How it all started - The story of the Gizmo 3D Printers
Meet Kobus and Michelle du Toit (pictured above on the left) - the founders of Gizmo 3D Printers Pty Ltd.
In 2014, Kobus was trying to print a part on a popular FDM 3D printer and was left really frustrated. The extruder was constantly clogging; the printer was slow, unreliable, unpredictable, and limited in functionality. You might know what that feels like - it’s pretty awful when you've waited hours for a print to finish, only to find it failed.
That’s when Kobus, a maker, decided to build a 3D printer of his own.
Months later, he came across an article about the incredible speed of Carbon 3D (now Carbon) printers, and that’s when he realized that the printing speed his creation could achieve was, in fact, groundbreaking. The first video he shared online that showed freshly printed objects raise out of the resin bath immediately attracted a vast amount of worldwide inquiries. With Kobus and Michelle realizing that there was a noteworthy demand for this technology, the startup Gizmo 3D Printers was born in a quiet town in Brisbane, Australia.
The state-of-the-art technology wowed many attendees at CES 2016 in Las Vegas and impressed reporters at the leading tech show, including Fabbaloo, MTS, and Mashable, which noted the super speed of the machines.
On April 1st, 2016, the Gizmo 3D Printers Indiegogo campaign ended at an impressive 139% funded. Other achievements thus far include being listed as finalists for 3 of the 2016 Endeavour Awards held by Manufacturers’ Monthly, being shortlisted for the 2016 Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneurs Grant Program and being among the five startups selected from hundreds of applications for 2016 Sponsored Entrepreneurs Program hosted by River City Labs and sponsored by CUA. Gizmo 3D Printers featured on TV show Australia Beyond 2020 on Monday, November 14th, 2016, episode 1.
Throughout 2017, the company has grown from its humble beginnings in a residential property into a factory in Queensland Australia, developed multiple upgrades for the machines, and saw an increase in sales globally.
The Gizmo 3D team won their first award as part of the 2018 QUT bluebox Robotics Accelerator and broke their own ground-breaking 3D printing speed record with new product developments.
In April 2019, the Gizmo 3D team made it to the Top 10 Australian Finalists of Startup World Cup! On 10 April, Founder Kobus du Toit pitched to a panel of judges that included Steve Baxter from Shark Tank Australia and more. Click here to watch the live stream recording from the event.
The future is looking promising for Gizmo 3D Printers and their customers with exciting announcements in the pipeline.
Kobus du Toit
Co-Founder and CEO
Kobus has been programming since the age of 11. He has worked with Visual Basic, Delphi, and Waba and wrote probably one of the first databases for the Palm OS and Windows CE machines. He then moved on to Java development using J2EE.
He has worked on programming related projects with a variety of organizations, including South African Breweries, Discovery Life, and Flight Centre, where he developed and maintained a system using Java, Spring, and PrimeFaces.
He has published “Building an App UI with PrimeFaces” through Packt Publishing.
He is the co-owner of the Brisbane based laser skirmish company Laser Commando which he started with his wife in 2012. He has always been a maker/tinkerer, and DIY projects have included working building a bomb prop for his laser skirmish business, a small two-seater aircraft, hovercraft, and more.
Kobus started designing and building 3D printers after being frustrated with a hobbyist-level machine he bought to print plastic parts.
As his innovative work started getting noticed, he was nominated for three of the Endeavour Awards in 2016 and featured on the Australian TV show Beyond 2020 that was aired on Monday 14 November, 2016 via Channel 9.
Kobus has been participating as a speaker at local and international 3D printing events and conferences, including some of the largest: the Inside 3D Printing Conference in Sydney, Australia held in May 2016, and 3DPrintExpo 2019 that took place in New Delhi, India.
His favorite food is pizza. So much so that his advice for anyone having a bad day is always: "Eat a pizza. If you are still feeling down after it, at least you had a pizza!"
What Kobus loves most about his work is being able to save other businesses time and money.
Are you interested in the Gizmo 3D Printers? Click on the button below to schedule a Skype call with Kobus and find out how your printing experience can be improved.
Michelle du Toit
Co-founder and Marketing
Michelle graduated with a Master of Arts degree specializing in digital art and 3D animation through the University of the Witwatersrand in 2008.
She was a 3D animator at the company Animazing Workshop in South Africa for three years, where she worked on nine short films for the project “Backyard Shorts,” which was launched and showcased on SABC in 2007 and received the Golden Horn Award for Best Animation.
Michelle has also worked at the companies Exactmobile - Unwired Media and CodeOnLine in web design & development/graphic design roles. Her working experience and skills development as the Marketing and Communications Adviser of the Australian Mines and Metals Association for four years shaped her into a competitive marketing generalist.
She started a small laser skirmish business, Laser Commando, with her husband Kobus in 2012. Michelle became the co-owner of Gizmo 3D Printers in 2015 is currently working full time on the two businesses.
She is one of the Coursera.com mentors for the online course named The 3D Printing Revolution and regularly gives talks about the Gizmo 3D Printers at events.
In 2018, Michelle took on the volunteer role of the 1st Queensland Ambassador for the global organization Women in 3D Printing whose mission is to promote, support, and inspire women using Additive Manufacturing technologies while striving to foster a more diverse industry. As part of the role, she's hosted monthly 3D printing meetups featuring women shaping the Brisbane 3D printing industry and thereby hoping to encourage more women to join the industry.
She is currently putting together her own SLA 3D printing training sessions that will launch in the last quarter of 2019/20.
What Michelle loves most about working in the 3D printing industry is being able to connect with other business owners on a day to day basis and discovering how this technology can help them too. Having been on the receiving end of excellent mentorship and startup community support, Michelle has a soft spot for other startups and small businesses.
Michelle is squeamish at the sight of blood but is super excited about being able to help make a difference in the medical and dental industries with these printers despite her phobia.
"We're always looking for ways to make our products, services, and processes even better.
We keep moving forward, getting better and growing"
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