Freedom of Creation's been around for about a decade now, but has never quite fulfilled its promise of bringing mass customization to the mainstream. Now, the Dutch rapid-prototyping powerhouse has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for an online tool that'll put personalized 3-D printed designs directly at people's fingertips. And they're starting with something that's already got plenty of mass appeal: the iPad.
Freedom of Creation partnered with the electronics accessories brand Fresh Fiber to offer sleek iPad accessories to folks who pledge their hard-earned cash to the campaign. The accessories, including stands and cases, are 3-D printed in a perforated gray nylon to say pretty much whatever you want: your name, your logo, "Go Patriots!" (if you're evil).
So pledge $7, and you'll get your name on an iPad case -- alongside a bunch of other backers -- that'll "travel the world" and may or may not end up at auction and/or at MoMA. For $37, you get a personalized stand that snap-folds to fit in your pocket; and for $77 you get your very own customized iPad case. Or, say you've got more money than God ($497, to be precise), you can collaborate with Freedom of Creation's designers to adorn a case in any image imaginable, whether ?a rolling ball slide, a windmill or the statue of liberty." Neat! Expensive!
The goal here is to raise $20,000 for a web platform that'll allow customers to virtually sculpt their individual preferences onto 3-D printed objects. We imagine the platform will look a bit like the one Freedom of Creation threw together for this 3-D typeface, and at first, it'll produce iPad cases only. But the idea's clearly to make a working prototype for other products -- perhaps to create a sort of Etsy for mass customization, which, in turn, will nudge Freedom of Creation ever closer to its goal.
[Images courtesy of Freedom of Creation]