Power Practical’s most recent Kickstarter campaign is fully funded within two hours
Power Practical started four years ago with a simple goal: produce affordable energy products that shape how people view and use power in their daily lives. Like most startups, they had lots of ideas and enthusiasm but not much money.
So when it came to buying the technology for building their ideas into products, they needed a true partner who not only offered best-in-class technology to help them get things done, but also the knowledge to guide them and the expertise to do it better than anyone else.
“GoEngineer made it really easy for us to buy from them,” says David Toledo, president of Power Practical. “They have a passion for helping startups, so they were super motivated to help us with both SOLIDWORKS CAD and Stratasys 3D printing.”
Power Practical recently launched its sixth Kickstarter campaign for the next generation of its Luminoodle. The original Luminoodle was also funded through Kickstarter, selling over 20,000 units and raising more than $388,000 in 30 days.
The company decided to use some of that money to survey its customers regarding the features they’d like to see in the next version. The response to the survey was overwhelming.
“We received over 2,000 responses to our survey,” says Toledo. “Then, we implemented the top requests into our newest version that is now on Kickstarter.”
Based on real feedback from original Luminoodle backers, Power Practical went back to the drawing board to create two new versions: BASECAMP and COLOR. New features include multicolor lights, dimmer settings, wireless and built-in controls, and more.
Originally developed as a product for camping, Power Practical is delighted by the creative uses of the Luminoodle. In addition to camping, the most popular uses were for backyard events and enhancing indoor lighting. Also popular is plugging the Luminoodle into the USB port of a wall-mounted TV for use as a backlight. University students also found the Luminoodle useful as a backlight for their work spaces.
Power Practice takes product development seriously. “GoEngineer really helps us be successful in our process,” says Toledo. “When we have 3D prints done by GoEngineer, we usually print several variations of the part so that we can try different options. It’s really hard to settle on what’s best without physically feeling and using a prototype first.”
Kirk Brown, rapid prototyping specialist at GoEngineer, is Power Practical’s key contact for anything that involves 3D printing. “I just call Kirk and tell him what we are trying to do,” says Toledo. “Kirk will ask lots of questions based on his expertise and then offer his advice regarding material types, technology (FDM or PolyJet), and more. We don’t get that kind of service and expertise anywhere else—online or offline!”
Power Practical has come to favor Stratasys’ Objet30 Prime and Connex350 printers for high-finish parts that often look and feel like the actual part. Toledo concludes: “From getting CAD software, to learning how to use it, to getting a physical part in-hand that we can feature on Kickstarter, GoEngineer helps us every step of the way.”