When it comes to problems with 3D printing, most of us think of things like a lack of technology to support new features, or maybe the need for new types of filaments for specific projects. However, in the world of 3D printer manufacturing, there are other issues, including the interference of a payment portal with the creation process.
That’s just what happened with the Gizmo 3D printer after it successfully concluded its crowdfunding program.
What’s Happening with the Gizmo 3D Printer?
To answer the question posed above, “not much of anything, really”. That’s all thanks to PayPal deciding to interfere with the process and withhold a significant amount of money with no release date.
The campaign was conducted on Indiegogo, and netted the company 140% of their goal. Things were going smoothly, and the company was proceeding toward sending out rewards to its backers. That’s when disaster struck.
PayPal sent an email to the company demanding verification and documentation about the money the company has collected through the campaign. Gizmo 3D complied, sending all the required information to PayPal in a short amount of time.
However, PayPal decided to hold $80,000 of the company’s funding for no specified reason, and with no release date. Obviously, this has put a major crimp in plans to roll out the completed printer.
Gizmo 3D posted the email from PayPal for its funders and fans. The reasons listed for holding the funding make little sense, particularly because of the funding platform in use.
PayPal noted that the company’s financial situation had changed drastically, with a massive influx of funds, which is sort of the point with crowdfunding. With that being said, there was nothing that the founders of Gizmo 3D could do, and the only path forward is to wait.
“We will be unable to deliver the much appreciated orders from out backers in dime if we do not have the money to do so,” the company explained in a statement. “Plus, we run the risk of losing our patent for which $10,000 is due in a month’s time to keep it safe.
Quite a devastating situation after working so hard for so long on building our good name and trust with our suppliers, distributors and the community that will be affected by it.”
Gizmo 3D has filed a suit against PayPal with the Australian court system, but there’s not much that can be done in the meantime. They’ll have to wait, as impatiently as that might be.
Interestingly, this is not an unprecedented action from PayPal, which is known to frequently block funds from crowdfunding campaigns for little or no reason.
This is just one example of how a brilliant idea and a much-needed product might be derailed from creation by the whims of financial entities around the world, and through no fault of the company behind the product.