3-D Printer Who Controls 80% of the Market


In Episode 260 we meet Drew Taylor; he is the founder and CEO of AstroPrint, which is a 3-D printing company that is often referred to as the android of the 3-D printing industry. The AstroPrint software platform is the world’s largest eco system of 3-D printing content and applications and is compatible with 80% of 3-D printers on the market today. This positions AstroPrint as the default platform for 3rd party content development and distribution for the entire 3-D printing market.

What is AstroPrint and how does it make it money?

“What AstroPrint is, is a company that makes 3-D printers incredibly simple to operate, so that no one needs any technical skills to operate these machines and connects them to the content that they want to print,” he explains continuing that, “so we solve the problem of what to print and how to actually print it.”

Continuing that, “In the same way that Android solved a lot of that problem for the phone market, we solve it for the 3-D printing market.”

Drew goes on to say that AstroPrint makes money 2 ways; the first way is a “software that goes inside 3-D printer” which is “free for personal but we charge for commercial use and branding typically on a per printer basis”. The second way AstroPrint makes money is they have “a cloud based 3-D printing app store” where they run a “70/30 revenue split on that”.

Founded in the summer of 2013 however with a different idea, according to Drew, “What we started with was the istock photo of 3-D printing.”

However after the Beta Spring Tech Accelerator, Drew said they pivoted in 2014 and became AstroPrint. He continued, “We launched when we went under a 500 Startups, which was in October 2014.”

What was AstroPrint’s total revenue for 2015?

“2015 total revenue was $150k,” Drew says.

With 7 full-time employees and 2 interns (who started yesterday), Drew explains that, “we’ve raised about $400k (capital) to date and we have a $2million round that is open now and is about 50% subscribed.”

Drew goes on to explain that the accelerators, like Beta Spring and 500 Startups, did take some equity in AstroPrint and Beta Spring “was 6% and 500 Startups was 7%”.

So with 13% cap table belonging to investors how will AstroPrint dominate sales?

“These companies that you might think of that could crush us, actually desperately want us to do the software for their system. So we are actually their partner that provides the solution,” Drew explains.

With only $150k in total revenue in 2015, Drew explains that, “I can’t say much right now about the companies that we are speaking to,” he says continuing that AstroPrint is in talks with “extremely well known household brands that will likely have 3-D printers in the stores by Christmas.”

Here are the links to get more information:

  • For more on AstroPrint, go to www.astroprint.com
  • To follow AstroPrint on Twitter, you can find them @astroprint3d