PF Blog

Machine Shop Pitches Product Idea Through Kickstarter

By: Peter Zelinski
21. November 2013

Manufacturers are often closet inventors. People who work with machine tools frequently see ideas for retail products they could produce on these machines—if only there was a way to develop and test the market for that product. Now, Kickstarter potentially offers a way to begin. Kevin Saruwatari of manufacturing firm Qsine recently launched this Kickstarter page to test the interest in his idea for a retail product, a heatsink and enclosure for the Raspberry Pi computer.

Kickstarter is a crowdsourcing website for funding entrepreneurs. Inventors and artists promote their ideas on the site, and donors pledge large or small amounts (as small as $1) to support the ideas they like. If a project obtains the pledges needed to go forward, then the entrepreneur collects the money. If not, the backers aren’t charged.

Mr. Saruwatari hopes this test case with Kickstarter succeeds, because he aims to use this channel to develop other ideas for machined products. In the video on his Kickstarter page, he discusses the 9-axis mill-turn capability he would use to produce the enclosure. As you watch the video and consider supporting the project, perhaps you’ll also see possibilities for advancing a retail product idea you have in mind? It would be great to see machining businesses start to find new opportunities and new customers through this channel.

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