It has been 6 years since I first wrote the very first sentence of the business plan behind Digital Reality and Digital Factory which led to Kraftwurx.com. Everything started just like they say, a conversation between myself and a good friend named Chad Oliver who is a senior software developer, a pen and a few napkins at Jason's Deli, just outside the headquarters of Dell Computer in Round Rock Texas turned into what you see here today.
In 2005 we were talking about jewelry and by 2006 it had morphed into something akin to many similar websites that were starting to appear such as Zazzle.com and Spreadshirt. We also watched the appearance of a company called Customatix or C-max.com begin a configurator for custom shoes years before Nike ID appeared. At one time I even tried to track the creators of C-Max down, just to talk to them.
By the spring of 2006, I had spent 8 months writing and refining a patent with the help of Don Jarrell of Digital Thinking. It was my first attempt at a patent and it took an immense amount of my time. Just weeks before attending Rapid in 2006, we filed the patent and flew to Chicago and met Terry Wohlers, Todd Grimm, and a lot of other people involved in the Rapid Prototyping industry. I left that year armed with the knowledge I needed and set out to build the worlds first Mass Customization portal for 3D printed products. I published a demo that was picked up by someone and publicized on Madeforone.com and Make Magazines Blog and a few other tech venues but it was not meant to be. By the end of 2006 my wife's mother fell ill with cancer and with a growing family, Digital Reality was pushed aside but not forgotten.
By 2008 I had turned Digital Reality into a successful Marketing, Branding and Promotional Advertising company with Web Development staff. Mass customization continued to be on my mind and we continued prosecuting our patent which was becoming extremely expensive. If you have never created a lengthy and complex patent, perhaps you might consider divorce instead!
Also in 2008, I received a phone call from Carl Dekker, President and CEO of Met-L-Flo, a successful RP bureau in Chicago. He was calling me to announce that someone had beaten me to market, a company that we won't mention by name but we are sure you will know who they are...I was devastated at first but it quickly turned to jubilation because my business model had been proven...better still, they did not get everything correct, leaving me with opportunity to learn from their mistakes and solidify our position.
Fast Forward to 2011,backed by private investment, Digital Reality has formed a new company called Kraftwurx.com. We've been quietly working on this site and system since 2006 and will be rolling out our complete capabilities in several phases over the next year. By the end of 2012 (if the world does not end), consumers will be creating their own products like never before!
We've worked very hard to build a site and system made to encourage creative people to bring their ideas to market. We've also worked hard to ensure that the system is easy to use. We hope you will get involved and take advantage of our hard work.
We envision a digital future where products are produced by people just like you and we empower Kraftwurx to enable consumers for customization and Digital Reality empowers manufacturing to deliver it!