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An Interview with Erick Royer, Director, Stepcraft Inc.
April 1, 2015
The limits (or lack thereof, really) of 3D printing are always being stretched by those inside the industry. Thus is certainly the case with Stepcraft Inc. who has produced a different type of all-in-one machine, one that not only does 3D prints, but can also mill, carve, engrave, laser engrave, work as a vinyl/craft cutter, plot, and more. Given all of those features, their tagline of “What Will You Create” is very apt. Their second version of the printer, the Stepcraft 2 is currently being crowdsourced on Kickstarter campaign. With 19 days to go in their campaign, they are already at more than 200% of their initial ask of $35,000 with over $72,965 raised from 37 backers. We were able to get in contact with the company who granted us an interview with Director Erick Royer. The interview was conducted via email, and the transcript is here below.
1) How and when did you all decide to get into 3-D printing? What is it from your background that led you to this point? How did you come up for the idea for the Stepcraft?
Stepcraft was founded by Markus Wedel and Peter Urban in Iserlohn, Germany. They were looking for a desktop CNC solution that had flexibility and performance unlike any other in the hobby/maker space that could be offered for a very affordable price.
2) Who are the key employees at your company and what are their roles?
3) What type of material or filaments does the Stepcraft work best with? Do you have plans to expand into other materials in the future?
4) Can you explain some of the key differences or improvements between the first generation Stepcraft printer and the Stepcraft 2 which is currently being crowdsourced on Kickstarter?
5) What are build sizes are possible within Stepcraft2? Is the technology scalable at all at this point?
6) Your machine, unlike some of the others out there are the market does more than just 3D print. Do you find, however, that that is the main reason people are looking at it for purchase? What was it that prompted you to design the printer this way?
7) I see that with the Stepcraft 2, it has a magazine that can hold up to 10 tools. Can you provide a listing of those compatible tools?
8) How does one connect to the unit(wireless, USB, etc.)? Is there proprietary software that goes with it, too?
9) Who or what industries, at this point, are you aiming your product towards?
10) In your mind, given the wealth of 3-D printing technologies and devices out there, what makes yours stand out from the crowd?
10) Given the explosion in the industry, what do you see from it in the next 5-10 years? Will it continue to become more crowded and do you think we will reach a point where it becomes commonplace for everyday consumers to have a 3-D printer in their house?