I have no connection to the project - I just thought it was interesting and worth sharing. There are a couple of links in the article about other systems but they're either more expensive (the 3D printer that prints the entire board), or more appropriate for teaching (the conductive pen).
I like the idea that you could have a printer at home that would let you run off a circuit and try it out without having to etch a board. I'm not planning on contributing, but based on the response so far, they will get their funding - then we can see what users think of the system.
Kickstarter "crowdfunding" is an interesting concept. The creators of a project don't get any money if they can't raise the amount they target, so those projects are "failed" and the people who pledged money never get charged. There are a number of successfully-funded projects that have shipped on time...but there are also a bunch where the team was overwhelmed with the response to their idea and was unable to scale up to the demand, leading to unhappy contributors who don't get what they paid for. It's not really "gambling", but you are taking a chance that the team has the ability to actually produce and ship the product. There are a lot of articles out there discussing the percentage of successful projects - just Google "kickstarter success rate".
The bar you have to jump over to get funded is a lot higher than it was a year or two ago; you really need to show that you have the ability to actually build what you're pitching. In the early days it was more of a concept pitch, but now you have to show working prototypes, if not finished early production models. I find it interesting - it allows a talented, committed entrepreneur to bypass big companies and get the public that wants the product to contribute.
I was more interested in discussing the idea of adapting an inkjet printer to print circuit boards at home. If these guys can ship it and turn it into an ongoing business, it could be a useful tool. No messy chemicals - just print the circuit, assemble it and glue it to something.
Well of course I did that, but success is deemed to be achieving funding.
The number of projects that actually deliver as promised is a lot harder to find, but it seems to be that only around 25% of (funded) technology projects deliver on time, although how many never actually deliver, and there must be some, seems to be hidden.
As to the idea, has they using conductive glue in finished products these days ?
I can see it useful as a training aid in schools and similar, and for prototyping SMT only designs before doing a real PCB.
With many KickStarters (there is another site called Indigogo ) you are generally offered a deal on the finished item depending on how much you have contributed. It's an excellent way to get an idea off the ground especially one that you find helpful.
I am curious how fine a trace hey can do wit their process i.e. SMD PicAxes.
It's sad to think of how, years ago, I spent 3 long years of my life working part-time, and living on potatoes, beans and next to nothing in order to develop and start to produce a product that ran on the Commodore 64. If I'd had money I could have done the whole thing in 3 or 4 months. After those 3 years I was finally building the first batch of my product when Commodore announced they were going under.
With crowd-sourcing, things would have gone very differently. I envy the youngsters of today, with inexpensive PC's, free software for everything from circuit modeling, to code editors, to schematic design, to PCB layout, to 3-D circuit bd modeling, cheap 3-D printers, the web for free information and tech support, free long-distance phone calls, virtually free on-line advertising, etc.
srnet, There is always the risk that you won't get anything when you back a project on Kickstarter, or other crowd funding web sites, but there is much, much higher chance of getting something than not.
I am a frequent backer on Kickstarter and Indiegogo and here I will give you my statistics about the projects I have backed. Hopefully it will push you from the skeptic view you seem to have on crowd funding.
2/2 backed projects on Indiegogo I have received. Even though I must say that one of the projects software is a bit buggy but they are working on it.
Out of 18 projects I have backed on Kickstarter I have NOT received 4. 1 of them got cancelled, no money deducted from my card, and 3 of them have not finished yet. All other projects that have finished have sent me what they promised. Some of them right on time and some of them a bit late. One project was more than an year late. But that is what you sign up for anyways.
So all in all I would say that is a 100% success rate.
I like crowd funding and I hope even more people will use it.