Posts Tagged "crowdsourcing"

Jump Start Your Kickstarter Campaign

December 13, 2012

Kickstarter and 3D printing have been linked together in the news quite a bit recently because of an impending patent lawsuit. Well we are here to shed some light on how 3D printing can actually be used to enhance your future Kickstarter campaign and hopefully reel in the big investors!

With this new lawsuit, it is almost guaranteed that Kickstarter will crack down even more on their acceptance of new projects and they will continue to strictly follow guidelines that are set in place. The updated Kickstarter New Hardware and Product Design Project Guidelines states that ‘Product renderings are prohibited. Product images must be photos of the prototype as it currently exists’. This means that in order to even begin your Kickstarter campaign it is imperative to have a functional prototype of your product. By requiring a product prototype, Kickstarter is limiting the risk exposure potential investors face — You are not able to “promise” that your product will have certain functions, you must prove that your product does indeed have the described functionality. (This is where 3D printing comes into play.)

3D printing is a technology that can help you fabricate a completely functional prototype of your product. Businesses use 3D printing to test out new products before sending them on to manufacturing. The 3D printing technology really lets you get your hands on an actual product to test, modify and finalize the design. Entrepreneur magazine recently posted an article about creating a prototype and the distinct benefits associated with it (article: Creating a Product Prototype). Even if you do not plan on having a Kickstarter campaign, having a prototype will help you test the functionality of your product, describe your product more effectively and encourage others (i.e. potential investors) to take your idea more serious.

Here at 3D Innovations we have had the opportunity to help numerous small business design and develop functional prototypes. If you are interested in learning more about our prototyping services please contact us at: or by phone at (808) 722-8667. We help businesses all over the globe, so do not be shy about contacting us even if you do not live in Hawaii.


About us: 3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Crowdsourcing: Insight from 3D Innovations’ Collin Kobayashi

February 15, 2012

Crowdsourcing can be a great way to launch and get your product idea off the ground.  While this method of fundraising and collaboration has some particular issues that have become hot topics lately, the right project could successfully benefit from this newly mainstream process.

Crowdsouring has worked best when Inventors or Entrepreneurs seek funding for their innovative ideas or projects.  Using the various crowdsourcing sites that exist, Inventors can post images, videos, and design data to display the products that they are trying to develop.  If the right idea is desirable, many will support the idea in hopes of it being developed and introduced to the market.  One of the benefits for the Entrepreneur is that they are able to in a sense “pre-sell” their idea to test  the market’s interest before investing and jumping into the large manufacturing process.  This provides them with an opportunity to have a large focus group to see the product and provide feedback which can be used to improve the design and functionality.  While there are a few downsides to using crowdsourcing for this process, the benefits of have potential customers pay for the products design and manufacturing seem to outweigh all of the other concerns.

Interested in learning more about crowdsourcing or getting started on a product design and prototype? Contact us today at

Article image by:

Three Ways to Bring Crowdsourcing into Mainstream Manufacturing (Response)

February 13, 2012

Derek Singleton, a job shop software analyst, recently wrote the article: Three Ways to Bring Crowdsourcing into Mainstream Manufacturing. Collin Kobayashi, owner of 3D Innovations & 3D Academy, thought that Mr. Singleton’s article brought up some great points and wanted to share his own insight into the matter with you.

Derek Singleton’s post: Three Ways to Bring Crowdsourcing into Mainstream Manufacturing blog post.

Mr. Collin Kobayashi’s response:

Innovative ideas are typically reserved for the large companies who invest millions of dollars in R&D.  How do smaller companies or even individuals get into this arena?  Crowdsourcing for Mainstream Manufacturing could be the way.  Here are my inputs on the three areas being discussed:

Ease into crowdsourcing for idea creation

The first obstacle is to gain approval from an industry whose historically kept the doors shut on external collaboration.  My feeling on easing this newly adopted process into discussions with manufacturers is absolutely the correct way to go.  As with most new processes and regulations, people need to be aware of what is coming and provide them with the appropriate training for transition and implementation.

Divide projects to protect intellectual property (IP)

This is probably the most widely discussed concern among innovative ideas.  How do you protect the IP?  There are numerous methods to protect IP both internally and externally so that the “secrets” are protected to the greatest extent possible.  Using a compartmentalizing process may be the best approach, but may not be the solution.  Many innovative products have several areas of cross disciplinary design that make it difficult for integration.  Trying to compartmentalize some areas such as the mechanical, electrical, software, and other design areas could prove difficult and in some cases, make controlling IP a true nightmare.   I believe this process of segregating tasks needs to be done in a methodical manner in order to successfully implement external collaborators.

Create a single file sharing system for design files

Aside from IP or other security issues, the other main challenge for project collaboration is the design platform of CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software being used.  The idea of having a single CAD platform across all users has been the ideal situation for many small and large businesses alike.  Adoption of this process could delay or keep project collaboration on schedule.  Many companies have faced this issue with the integration of 2D to 3D design.  Which program do we use? How do we migrate legacy data? This has even become an issue with companies who have multiple offices/divisions of their company at various worldwide locations. If project collaboration were to occur, there would indeed need to be a standardized process or program used for the duration and lifecycle of the projects design and manufacturing data.  While there are many design and CAD programs in the world of product development, there are equally as many in the manufacturing industry.  Would this become an issue with this industry as well?  in the short term, probably not, but with crowdsourcing gaining traction and a fast pace, there could be a similar need for the creation and storage of manufacturing design data.

Would you like to discuss this topic further with Collin Kobayashi or do you have questions? Please e-mail