Taiwan startup Muherz launched its second crowdfunding campaign on global crowdfunding platform Kickstarter in June 10 to finance its second-generation laser engraver Cubiio 2.
On the following day, Muherz announced it has reached its goal of US$25,000 in just a minute and raised US$200K within half an hour. Cubiio 2 has gathered US$1.7M from 1319 fund providers so far, exceeding the company’s stretch goals of reaching the US$500K mark and the US$1M mark by July 28.
Cubiio 2 is a laser and metal engraver that can be controlled via a mobile app developed by the company, named the Cubiio App, enabling users to produce customized words or pictures onto surface of choice.
Users put an object of their choice in the machine and take a top view picture with the Cubiio app, which will auto-adjust the angle if there is any angle deviation. Then, users can scale, rotate, position their art work in the app until they are satisfied with the preview and hit the “print” button.
With the latest advances in semiconductor laser technology, the device can work on stainless steel directly without pre-coating spray. In addition to its ability to engrave on titanium, dark glass, shale, brick, concrete, most varieties of colored anodized aluminum, and curved surfaces such as wine bottles, it is also able to cut through paper, wood, leather, fabric, felt, cardboard, non-transparent acrylic, and many other materials.
Cubiio 2 employs LiDAR technology — which calculates distances by emitting infrared light to a target and measuring the time it takes for the reflection to bounce back — to focus the laser beam on the target’s surface automatically and precisely.
Besides the aforementioned app, the Cubiio team has developed a cloud database called the Cubiio Club where users can download and laser projects created by professional designers and users who are willing to share the templates of their art works. More than 5000 Cubiio owners also joined an online community called the “Quser group” to share useful tips and the pictures of their works with each other.
Success begets success
Muherz’s success in crowdfunding projects is not unprecedented. The last time Muherz crowdfunded on Kickstarter, back in 2017, it beat its funding goal of US$25,000 and raised over US$1M in total.
That campaign was financing Muherz’s 1st generation Cubiio, which became the most funded fabrication tool on Kickstarter.
The Cubiio team chose Kickstarters to launch their products to capture the attention of international audience and bring media exposure and new opportunities.
Aiming to make 3D printers affordable for everyone, the Cubiio team launched Cubiio, a portable aluminum-alloy cube that can be used to engrave images saved on a memory card onto materials such as leather, paper, wood and food. The device won the red dot design award in 2016.
The geniuses behind Cubiio
“Back then, the three of them (founders of Muherz) had very good job-offers from foreign companies, but I told them that no matter how much money they earn, the achievement can never be greater than developing a product using technology from Taiwan, a product that truly is our own,” Mason Hung, a mechanical engineering professor at Taiwan’s National Chiao Tung University, recalled.
Hence, three students at National Chiao Tung University and Hung worked day and night on their creative ideas and ongoing projects including Cubiio, striving to show the world that the Taiwanese are not merely contract labors, and that they have excellent capabilities of research and development to claim a place in the competitive international market.
Today, Cubiio employs six staff on design team and 10 staff on manufacturing team.