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ONO Production Delays Create Discontent Among Crowdfunders

Picture of Tyler Koslow
by Tyler Koslow
Apr 13, 2017

The ONO smartphone 3D printer is facing production delays due to issues with electronics, ruffling the feathers of anxious crowdfunders.

Back in March, a crowdfunding campaign was launched for the ONO (f.k.a. OLO) 3D printer, the world’s first smartphone 3D printer. The project proved to be a massive success, bringing in over $2.3 million from over 16,000 Kickstarter backers.

But this highly anticipated project is being tarnished by delays, missed shipping dates, and lack of communication. After announcing that the ONO would start shipping before the holidays, and then on March 23, a new update leaves another disappointing mark on the story of this successfully funded campaign.

ONO Smartphone 3D Printer: Kickstarter Failure or Small Speed Bump?

The latest statement from ONO claims that “small last-minute issue that involves some of our electronics boards” is the reason for this current delay. Apparently, a high number of the smartphone 3D printers failed to read signals from Android OS. Thus, that entire batch was pulled off the production line. Now, a redesigned PCB will be integrated before the product can be shipped out to backers.

“We are sorry for yet another delay, but we want to be sure that all you backers get the best possible printer we can make and don’t run into avoidable bugs once you have it,” the update states.

According to ONO, this process “will take at least one more month”. The prolonging of shipment is rattling the community that funded the project, and the frustrated Kickstarter comments prove this. People are clamoring for refunds, while others are threatening to report the campaign to Kickstarter.

Additional criticism has arisen over the lack of an app, leaving the five backers who received an ONO unable to test it. The printer cannot be operated without the app.

But in midst of all the anger and confusion are a few voices of support. Some comments are quite understanding of the delay, and others even posted pictures from first-hand experiences with the printer.

One “Superbacker” named Adam Stevens shared photos that were reportedly taken by another backer named SlimJim.

The pictures show the full packaging of the ONO, and even a few smartphone prints:

Final Verdict: Are These Production Delays Cause for Concern?

Even before the latest delay, it’s been a slightly bumpy ride for both the ONO team and their campaign supporters.

In August 2016, another company with a similar name to OLO pressured the team to rebrand into ONO. Equipped with a new name, the project has been teetering in between impressive and disappointing ever since.

In October, the ONO team released an update announced that they were on the final stages of production. They claimed to be awaiting UL certification, which ensures that the printer meets safety and quality standards.

The update also stated that the ONO team “hope to have the packages shipped to you in the next 4 to 6 weeks.” But lo and behold, six months later, the shipping date is seeing postponement yet again.

Still, there is plenty reason to believe that ONO isn’t taking the money and running. The team has quelled the anger of their backers by providing plenty of pictures. They even provided a video of the smartphone 3D printer in action. The last update, which shared the news of another production delay, was accompanied with a video showcasing the entire assembly line.

While the frustration of the crowdfunding community is certainly understandable, it seems likely that the ONO is a real product. It’s more the case that the manufacturing team set production goals that were too ambitious. But it’s understandable why the constant backtracking is creating fears of dishonesty.

The real problem is that the ONO team has made promises that are too bold. They don’t seem to consider the many obstacles that come with mass producing a product, let alone a 3D printer. While the ONO certainly looks real, the deployment date is once again uncertain. Hopefully they can get the product to the doorstep of campaign backers before the disgruntled crowdfunders come to theirs.

The ONO assembly line


License: The text of "ONO Production Delays Create Discontent Among Crowdfunders" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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