A $99 Smartphone Powered 3D Printer?

What if we could reduce the cost of a photopolymer resin-based 3D printer by taking out the most expensive components — and replacing it with something we already have? A smartphone. That’s exactly what OLO hopes to do.

A resin-based 3D printer, at least on the mechanical side of things, is quite simple. It’s just a z-axis really. Which means if you can use the processing power and the high-resolution screen of your smart phone then you’ve just eliminated 90% of the costs involved with the manufacturing of a resin-based 3D printer. There are a ton of designs out there that use DLP projectors to do just this. (And there have been open-source designs since at least 2012.)

The question is, does it work with a cellphone’s relatively weak light source?

Honestly, we can’t see why it wouldn’t, but we’re not chemists and the secret is going to be in the sauce. That being said we’re excited at the concept of such an inexpensive resin 3D printer. OLO also promises inexpensive photopolymers, which is a big deal because cost-per-volume has been Achilles’ heel of resin printers.


What do you think? Too good to be true? Will you be content with a build surface that’s limited to the size of your phablet’s screen? As with all crowd-funding projects, you should do some serious research before you back anything — especially when it comes to 3D printers. But for only $99…

[via Digital Trends]

170 thoughts on “A $99 Smartphone Powered 3D Printer?

  1. The technology of these $99 3D printer Kickstarters is hardly even the problem anymore. I refuse to trust any new campaign that doesn’t take a practical look at all the other FAILED campaigns in their market sector, analyze what went wrong, and explain why this team is any different.

      1. I think the difference is, on this one the author said, “we can’t see why it wouldn’t [work]”, while the EmDrive article says right up front that it violates Newton’s 3rd law. It’s one thing to try to build an EmDrive (or a perpetual motion machine, or a magic box that you can pull finished plastic parts out of), it’s another to pretend you have a working product and are asking for money to bring it to production.

        But you must remember that the Hackaday audience is not a heterogeneous blob – it is comprised of everybody from those who beam with pride over the blinking LED on their Arduino, to those who play with electron microscopes in their garages and build transistors in their kitchens. (“Hydrofluoric acid isn’t as scary as people seem to think it is.”)

        1. Tried to find out any info on the principals of OLO 3D INC. The address they give is an incubator space. An online search at the California Sec. of State website comes up empty for OLO 3D and OLO3D. Claiming to be incorporated when not is a crime. Legit business post these things on there websites. Maybe I can’t see it thru all the flash on the OLO site. If anyone finds any incorporation information, I’d like to see it.

      2. What exactly is your goal with your statements?

        1) Em Drive guy us doing it for fun, as a hobby, with his own time and money – and he is documenting everything, its a great and fun read, he is making neat devices, doing careful measurements, and is certainly not claiming his EM drive ‘works’.
        2) Olo is people both hiding behind a moniker, not putting their names on their work, and using renderings to sell a fake product.

        What exactly is the correlation?

  2. The price tag isn’t hard to believe…look at the Peachy printer(still waiting for mine though). The problem with Kickstarter and the like is that they don’t require a working, ship-able product before taking the money from you. This is inherently going to draw a crowd of shysters looking to subvert the system for quick buck making schemes. That’s also why you see so many failed attempts.

    1. Kickstarter isn’t a store, it’s an investment vehicle. Those have ALWAYS drawn quick-buck schemers. It’s up to the investor not Kickstarter to determine if what they’re offering is too good to be true.

      ‘A Working ship-able product’ is supposed to the end product of what you’re funding, but like any other investment, it may fail, sometimes spectacularly. (I should know, I was one of the folks who funded the Buccaneer 3D printer fiasco)

        1. Kickstarter and other crowd sourced funding vehicles are not an investment. It’s a promise, at best. You are not receiving equity in the company. You and many others are giving people money in order for them to try to get their start or put together a product with some type of economy of scale numbers present. Sometimes that works out well, other times it does not. But you are not “investing” in anything except the idea that you might get something close to what they promised you. Maybe. Looking at you, Peachy Printer.

      1. No. Investors get a return (a share of future earnings based on their ownership in the company). All you get is the product IF they’re successful. That’s like going into a store and buying a box of cookies, but there’s a high x% chance the box will actually be empty. And if it is empty, too bad, because it was “an investment”.

        The whole premise of this is completely bone-headed. How can they guarantee a $99 price point without working prototypes? They have no bill of materials, therefore they can’t possibly have suppliers or anything resembling a fabrication facility, so they don’t know that cost either.

        If Kickstarter is an investment site, it’s about the worst one in human history.

    2. Look at the price of the thing that you didn’t get delivered? That’s a bit odd.

      Problem I have with kickstarters like these is simple, they have a slick design. Slick marketing. That’s already a red flag for me. Design does not make a product. Design pushes and sells a product, but does not make a working product.

      1. Agreed — Kickstarter is a dream-come-true for products like this. Very large hype factor, The validity of the item is irrelevant. Customers pay up-front. Usability of item received, if shipped at all, questionable. Allows for large “oops, sorry-you-don’t-like-it” factor. Backers: what do you think you’re gaining by being guinea pigs? Trust me, OLO won’t turn you away 6 months from now, if you decide to purchase one thru more standard channels. You are not supporting some guy in his garage, low on funds, trying to develop something, that standard funding would find too obscure to support. Instead, you are helping some guys with great marketing savvy, prove that humans are morons. Please wait until you hear the buzz about the printers received, before parting with your cash …

        1. I agree but you’re already partially falling for the marketing hype, because you’re thinking “past the delivery”, i.e. you’re assuming they will actually build it and ship it. There’s no proof at this point that they can actually build this thing at all. Additionally, even if they do manage to build it, there’s no evidence they can keep the cost under $99.

          1. Jonny O,

            When I said ” Please wait until you hear the buzz about the printers received, before parting with your cash …”, I should have added ” if they are ever received. Don’t put me in the “wow this is so awesome” or even “could happen” group. I’m likely the most fervent, in the belief that there is no printer. You’re totally correct about the price point. I bet, they never even tried to figure out how much it would cost to manufacture. Again, it’s just marketing. $99 is a great number for catching the most suckers. Not so low as to raise suspicion. Low enough, so that even suspicious backers are fine taking a chance. If they did actually have a printer, believe me, they wouldn’t be scrounging money on kickstarter.

            How’s this logic:
            This is a MUST-HAVE Christmas Holiday gadget. 100 million+ households (US only.) With even only a $10 profit margin, one can see the incredible potential. Had they actually peddled a working printer to any large manufacturer, I’m sure they would have realized how lucrative a business venture this could have been. $2M on Kickstarter would be a joke in comparison.

            SO: WHY DID THEY GO THE KICKSTARTER ROUTE? Because the virtual printer itself doesn’t get scrutinized. As long as most of what they claim appears plausible / possible to the masses, they will have success. The performance. or even existence of the printer is shielded. When you think about it, in the real world the printer is the product, on Kickstarter, the CAMPAIGN is the product. Backers WANT TO BELIEVE they are buying a printer, but they are buying into a campaign, and will get what they paid for.

        1. I strongly disagree.

          Look at their marketing images and draw your own conclusion on the implied performance.

          You have extremely low standards. They are offering a product, not a experimental mess.

        1. This is obviously a joke. anyone want to bet the cost of the printer that this will never work out.

          The people in the video look like scam artists. The kickstarter rules, as usual, are ignored, in that there is obviously no working prototype of this ‘idea’.

          It barely rises to the level of ‘an idea’, so much as being ‘fanciful nonsense’.

          All that rendering and marketing effort to advertise a scam. People are not getting paid what their skills are worth in private sector, so they now are turning on the citizens.

          1. For what it’s worth I had a chat to one of my material engineering colleagues and his impression was that it’s probably genuine. Supposedly the secret is osmosis: you have a selectively permeable membrane at the bottom of the container that allows oxygen to diffuse though and contact the resin. Sounds like it’s all very fidgety though, calibration is tricky and it’s very susceptible to environmental conditions as well as ongoing changes to the membrane itself.

          2. Oh there is some physical reality at play – you apply light to light sensitive resins and they harden.. Yes, yes. .Good.. You can also add a membrane and get AMAZING increases in speed. Yes! YES.

            However, this is still a scam. Why? Because a group of people are taking in money on 3d renderings and outright misrepresentations, then being silent when questioned.

            This is scam artist behavior.

  3. My main issue is that MOST photosensitive resins require UV and they clearly state that they are using the white light from the screen. If it works, this does have some scalability. Imagine a unit that worked like this with a 4k TV as the screen….

    1. My first thought when I saw this was that it’ll have to use visible light to cure the resin. Then I started thinking about how tricky it’ll be to keep that resin from curing by accident. Will I need a dark room? A little tent? How will the printer be able to cure one layer without ambient light from the screen curing other layers?

        1. A much simpler explanation is that there is no working prototype and all the pictures are just fakes – Photoshop and inert design mockups. Slick marketing and nothing else. The device will need a battery for powering the Z axis motor. Have you noticed any battery port or charging connector anywhere? Don’t tell me it has a wireless charger – if it did, then they would certainly mention that somewhere! Also the box has no visible user interface – at the very least it needs to be paired to the phone somehow!

          Another enormous red flag is the $80k they were originally asking for. Unless they are not paying any salaries and/or have external funding, there is no way one can bring this type of product to market with that budget. Just the mold tooling takes several thousands – every iteration. The same for the mandatory FCC/CE certifications. And if they have external funding and using Kickstarter as only a marketing vehicle – why isn’t there any footage of a real prototype? Not that obviously faked crap?

          1. The white car shown half way in their movie has some artifacts that I could explain from FDM printing. But it’s only shown shortly and not from a lot of angles. So I could be wrong.

          2. Thank you piecutter. This answers the “can it really print” question, as that video is convincing. The build plate looks like a piece of perf board, which is what I would expect to see in a prototype. Why OlO isn’t showcasing a video, I can’t imagine. However, I still have serious concerns about resolution since there is no optical system to focus the image on the object being printed. As someone else above pointed out, the light spreads out very quickly above an LCD; even the 1 mm spacing between the panel and the front surface of the glass will degrade the resolution greatly. I’d like to see a print that has some fine detail on it — unless this example is about as fine as it can do, which wouldn’t surprise me.

          3. That’s an excellent point. That starting 80k fund is NOWHERE near what it costs to bring something like this to market, and another data point that at best this is incompetent and at worst a scam.

      1. This. These type of resins are well studied and are easily cured with hundreds of watts of UV in a fairly short time period. Cell phone screens are not UV, they are polarized and output no UV spectrum if they are LED based.

        The average output from a cell phone screen being enough to cure UV resin feels rather optimistic. Setting aside the concept that you could somehow selectively inhibit inks using a selectively oxygen inhibiting layer, there just isn’t much *energy* available even with a fully white screen. If cell phones gave off plenty of waste light, they would waste energy and have a shorter battery life.

        Plus, you *can* use photoinitiators that are closer to the visible light spectrum but users need to be able to handle these resins, pour it in, expose it to 50 – 300 lumens of indoor light at minimum without it curing, etc. The bottles are not even in opaque containers!

        Plus, does it need any post curing? How is that handled?

        Several parts of this are extremely suspect. It’s *possible* but I am very skeptical of it being done with a cellphone display as a means of curing photopolymers.

        Plus, the phone is going to never cease smelling like uncured photopolymer inks.

        Color me extremely skeptical until more technical details arise. Also, the price tag is extremely optimistic. Yes, it has one axis but that’s still an extremely aggressive price point.

    2. I have some really sensitive blue cured resin that I work with, and dental resins (composites) are blue cured, so it is conceivable that the blue wavelengths are being used from the white LED back lit LCD screen. White LED’s are just blue LED’s with a Ce:YAG phosphor over them, so there is a lot of blue available.

    3. Most resins really only need blue light to cure, though the shorter wavelength you get the quicker the cure, usually. White light from a phone is ~1/3rd blue so it will cure.

  4. if they spent half as much time, money and energy on the r&d of the proposed product as they do on their video production and viral marketing campaigns perhaps they could produce a better product sooner?

  5. Think about the distance between the LCD panel and the front glass. Even if the resin sat straight on the touchscreen, there would be too much difference, and the light would spread out before it hits the resin.

    1. You are correct – this is the factor that tells me this is almost certainly vaporware/fraudware. It would need a lens that focuses the image on the plane where the resin is being cured. Otherwise the resolution would be really, really, REALLY low. Take a piece of wax paper or tracing paper and place it on your smartphone screen. That blurry mess is what the resin would be seeing.

  6. Blue LEDs emit UV, and WHITE leds are just blue LEDs with a phosphor (like in fluorescent lamps) coating. Also, my Note 4 has an OLED screen, which probably also emits UV. Not sure how much backlight UV gets blocked by the LCD panel though. To test fir UV, just expose glow-in-the-dark stuff to its white (or blue) light in a dark room, then tuen off the screen and check for after-glow.

    1. Oops, actually blue LEDs do not emit UV, but if their photon frequency is high enough to charge ZnS phosphors, perhaps it is enough for this polymer. Not enough coffee…

      1. LED lit LCD screens don’t emit UV, nor do OLEDs. Old CRTs used to emit low levels of UV, as did fluorescent lit LCDs (which still exist, but not in modern smartphones).Your mention of OLEDs has sparked a new question for me though.

        On LCD screens, black pixels still emit some light. On OLED screens they don’t. So perhaps it’s possible the resin is tuned to a specific wavelength of light (light bright blue).

          1. Which would cure with normal “blue” room lighting. The watts per cubic centimeter of a cell phone display is extremely small compared to your average UV resin cure profile in a normal off the shelf printer. Further, those already use 1 to maybe 5% photoinitiator loading as it is. Setting aside oxygen inhibition issues with some resins, I still have a hard time pointing to “blue curing resins” being the solution that works how they describe it does.

          2. For the ambient light problem, you’d keep it in black bottles, and have the developing tank kept in the dark. Not hard to keep room light out.

            That said, it’s still almost certainly bollocks. Give me good odds and I’d bet my arm on it.

  7. At least on their site they have something that looks plausibly like the device in action, though it does seem like it will be slow (30s/layer) since it looks like they want their polymer to tolerate brief exposure to room lighting. Unlike a lot of the more scammy/naive 3d printer kickstarters, they seem to be answering hard questions about the abilities of their printer.

    Interesting idea, though most of their magic is in the photopolymer they are using.

  8. Who here wants to give up their phone for 4-5 hours while the print happens.

    The cure time is much slower, as the resins are not intended to expose with visible light. So the print time is much longer.

    1. Or risk burning an incoming call notification into a layer of your 3D print if you forget airplane mode? Anyway, it should be possible to pause printing in event of an incoming call, then replace your phone into the printer and resume later, if software permits.

      1. Also some info in a video from an aussie channel called Maker’s Muse. He and 3d printer guy often cooperate i think too. Maker’s Muse got an email from the OLO people answering some of his questions and he made a follow up vid. Still not 100% sold but he said the fact they were responding was a positive.

    1. Oh please don’t mention that name. I was one of the few ‘lucky’ ones that actually GOT their Makibox and the hot end burned out within a couple of prints, and the construction was so wonky that it’ll never work properly.

        1. To be fair, the original Printrbot kickstarter units were pretty bad too, made out of laser cut wood, printed parts, used belts and rods not meant for linear motion, etc. The new ones from the company really can’t be compared to their original kickstarter. Kickstarting hardware of any kind is really risky, especially when they ask for so little and are an unknown company.

  9. “Resin chemistry is tailored by manufacturers to meet specific customer needs. Both visible light and ultraviolet light have been used as curing mechanisms for this technology. Ultraviolet light presents some potential hazards and workers using ultraviolet curing resins generally wear protective equipment. … The new light curing unit (LCU) is based on blue light-emitting diodes (LED). The main potential benefits of LED LCU technology are: long lifetime of LED LCU (several thousand hours), no filters or cooling fan required, virtually no decrease of light output over lifetime with resulting consistent and high quality of material curing. Simple depth of cure experiments of dental composites cured with LED technology show promising results. … Recently, light-activated resins have found a place in floor refinishing applications, offering instant return to service not available with any other chemistry due to the need to cure at ambient temperatures. Because of application constraints, these coatings are exclusively UV cured with portable equipment containing high intensity discharge lamps. Such UV coatings are now commercially available for a variety of substrates, such as wood, vinyl composition tile and concrete, replacing traditional polyurethanes for wood refinishing and low durability acrylics for VCT. Also used in 3D SLA Printers.”

    April fools jokes aside, I wonder if the light-activated floor finishing resin could be used for 3D printer, with a suitable 3D printer. It should keep materials costs down, I think.

    And yes, there are resins that cure with blue light.


    1. Light-activated floor finishing resin could most likely be used for some types of 3D printing, depending on the technology and how well the expected spectra aligned with the curing source and if whatever was added as filler doesn’t prove problematic and if cure inhibition wasn’t an issue. Probably a few other potential minor items as well?

    1. Deep in the kickstarter they mention using black (opaque) bottles out of necessity. Seems a bit misleading – handling resin that goes rock hard when exposed to sunlight is tricky!

  10. For those who doubt this is possible, do some research. The quality of the print should be sufficient (at least under the 100 micron level for X/Y). “Daylight” resins are made by a few companies around the world, and though the layer cure time is way higher than a DLP SLA printer, it will absolutely work.

  11. Our local 3D printer experts looked at it, and said “plausible”. The caveats: 1) It’ll likely be slow. The light output of the phone isn’t anywhere near a dedicated laser that most resins are designed for. 2) Expect to replace the tank and the print platform on a regular basis. The KS campaign says nothing about these being consumable pieces, but they are. They apparently degrade significantly with each print. The KS campaign says nothing about their replacement cost.

    1. I read somewhere that the cure time is roughly 28 seconds per layer, which makes sense since you’ll still have light being emitted through black pixels on the screen. The cure has to be slow in order for it to work, which is not a requirement in DLP SLA due to the way it operates.

      I did not know about the casing being consumable, though. That will add to the cost.

  12. As someone mentioned, Exceptionally slick videos. Not one thing more. I saw their presentation at the NY Maker Faire in 2015. The showman asked for a phone from one of the 15 or so people standing at the booth. He placed it in one of the empty, slick OLO boxes. Closes up the box, and leans to his side to grab something from a box next to the table. He then opened the magical OLO box, and displayed the piece he just grabbed from the side of the table. “VOILA!” WHAT!? Are you kidding me? Am I the only one who felt like they were on candid camera? What the …? I had my kids with me, so I couldn’t properly express my feelings to the presenter. The second thing I couldn’t believe, is that nobody else laid into him. When I got home and web-searched OLO, it became clear that this is a dream, Unless you hand them your money, in which case it’s a nightmare. They claim they got a ribbon from MAKE mag. I emailed MAKE, but never got a response. I was looking for someone who actually saw this vaporware print something. Even confirmation that they actually did present the ribbon as OLO stated. So is the ribbon a lie? It’s also interesting how many printer and tech sites spewed out the same garbage they either stole from one another, or just posted whatever OLO claim on their website. Not one did I find that actually reviewed a working machine. Aren’t they supposed to weed out some of the scum? Sorry, for the length of this post, but I’m pissed. This actually is the abbreviated and family friendly version .. Slick, very slick, nothing more.

    1. I think there is an extremely good chance kickstarter will cancel it like they did the Skarp.

      This product only shows signs of being a scam, some of which you point out. Not only is the technology highly unlikely to be usable in any sort of consumer sense, a primary warning sign, but the comments on kickstarter are basically blanketed with people asking basic questions and lamenting the lack of creator feedback.

      It appears to me they have a actual print and are calling it ‘an egg’, which it is almost certain it is supposed to be the sphere 3D model they have all over their marketing RENDERINGS. Backers have been asking to see the 3D CAD of the ‘egg’ and getting no response.

      Scam. Scamarino, kidarinos. Really though – I kinda wish I was a scam artist type, my career is product development and 3D renderings, I could easily make a winning scam campaign. Sadly I am more of the spend time stopping scams type.

  13. For those that bought into the Kickstarter campaign:
    For $49 only I have a pdf file for download. Print it on your inkjet. Cut along the lines and fold at the crease marks. Glue the tabs as marked. Place on your smartphone. Fill with water to mark. Do not over-fill. If print does not start automatically, check the OLO tech support website. It’s based on the same technology.

  14. It is irresponsible for hack a day to be promoting this in any credulous mode.

    Seriously, this is at least as obviously bunk as Skarp, and hack a day was timidly promoting Skarp as well..

    1. I think it’s funny that everyone is debating the viability, cost, consumables, technology used, etc. etc. etc.

      The truth is, it’s like discussing the fabric, color, and texture of the garments of Emperor’s New Clothes tale. Except, in this case there isn’t even an Emperor. For those not getting the analogy: THERE IS NO PRINTER.

  15. I DO want to thank Hackaday for showing us this obvious fake. Why? Beause it’s not that far off the mark. This is truly something that should be easier to DIY than FDM printers. You’ll want to use a really high-resolution LCD, such as an iPad with the Retina display, but add an imaging lens and a glass-bottomed tank on a Z-axis platform, and you could make one of these that could actually work. There is still some concern about the amount of light needed to cure even the “daylight” cure resins, which is why people have been playing with DLP projectors,

    So if you want one of these, don’t waste your money on the OlO Kickstarter, but make one!

    1. I am skeptical this idea can work in any practical sense using a consumer device as the LCD\light source.. They need a brighter backlight to have any hope – and LCDs have lots of bleed, so they are back to OLED or DLP….

      It just isnt happening. I am sorry.

      Agree there is a lot of DIY potential in resin machines though, with materials developing rapidly.

      This particular kickstarter ticks off every scam-alert box.. Including the simple reasons their entire concept is likely to be flawed:
      1) LCDs in phones have variable depth of glass\touchscreen. Even with the thinnest cover glass, this idea is still super suspicious – very unlikely to work.
      2) LCDs in phones are highly variable in other ways as well – brightness, coatings, pixel density, and so on – simply noting ‘results depend on device’ is simply misleading in that it implies any device will work, when it is in fact likely this idea will not work with the majority of phones, even if it does work with 1 or 2..

      Even with the perfect phone and so on, there is other problems with this product idea.

      I am also glad Hack a day brought this to our attention, because I enjoy being a ‘skeptic on the internet’. I spend too many days trying to make peoples fanciful BS work as a product to pretend ‘ideas’ are infallible.

      1. That got me at first as well. Even assuming as little as 1mm of glass between the actual light-emission layer and the resin layer, and a +/- 30 degree viewing angle, light from a point source would spread out to over 1.2mm by the time it reached the surface! Assuming there’s no imaging optics in between, which there certainly doesn’t look to be.

  16. would it be that hard to hack a proof of concept for this? it sounds like we know (or have a good idea) of what kinda of resin they use.

    just to see if they are completely full of crap about the phone as a curing light and so forth…

    then again if it worked, why wouldnt they make a video with a clear case in a dark room…

    1. Yes, you are totally correct. You would think, that if they can sell the printer for $99, they could make it for say, $33 ( I know, I know, they can’t, but just for argument’s sake.) Send 10 units to various independant reviewers (youtube, make, HAD, 3ders … ) This would alleviate much suspicion. A great investment for $330. I promise, this will never happen. Con-job.

  17. I had an idea for a resin printer – I peeled apart an LCD monitor so I had only the LCD with no filters. It seemed transparent, and I could selectively make any part opaque. The idea was to have a tank with this as the bottom, and use UV from below. You would expose a sacrificial attachment to the device that incrementally raises and then proceed to make your item by lifting and exposing at whatever resolution was necessary or possible.

    However, the damn LCD screen blocked the UV and the resin never hardened. Left it on overnight even. Maybe other resin, or some other LCD, or a better UV source was needed ( I used a water purifier bulb). But it was a FAIL. The only expense was the resin, and the LCD that I destroyed.

    Anybody see a way to revive this idea?

    1. Virtually all glass and plastic blocks or attenuates UV significantly, especially at the wavelength a purifier works, I believe around 254nm. You dont need anything nearly that short of a wavelength, 400nm is fine which is blue/purple.

    2. Do a little Google Fu. Anybody who seriously looked at this project should have also found this: http://www.photocentric3d.com/#!daylight-resin/nen21 Sooo…. you don’t need UV. Also found instructional videos on print setup, removing prints from bed and post curing.

      Also found this for a bit more info on OLO:

      As for my opinion, I’m not seeing any spooky magic. All pretty much solid tech from what I can see. I don’t have any any inflated expectations about what kind of print quality I’m going to get for my $99, but I can see a couple of niche applications where my FDM printer would be at a disadvantage. Granted, at 28 seconds a layer with 4 seconds between for this size print area, yeah, good thing to have that spare phone.

      1. Regarding interview: This is the problem. No in-depth reporting. Did she see the printer operate? I doubt it. My favorite line is “We had big offers from big international players which we refused so we can control the price.”

      2. Still nothing but talk. Yeah, they talk like they know what they’re doing, but all we see are pictures of a hollow rectangular tube and a cover that fits on this. Not so much as a peek into that cover. No trace of optics in the tube. This is so fake, I can hardly believe anybody’s getting excited. Not even any pictures of a finished print being removed from the device. Yeah, there’s one moment in their video where they’re peeling a flexible print off of something in the rectangular tube, which we can’t see. Unbelievable fakery.

        No pictures of their development prototypes, no demonstration of the user interface, nothing. Snake oil.

        1. These Olo people are such total and complete carnival barking fakes, they were actually taking cellphones from people at maker faire NY, putting them in a non functional prototype, then handing them an object to ‘showthem what it will be like once Olo works’.

          This of course is as absurd as it is pathetic.

          The most pathetic thing: they got the editors ribbon on vaporware and a snake oil show.

      3. I think the point here is that it’s for people who aren’t technically inclined enough to hack up a printer on their own. And that it’s very economically priced because it’s nothing more than a Z axis and some software. Forget all about the arguments involving UV light and LCDs. It’s clearly stated that the device is meant to use a visible light hardening resin. No magic there, there have been visible light curing resins for some time. The Photocentrics website has some images of objects printed with their “Daylight Resin” here: http://www.photocentric3d.com/#!gallery/ghjkv , and selecting their support link has some interesting FAQ’s and videos.
        OLO now has a video showing the printer in action on their Kickstarter page: https://ksr-video.imgix.net/assets/005/455/692/cf896e5d6ab6bd6e8fa711d56bd4b66d_h264_high.mp4
        Print quality doesn’t look too bad. I wonder if they thought to use a microlens film to negate the display thickness focus issue?
        Seems they got sensible and now put the resin in black opaque bottles as well.

        At any rate, they’ve more than doubled their goal at this point with a couple of weeks to spare, so I guess we shall all see in September.
        Call me an optimist or a fool, but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.
        In the mean time, I’m sure I can hear the gears of the collective hacker minds spinning, and we may see some independent proofs of the concept in the posts to come.

  18. Won’t work. Not enough power in a smartphone screen. Homemade SLA printers uses DLP projectors with a strong light that emits a ton of UV (when you peel off the UV filter on the lightbulb) or UV lasers. I found once a site that was selling resin sensitive to normal light but you still needed a lot of light (a pocket-size projector won’t work).

    So it’s wether a scam or a team that have launched a kickstarter campaign without any research prior to that. In this case, they will soon realize that it’s not possible (at least, not for 99$)

  19. Well it’s good to see I’m not the only one who suspects this as a scam. At the same time I’m glad that someone was able to verify that they were even at Maker Faire because I looked at last year’s Maker Faire on their website and was not able to find OLO as one of the winners. I won’t lie I’m still critical if this is for real or just a scam for money.

    1. You are correct, they WEREN’T on the winners list after last years Maker Faire. I emailed the Faire about this, but got no reply. My question is first, did they actually get the ribbon award? And second, did the organizers actually see a printer print, or did they award based on the hype? The Kickstarter page displays the logos of some fifty tech and 3D printer websites. They all reported OLO as the next greatest thing in printing. OLO displays them as if they were endorsements of their product. I hope these sites will rise above the rest, and will care about their own credibility. Reveal this fraud. Those that don’t are are tacitly aiding scammers like this by being their advertisers. How about HAD follow the spirit of their skull-and-crossbones logo lead the way …

      1. Maybe HaD editors hate their readers as much as they imply sometimes – and they want to harm us by promoting this obvious scam to us?

        While I dont think most HaD writers are incompetent, promoting these scams while saying “we dont see why it cannot work” is totally incompetent and irresponsible.

  20. All the phone is providing is an LCD / OLED screen, and not an optimal one. You can buy LCDs without phones attached, and they’re not expensive. Why bother using a phone? Especially with the many interruptions to the display that are likely to happen.

    Why not just get a few UV LEDs, or a UV tube, and a plain LCD panel? You’d have the full resolution, 3x the pixels, if you can get one without the RGB filters on. They must be available in medium quantities.

    Resin printers have an advantage, in being mechanically much simpler, so there could be potential in this. But not using a phone as the light source.

    1. Because the polarizing filters, liquid crystal composition, and ITO coatings in / on LCD panels do not work well (or at all) at UV wavelengths. Not to mention you still need a driver for the LCD.
      ITO transmission is poor at UV wavelengths, and even the glass used needs to be (at least) UV grade fused silica.
      Liquid crystal compositions designed for visible wavelengths have horrible transmission below 400nm.
      Blue curable resins are available, having been used in dentistry for at least 15 years, and a color LCD would work at those wavelengths.

      1. I think the point here is that it’s for people who aren’t technically inclined enough to hack up a printer on their own. And that it’s very economically priced because it’s nothing more than a Z axis and some software, and most people have the rest of the device tucked in their hip pocket. Forget all about the arguments involving UV light and LCDs. It’s clearly stated that the device is meant to use a visible light hardening resin. No magic there, there have been visible light curing resins for some time. The Photocentrics website has some images of objects printed with their “Daylight Resin” , and selecting their support link has some interesting FAQ’s and videos.
        OLO now has a video showing the printer in action on their Kickstarter page: https://ksr-video.imgix.net/assets/005/455/692/cf896e5d6ab6bd6e8fa711d56bd4b66d_h264_high.mp4
        Print quality doesn’t look too bad. I wonder if they thought to use a microlens film to negate the display thickness focus issue?
        Seems they got sensible and now put the resin in black opaque bottles as well.

        At any rate, they’ve more than doubled their goal at this point with a couple of weeks to spare, so I guess we shall all see in September.
        Call me an optimist or a fool, but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.
        In the mean time, I’m sure I can hear the gears of the collective hacker minds spinning, and we may see some independent proofs of the concept in the posts to come.

          1. Sorry, not at you in particular. Guess I’m just tired of reading the same irrelevant “proof that it’s all a scam” over and over again.
            What the heck? I couldn’t get my post in at all, and now it’s triple posted? How do you un-post?

    2. I think the point here is that it’s for people who aren’t technically inclined enough to hack up a printer on their own. And that it’s very economically priced because it’s nothing more than a Z axis and some software. Forget all about the arguments involving UV light and LCDs. It’s clearly stated that the device is meant to use a visible light hardening resin. No magic there, there have been visible light curing resins for some time. The Photocentrics website has some images of objects printed with their “Daylight Resin” here: http://www.photocentric3d.com/#!gallery/ghjkv , and selecting their support link has some interesting FAQ’s and videos.
      OLO now has a video showing the printer in action on their Kickstarter page: https://ksr-video.imgix.net/assets/005/455/692/cf896e5d6ab6bd6e8fa711d56bd4b66d_h264_high.mp4
      Print quality doesn’t look too bad. I wonder if they thought to use a microlens film to negate the display thickness focus issue?
      Seems they got sensible and now put the resin in black opaque bottles as well.

      At any rate, they’ve more than doubled their goal at this point with a couple of weeks to spare, so I guess we shall all see in September.
      Call me an optimist or a fool, but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.
      In the mean time, I’m sure I can hear the gears of the collective hacker minds spinning, and we may see some independent proofs of the concept in the posts to come.

  21. I think the point here is that it’s for people who aren’t technically inclined enough to hack up a printer on their own. And that it’s very economically priced because it’s nothing more than a Z axis and some software. Forget all about the arguments involving UV light and LCDs. It’s clearly stated that the device is meant to use a visible light hardening resin. No magic there, there have been visible light curing resins for some time. The Photocentrics website has some images of objects printed with their “Daylight Resin” here: http://www.photocentric3d.com/#!gallery/ghjkv , and selecting their support link has some interesting FAQ’s and videos.
    OLO now has a video showing the printer in action on their Kickstarter page: https://ksr-video.imgix.net/assets/005/455/692/cf896e5d6ab6bd6e8fa711d56bd4b66d_h264_high.mp4
    Print quality doesn’t look too bad. I wonder if they thought to use a microlens film to negate the display thickness focus issue?
    Seems they got sensible and now put the resin in black opaque bottles as well.

    At any rate, they’ve more than doubled their goal at this point with a couple of weeks to spare, so I guess we shall all see in September.
    Call me an optimist or a fool, but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.
    In the mean time, I’m sure I can hear the gears of the collective hacker minds spinning, and we may see some independent proofs of the concept in the posts to come.

    Controversy is the journalists best friend. I can hardly wait for the “I told you so’s” and the lack of responses and which side of the fence they fall.

    1. Well, this is the second time in a row I’ve called “BS”, and then had to eat my words (the previous time being the laser rust remover). And in this case I’m happy to be wrong, since it really WOULD be nice to get decent 3D prints with such a simple mechanism. But my wallet isn’t quite jumping out of my pocket yet, since I haven’t seen a demonstration of decent X-Y resolution. Mind you, I’m not talking about how fine a feature it can print, but how close together it can print fine features. With the lack of optical system for focusing the image, I can’t see how they can do a decent job, but I’d sure love to be wrong just one more time!

  22. But will it work with and old Nokia???
    Needs MOAR LAZERS in order to work.
    Put this “invention” next to the fake “laser razer” featured a few months ago.

  23. Just to throw in something completely out of left field, I wonder if a system like this could be used to print a single layer of resin as a photoresist on a copper-clad board. I’m not a fan of any of the other DIY methods I’ve seen or used for applying etchant resist to PC boards. I guess the main question would be whether the polymer would stick well to copper, how small the geometry (line width, line spacing) could be printed, and how hard it would be to remove the polymer after etching. On one of the videos I’ve seen about the Photocentric printer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrqyOUhE4yc), it looks like it takes some real effort to break the support struts off of the build plate.

    And if that’s viable, then it should be a no-brainer to do solder mask with it as well, though maybe not in the traditional colors.

    1. It could probably simply expose a pre-sensitized board. With proper alignment scheme, it might work pretty well for 2 sided boards. Not a bad idea at all. Focus and cover glass would still be an issue, of course.

    1. Yep, I saw this too. Looks really excellent for a semi-pro level resin printer. I actually asked them why don’t need any focusing optic (that is the only real question I have with the OLO feasibility at this point), so we will see what they say.

        1. No, I asked the Slash guys what their solution was. They replied it was not necessary given the distance between their panel and the resin.

          I also asked Olo about it also and they said:
          “this is part of our patent: the light runs just 150 microns before meeting the resin through a ‘special’ transparent layer.
          In other words too less to diverge”

          My follow up question was, what about the 750-1000 microns of digitizer and glass thickness. We’ll see what they say.

    2. So … you’re using one Kickstarter project to validate another?

      But seriously, this is a whole different thing. There are SLA printers that use built-in LCD screens (like the SLASH), and then there’s OlO. Here’s the difference: on a printer with a built-in screen, the vat film can be in contact with the front of the LCD’s very thin polarizer layer, which means that each pixel of the LCD illuminates an area of the polymer layer not much larger than the pixel itself. But if you use a cell phone for producing the image, you DON’T have access to the surface of the LCD. There’s a piece of glass over the LCD panel that protects the LCD itself from scratches and impacts. This layer of glass forms an optical gap between the LCD and the vat film, and since a typical cell phone LCD has at least a 120 degree viewing angle, the light from each pixel IMMEDIATELY spreads out, even before it passes through the glass.

      Many people commenting here are concentrating on the wrong “impossible” part. It’s clearly not impossible to buy polymers that can cure with blue light; several successful printers have been doing this for years using DLP projectors and blue lasers. The impossible part is getting a decent resolution image projected onto the vat film (and thus the photopolymer) through the faceplate glass of a cell phone. The one video I’ve seen of something actually being printed this way is of a distinctly LOW-resolution object – an egg shape with big holes in it. No little holes, no fine features at all. I’m pretty sure that OlO will work, I just don’t believe that it will work well enough to print the sub-millimeter features people now expect from 3D prints.

      1. Actually, you really do NOT want the resin in direct contact with the display. As with most 3D printers, the finished print can require quite a bit of force to remove. The actual print surface is a thin, consumable layer that’s meant to be sacrificed from time to time. Just hopefully not after EVERY print, in this case.
        While it’s true that the distance from the image element means that you could not have a one to one correspondence with print resolution, even with a monolithic plate of FFO replacing the display glass(due to the numerical aperture of the individual fibres, although it could get you very close!), think about this, my phone has a 557 ppi display. This means that each element is in the neighborhood of .004 inch. Adding the thickness of the glass, you still need a divergence of almost 10x to leave submillimeter territory. Even if you have that, look at your phone and tilt it from side to side and you’ll notice the brightness drop off sharply towards the low angles. That’s also going to trim the effective exposure area above each element. Now, obviously everyone’s phone is not going to have that high a pixel density, so YMMV applies directly here.
        I’m actually working with some micro displays right now that have image elements measuring in the single digit microns. I had to go through a very cringeworthy process of grinding the cover plates down to get a coherent image through an even more densely packed FFO element. You’d be amazed what a difference there is between .32mm and .29mm at this scale.
        Hmmm…..a Z axis made from a CD drive and I could print resin in the micron range!

          1. Actually much smaller area, only about .6 x .9″. And I’m not too sure how small an accurate step an optics drive carriage from a CD could do. And it would be slow going unless I could find a way to increase the luminous output of the OLEDs or find a more sensitive resin. Then there is the question of how to remove the print from the bed without damaging it or the print. A fixed slide obsidian blade, maybe?
            Arrrrgh!! Now my brain hurts and I’m losing focus on the original project! Damn you HAD!

  24. First thing I did when reading the article was doing some 5 minute research. The thing doesn’t seem to be a vaporware as similar printer already exists (and OLO is using their resin as they mention in the kickstarter). I can imagine that iphone with retina display could do some high resolution prints. They are just trying to get the price down by reusing piece of hardware everyone has (smartphone), which is the most expensive part.


    As I understand. The Liquid crystal 3D printer is just LCD monitor with armature to move the 3D print.

    1. People did, but were quickly informed this device has been around for at least a few months.

      Some digging shows this device has been around since October 2015 at the latest.

  25. So, they exceeded 2 million yesterday. I’m hopeful that means their engineering and testing will greatly improve and we’ll see something that is at the very least usable.

    1. Geez! … Delusional! Why would more money be a greater incentive, he he he ? I can already hear “So long suckers! … ” fade into the night (or at least Italy.) Don’t worry, they’ll be back within the next couple years for their next big score. It’s just too easy.

      1. Thank you for all your warnings, Frankie. But big boys know how to take on a calculated risk when they want something. If they didn’t the buggy whip business would still be going strong.
        You just stay down there in the bunker where it’s safe. We’ll handle it if things go bad.

  26. He can be correct in September, or not. As for the present, it’s all conjecture. I’ve placed my bet already, that’s how you make things happen. If I get burned, It’s a risk I was willing to take. I will have lost an insignificant cost in order for the world to be enlightened to a new scam artist. Is that cause to call me “Fool” or “delusional” when no substantial evidence of wrong doing has been revealed? Really, I’m doing you a favor. “But there are signs” you may say. So far I’ve only seen the signs of someone inexperienced in the nuances of setting up a Kickstarter campaign. And apparently over 14,000 other delusional fools feel similarly enough to wager as well.
    I’ve not lost money on a Kickstarter yet. Perhaps if I had, then everything would look to me like a smoking gun as well. But probably not. It’s really not in my nature. And still, I wouldn’t be vehemently broadcasting my suspicions without something concrete to base it on.

    1. Actually, Big Boy, falling into the OLO trap sound to me more like the actions of a naive teenage girl. A slick guy in a sports car pulls up, gives her a nod and a smile, and she’s more than happy to jump in. Whether big boys like you behave similarly, is certainly up to you and none of my business. Personally, 9 months from now, I hope you don’t wake up with a mutant baby OLO in your arms. Then again, is a mutant OLO better than none? Anyway, IF you do get one, I’m sure it will LOOK very good — Congratulations!

      Some people are fine with the risk of losing $99. I can see the thrill in buying-into part of the cutting edge of the already cutting edge 3D printer spectacle. I blow money on dumb thrills all the time. To each his own.

      For those who are on teh fence and do give a hoot:

      I have spent way too much time researching OLO, Solido3D, their founders, etc. I kinda think that’s part of what hackers do. Find out what makes things work. To my eyes, I see nothing to convince me that either the US or Italian “companies” have any engineering/manufacturing substance to them. “Fonderie Digitali” and similar lingo and flash pervades every one of their pages. It’s seams clever at first, but is totally ambiguous and dumb. There is no independent review of the OLO, or any precursor. Generally, people that build cool stuff, have a track record of other cool stuff. Of all the famous companies they have supposedly worked with, how many of them were helped directly by the two founders’ or their companies, not by a network of companies they have worked with? And, what did they do for them? Was it anything close to a printer? Anything cutting edge or technical? Or, did they do the marketing / video production for them (my guess?) The feeling I get, is that most of what they ever did or claim, is based on incubator affiliations.

      I guess I’m trying to find ANYTHING that appears genuine and not somehow a gimmick/pitch/BS? Anything? Anybody? Anybody worked with them in developing/producing anything? No videos of Filippo as a kid spinning a stepper motor with a BASIC stamp? Stupid transformer tricks? Nothing? Am I being suspicious? Oh, yeah! You bet! To get my money, you will be required to convince me, that you are who you claim to be, and will deliver what you are selling. And yes, I am a hater of boisterousness, flash, slick, and hype (I’m looking at you cheerleaders, malls, big car dealership’s and Las Vegas.) I was going to take out cheerleaders, but instead, I’ll qualify, by saying I hate them only when doing their dumb cheers. Truly interesting sports don’t need them. Sorry, off topic.

      Being hackers, we are all in love with the dream OLO puts forth … but wise Big Boys know when it’s time to snap out of it. Piecutter is right, I am a fraud. I have no proof, special technical insight, or divine enlightenment. All I’m hoping, is that if you are on the fence about buying OLO, just WAIT!

      If you need me, I’ll be in my bunker. I’ll be be up in two weeks, when my CO2 laser tube comes in. I figure, it only cost me $70, since I didn’t waste $99 on the OLO. Wise Big Boy fun.

        1. Actually, I’m waiting for my print to complete. It uses my 60″ LED TV. Only 2 weeks and 3 days till completion, so I’ll be here a while, if you want to chat. This is great though! Looking very promising…I wonder if I could make any money with this? I don’t want to make any big money by selling to StrataSys or AutoDesk or any venture capitalists, who are more than eager to invest in sexy technology. I’m thinking instead, I’ll help the maker community. Danny, how does this Kickstarter thing work?

  27. A 2 Million Scam!
    Imagine yourself to be a founder of this Kickstarter campaign.One day you wake up with this brilliant idea of a phone based 3d printer that everyone can carry around.You meet your friend or partner or whoever and start about creating a mechanical prototype for raising the bed.Then you create a really basic software to split STL files into layers and project them on the screen of consumer phones at a certain wavelength.You tweak the software till you can sync the moving bed with the screen images.Then.You pour photocurable resin from a BLACK bottle onto the resin container and lower the bed into the resin and start the mechanism.And pray.The gap between your phone screen and the glass and the refraction from the glass effs up your print.But you know this can be done.
    Then you go and create a KickStarter video and show the resin stored in WHITE bottles.You also show prototypes printed from YOUR invention which look deceptively similar in color to the orange resin from other DLP printers.
    You are asked if the phone can be charged while printing.You say YES first.Then you say doing this could expose more light into the printer so you say NO.But.3 DAYS LATER. :)

    1. And then you notice that 20,000 people have backed your project, and you’re thinking, “I can’t even make ONE of these work right, how am I going to produce 20,000 working units in the next year?”

      1. So you keep delaying delivery saying you would rather deliver a world-class high quality product than a sub-standard product and keep paying yourself a decent 6-figure salary to ‘survive’ in San Fran.But then you have backers visiting your office to check progress.So you move offices to Italy and say you will give an extra bottle of resin to all good backers who are patiently waiting.You keep putting updates on how you are this close to a breakthrough while curing the resin with a special LCD screen.Then one day you check your bank balance and find that all those expenses and overheads can’t breakeven with the cost of manufacture.

      2. BrightBlueJim & Vishal:

        I think we agree on the overall outcome, but I believe you both are giving them too much credit. They didn’t accidentally get in over their head. I bet you they already have a 6 month calendar marked up with dates, for release of already-made “progress reports”, encouraging videos, and statements ready for release to backers. This has been, and will be, a carefully planned circus. You’re right, the quantity of backers will give them an added excuse not to be able to deliver.

        On another note: I would like to know what their supposed patent covers. Utility or design? There’s a big difference.

        1. The promised updates and answers to backer questions never came.And Frankie you are right.If the campaign is make-believe they would have carefully thought up future updates and timelines with delays.KS will never raise an iota of doubt since all they need is a visible attempt to fulfill backer pledges.KS never goes and checks inventories,workshops and prototypes.
          So now 16,180 people have been duped of 108$ or more,SMH

          1. ONO ! This Philipe guy is still peddling the non working prototype at Maker Faires.Here is him at the NY Maker Faire showing off the same vaporware stuff they had before the KS campaign. And its been 7 months almost since the KS. campaign ended.
            About time KS backers went from ONO to OMG !

  28. Interesting FAQ answers some questions:
    So it’s a .15mm build film that’s good for 3 prints. Good for them, another consumable for continued business. And, interestingly, any screen protector under .2mm won’t affect the print.
    Oddly, they’ve also chosen audio as the data link. but I suppose that keeps the cost down and no reason it shouldn’t work. Guess I won’t me jamming out to anything in the 18 to 20 khz range while I’m printing though!

    1. Also in the FAQ:

      “OLO 3D printer will let you know if its batteries need to be replaced before you start printing.”
      How is it going to do that, when it uses non-rechargeable alkaline batteries? How does the printer know what the initial capacity of the cells is?

      “What do the prints look like?”
      In the pictures provided, while the layers are clearly discernible, all of the prints show a distinct lack of sharp-edged features. This is consistent with the fact that light from an LCD separated from the print by the phone’s faceplate glass can only deliver a blurred image.

      Printing rate is about two hours per inch of height.

      “OLO’s app is cloud-based, does it have its own servers?
      No. OLO 3D is using Amazon and Google servers.”
      Sigh. No reason in the world this should be cloud-based, but that pretty much guarantees that unless somebody hacks it, this will eventually become useless. I mean, even MORE useless.

      “How does a file get from the PC to OLO Smartphone 3D printer?
      PC > 3D file > stl file > cloud > slice > svg > olo > smartphone > OLO > final print.”
      A simple forty-nine-step process, overall, from the looks of it.

      1. For this price, I don’the care. I’ll hack what I don’t like. It’s so sh*t simple, there is really nothing to it. A Z axis with a controller board and a mic. Strip out the board, put in an Arduino (just to give it real HAD cred!) And run it via BT, WiFi, USB or whatever you like! With whatever software you like! Take the Z axis out and put it on a tablet, monitor, big screen TV or whatever! Extend the height!
        Screw it, just build your own from scratch to your own specs. Then you get to be the expert and tell everyone what is or isn’t real. Doesn’t really matter. The Internet will always argue with God when he posts something too.

        1. You seem to have fundamental misunderstandings about the product you discussing.

          Why not make your own if you have these skills?

          Personally reading about this product has inspired me to try something a bit funky and get a tiny low cost pocket projector and some of this daylight resin.

          What you describe is just…. No. Also, there is no god, so of course the internet will argue with that idea!

          1. Not much to understand. Your phone sends an audio signal carrying the Z axis instructions while simultaneously displaying the current slice of the model, the printer takes the audio data and changes the Z height accordingly. Repeat for a couple hours and you have an object. Am I missing something here? Do tell.
            Yeah, I probably would have built one last week, but I’m a little tied up building a heated bed for my filament printer, building a microdisplay immersive headset, converting my fink trusses to attic trusses and installing an HVAC system. Then there’s the pile of new components that should’ve been a new PC a few months ago, the pile of vintage motorcycle parts that need to go back together, drywalling the pantry, and of course, working 9 to 5 all week. For $99 I think I’ll wait for them to do it right now.
            But if I manage to get caught up before then……

          2. Here’s what you’re missing: it’s a fundamentally flawed optical design, regardless of the price. Fixing that will cost more than the $99 that just gets you a Z stage and polymer reservoir.

    1. Hey Vishal,

      OMG! That ass is still around?! So. with all those beautiful boxes there, he must have had tons of prints going on, right? There must have been at least one printing, with a window, so we can see what’s going on inside. No?… hmmm. I guess the ambient light would mess with the print. That must be the reason.

      I’m actually pissed at myself for not seeking out this loser at Maker Faire! I wish I would have thought of it. I was there, but I never got around to seeing his booth, which would have jogged my memory. Next year I’ll have to go for two days. One just isn’t enough to see everything. I’m sure Bozo will be there again, too.

      I like to print and wear unique T-shirts to the Faire. Had I remembered about the Ono, I would have printed something like “WHERE’S MY OLO PRINTER?” and strutted around his booth for a while. Or, as long as it takes for this con to actually prove to me with a print-while-I-wait, that I was wrong all along.

      As disappointing as it is, to know that a dirt bag like this is allowed to operate, my real anger is toward:
      1) Bloggers like James Hobson, who act like they are knowledgeable, cutting edge reporters. Seems to me, when you were suckered into being some con-guys bitch, the least you can do is compensate, by reporting on the problems with kickstarter. I’m not here to single out JH or HAD. It’s a sad sign of the times.
      2) Maker Faire — another more-than-willing pawn of this sleaze.
      3) All those who back this garbage, despite obvious indications of fraud. STOP making excuses for them ( “The whole thing could work, because, there is such and such… , and it’s possible that if …, “.) If they want your money, have THEM prove their abilities to YOU. Also, when you get ripped off, take these guys to task. You would be surprised, how long after a transaction, you can still cancel a payment. Confront this fraud wherever he shows up. With all the people who got screwed, you would think OLO’s booth would have been unable to operate. It should have been swamped with irate backers wanting to know what’s going on! Get some BACKBONE! STOP BEING PANSIES!

  29. 5 years later, this debate was as lively as I remembered. Today Filippo has emailed all his backers, which is a pleasant surprise as the updates went dark 2 years ago. As expected at this point the project is bust. He’s got rid of his CEO/partner, forked out to cover company debts to prevent bankruptcy, but is now the head of a company without resources. He claims to have product and parts in a Chinese warehouse with no funds to assemble or ship and has announced that he is releasing the patents and project to his backers as open source and is inviting proposals.
    Is it really “open source” if it’s only for us backers?
    Anyway, tis’ better to have have backed and and lost, than to never have backed at all, or as the joyfully delusional “Hep Cat” says in the end:
    “Well, I can DREAM, can’t I?”
    (Looney tunes 1942)

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