After a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, in 2021, the German startup iFactory3D decided to place a greater focus on collaboration with the community. The most active and engaged iFactory3D printer users will now have a chance to take part in the development of new printer models.
“It’s pretty obvious there are certain community representatives who are eager to create their perfect 3D printer. They assist us in the decision-making process while providing out-of-the-box ideas, suggestions, and advice,” says Artur Steffen, CEO of iFactory3D.
According to Artur, the majority of iFactory3D customers are entrepreneurs and companies who would like to build their own serial production with 3D printers. “It’s highly motivating to see community members who evaluate the quality of our product with delight and are ready to rely on printers by iFactory3D when growing their business. We understand what is required from our side and respond accordingly. Of course, all of this is quite challenging.” — Artur Steffen
To facilitate community collaboration, iFactory3D is creating a discussion forum where users can address their concerns and ask questions as well as share any ideas and thoughts regarding 3D printing and receive feedback from experts. This forum will also be the main platform for the iFactory3D community to find tutorials, wikis, and digital manuals that enable digital interactions with iFactory3D products and services.
“Our individual approach to customers and our support service have received positive responses from users. Furthermore, so far it has taken us on average six hours to respond to support requests and, to my mind, this is quite a good result for such a young 3D printing company. However, we are constantly working on improving our processes by targeting a 50% faster response time from status quo. A real must for our company is to provide an adequate level of support and quality service for those who believe in us.” — Artur Steffen
At the end of 2020, iFactory3D managed to fulfill its obligations to backers of its successful Kickstarter campaign by sending out iFactory One kits in just 10 days. As a result, the first 50 backers have already received their 3D printers.
The iFactory One conveyor belt 3D printer is now being used in more than 11 countries, including in the USA, Canada, and China. At this very moment, the iFactory3D team is working hard to prepare the next kits for shipment to 150 backers.
After iFactory One 3D printers reached the first 50 backers, the iFactory3D team made several engineering changes based on customers’ feedback. “We’ve made the process of joining the printer parts more intuitive and easier. We have also updated the manuals and modified the 3D printer belt tensioning system so that any user is able to make the necessary adjustments on their own,” says Artur Steffen.
In response to these changes, the company decided to take an unprecedented step and offer the first backers the latest hardware upgrades for the iFactory One at no additional charge. These upgrades have already been implemented in the upcoming consignment of printers.