Just Add Filament is a concept that we believe to have incredible potential. My brother Nate and myself are maker enthusiasts and have been playing around with 3D printers since we got our hands on a Makerbot Cupcake kit nearly 10 years ago. Fast forward to 2016 and Nate created the Reach 3D Printer which sold over 500 units on Kickstarter. Myself and a few others helped along the way but for the most part, Nate was a one-person operation. The Reach was one of the few printers on Kickstarter that actually made it into customer hands during that time. Yet after the last printer was shipped, competition was growing exponentially. Very similar RepRap based open source printers were beginning to ship directly from China and new printer concepts were showing up on Kickstarter almost daily, soaking up market share and resulting in ever slimming margins. As post Kickstarter sales began to drop off, it became clear that competing in the exploding 3D printer market would require substantial investment along side rising risk.
As we discussed this situation one afternoon, the conversation shifted to what we could offer to the customers who already had one of the many low cost 3D printers flooding the market. What would have helped us grow with our printers back in those early days of learning to use a Markerbot Cupcake. We enjoyed printing the variety of items uploaded to sites like Thingiverse but the real excitement was to be found in creation of our own designs with embedded electronics and mechanical action. Initially we aspired to make rocket powered balsa planes and crazy looking marble mazes but soon it was strange lamps that shifted their color with orientation to Earth’s magnetic field, and remote controlled robotic battle bots built around low cost Arduino microcontrollers. These more advanced projects took a great deal more time to reach a functional state. How many awesome projects were delayed or abandoned due to missing bits of hardware or a lack of time to design the circuit board? What if we could have ordered low cost kits that included all of the bits of hardware and electronics and jump started our inspiration? Such products would have given us more time to enjoy the advantages of owning a 3D printer and amplified the fun while accelerating our learning potential. This is exactly what Just Add Filament aims to accomplish.
We will provide a working combination of components and custom designed models to you the 3D printer owner. Our kits will enable advanced projects, integrating electronics and hardware, and allowing for assembly in an afternoon. Select your model, download and print, solder, and assemble. These kits will enhance 3D printer ownership for all experience levels. With a bit of luck we may inspire some who might otherwise have run out of steam in pursuit of their maker adventures. Join us in this venture and have some fun while helping us catalyze inspiration for the next generation of makers, tinkers, scientists, and engineers. We are going to need them in the decades to come. Thank you for your support! -Keith