Today we’d like to introduce you to Braydon Moreno.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Braydon. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My business partner, Coby Kabili, was working on a 3D printed prosthetic leg for his Senior Design project in mechanical engineering at San Diego State University. Since prosthetics are so expensive, he came up with a concept to 3D print an affordable prosthetic with 3D printing. He was using an expensive industrial 3D printer at SDSU. When I saw what he was doing and 3D printing technology, it just made sense. We realized there was an opening to make an affordable, assembled, and easy to use the personal 3D printer so people all over the world could have access to this tech and bring their ideas to life. Thus, began the journey of Robo 3D. We started building our first machine and bootstrapped the business in July of 2012 and launched it on Kickstarter in December 2012. With a goal of $49,000, we ended up raising $649,000. It was a complete shock to us as we were still on a dining room table at the time with only one prototype. We now have 3 different models of 3D printers and have sold 10’s of thousands of our machines to over 4505 cities across 102 countries around the world. We have built an entire ecosystem around 3D printing including materials, kits, curriculum for education, and a community of enthusiasts dubbed the Robo nation. We are on a mission to bring our machines, ideas, and influence to the world so people can have access to a tool that can help them take their idea and make it real.
Has it been a smooth road?
Haha. This is a great question. It never is a smooth road, but if you are passionate about something and believe in your mission, then you figure it out. We have been through MANY struggles. We started this business with no real engineering backgrounds so even the product development side of the business was extremely difficult. We learned a ton using the resources at our disposal – researching online, joining community forums, and YouTube videos of people building 3D printers. You can essentially learn anything you want online now if you seek good quality info.
Some of the major struggles – cash flow is always one of them. When you are trying to go BIG, you constantly are pouring money back into the business for product development, inventory, marketing, advertising, hiring, so cash flow is always an obstacle.
We have been sued by a “consultant” who we agreed to give equity to based on certain conditions. When those conditions were not met, he still wanted his equity and therefore sued us and we had to go through an entire arbitration process and settle.
We also have had some product quality issues along the way that we have had to deal with.
The point is, all businesses have issues like the above. It’s how you navigate them and keep pushing forward. You have to understand that this is all part of the process. I have spoken to tons of business owners and I have never heard it’s been a smooth road to the top.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Robo 3D story. Tell us more about the business.
Robo 3D is a company that focuses on empowerment. Empowerment is so ingrained in the tools that we sell and the people that use them. Our key is building an ecosystem around 3D printing – high-quality machines, materials that allow people to do more, kits that users can build projects, and a community of enthusiasts that all work together. All these things together set our company apart from the rest.
One of the things with our technology is that it has a learning curve. 3D printing is not necessarily the easiest tech in the world so it requires phenomenal customer support and training… and we are extremely good at that. We have powerful, well-engineered machines, and the support team to back it up. We make sure our customers are using the products successfully and then we bring their stories to life to inspire others how they can use their Robo 3D printers.
What makes me the proudest every day is how fulfilling this business is. I got a letter the other day from a 10-year-old kid who is using our 3D printer to make a product and start his own business – he thanked me for making this machine and said I was his hero. It’s just unbelievable the stories you hear. It’s unlike any other product because we sell a machine – it goes into the hands of a user – and then, we hear how it has allowed them to build something or create something they wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. Extremely inspiring.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The 3D printing industry has already made some incredible shifts in the past 5 years and it’s going to go a lot further in the next decade.
Speed of 3D printing is going to increase heavily in the next 5 years. Right now, 3D printing takes hours to make something, but it will eventually take minutes. This allows people to make things on demand, which will be an interesting shift.
Bio 3D printing is going to change the world. In the next 10 years, being able to 3D print exact organ replacements will be a thing.
3D printing in construction is going to change the architecture of buildings into much more design focused structures.
It is pretty amazing to be a part of such an impactful industry.
- Robo R2 3D Printer $1500
- Robo C2 3D Printer $799
- Robo R1+ (Maker machine) $499
- Address: 5070 Santa Fe Street Suite C
San Diego, CA 92109
- Website: www.robo3d.com
- Phone: 844-476-2633
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org