NEWS – March 2012

Sorry for the sparsity of news over the last year; settling into Tassie, looking for a Job, putting together a garden, raising a cattle & talking with heaps of government types about why we should be looking at these technologies to revitalise industry in Tasmania has taken its time.  Confidence in Politicians actually doing good for the State like they used to in the good old days?  Currently riding at about 2%. BTW, thanks for voting me to be El Presidente, even though I think it’s a bit weird with most of you in a different State :-)

Anyway, in February I wrote up a piece on Bedini’s everlasting crystal battery – you can see it here but only if you’re a member.

Now, here’s a suggestion for all you budding inventors out there – Kickstarter.  This is one of those great ideas that could never have come about without a new technology (in this case the internet, or to be precise World Wide Web and easy to use browsers).  They call themselves a “new way to fund creativity”, and so far it’s living up to its claims.  Basically what happens is you have something you want to create – could be a book, a game, a work of art, an invention, whatever, and you work out you need a certain amount of money to get this done.  What you do is then spell out your idea and what you want to get done & how much it’ll cost, and invite people to donate money to your cause.  In return you promise to provide these people with certain rewards, depending upon how much they donate (so you really need to work out how much it’ll cost you to get the thing done AND pay for all these “prizes”).  If you get the amount of money pledged in a certain time then you actually get the money & are expected to deliver on the promises, if the amount of money is not reached then all bets are off.

If you are one of the lucky ones & get a lot more money than you need early then you can choose to add certain extra prizes – e.g. you might be able to get a basic device built for $x, but then you get the money & work out if you get 2$x then you can get it done in more enduring metal rather than plastic, etc.  Some really lucky projects (e.g. the Order of the Stick book reprint drive – a Dungeons & Dragon comic that I’ve followed since the days of the Dragon Magazine) have achieved over a million dollars in pledges – and they were only after about $58 grand!

Anyway, let’s give a more relevant example.  You might be aware that there are now in existence “printers” that can “print” in 3D – i.e. you can actually print an object, like a spoon.  Well, a plastic spoon anyway – there are metal printers about but they’re hideously expensive.  Actually, even the plastic printers are not cheap, so someone decided to try a Kickstarter project for a cheap 3D printer called Printrbot.  This project was also very successful, with $830 grand of pledges, when they only wanted $25000.  This 3D printer is also extendable (in all 3 dimensions) and can create most of the appropriate pieces to make another Printrbot – i.e. it can nearly replicate itself (so you really only ever need to buy one :-) Actually you still need some nuts & bolts, bearings & rods, belts, a motor, electronics etc).  Anyway, some of the “prizes” offered were:
$1: “Sincere Gratitude” & name listed on the Website on a Supporters page (all higher tiers get this )
$10: Personalised thank you card.
$25: 3D printed bottle opener
$75: 3D printed logo keychain and bottle opener.
$89: Full set of parts to build PrintRBot – not including hardware like bearings etc. – US only
$199: Ditto – International customers
$231: Ditto + includes most hardware (not motors or electronics) – US only ($424 International)
$499: Full kit to make a PrintRBot – US only ($544 International)
$544: Ditto but parts are laser-cut – US only ($649 International)
$694: As above but larger model (20 x 20 x 20cm build volume) – US only ($750 International)
$999: Fully assembled and calibrated PrintRBot – US only (think $1100 for International)

Bearing this in mind, I believe that SOME of the inventions that people have demonstrated at CTS meetings or discussed there COULD be funded with a business model like this.  Just think of it – you could get $100 grand (maybe) to build a free-energy invention, and maybe have some fun doing it with weird and wonderful prizes on offer (the main one being a kit of your invention, or fully constructed model).  Ideal inventions would be ones that you could provide in kit form for a few hundred dollars, with a fully constructed version in the range $1000-2000.  Note that the rewards don’t have to include the invention itself; you could decide to go for sewable patches, certificates, fridge magnets or some other doodads, especially for lower pledge tiers.

So, do we have any takers?  If so, then please publish info on your project to the CTS web site, so we know to make a pledge to you.

Leave a Reply