, and then try to reproduce a 3D printer COMPANY. We have been around 5 years now are growing every year. www.acadianrobotics.com

MayhemInMayberry wrote at 1/27/2017 2:45:41 PM:

It is about time

All Things 3D wrote at 1/27/2017 12:44:31 PM:

It is too bad someone didn't suspend Sixense who also received well over $500,000 and who is now past three years without ever providing a product, changed the design two times, pushed backers to forgo the desktop version of STEM and back the mobile version and continues to delay shipment due to design and manufacturing issue. On top of all that the will not allow refunds. I have had them on three times, each time they have made empty promises and finally stopped answering my request for more information. Including the date to come visit their warehouse in San Diego.

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