UW Startup Spectrom Tries to Bring Color to Desktop 3D Printing

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recruiting testers through its website.

Then there’s the strategic decision about what kind of company the founders want Spectrom to be. The startup could go in two directions, Kovacs-Johnson said.

“We’re examining partnership opportunities with 3D printing companies to see who would want to implement this into their devices, or if the better option is to make our own 3D printer,” he said.

Spectrom’s founders have done their homework. They’ve been in touch with established 3D printing companies, going so far as to discuss market trends and the need for color printing, Kovacs-Johnson said. That’s helped Spectrom refine its ideas and product, and it could be the foundation for collaboration down the road.

Once the co-founders settle the question about partnering versus developing a 3D printer in-house, Spectrom will start approaching investors. The plan is to raise a funding round in March, Kovacs-Johnson said.

“The amount of that will really be determined by which of these paths we think will be most profitable and be the quickest to market,” he said.

If Spectrom decides to partner up, the company could have its technology on the market as soon as March or April, Kovacs-Johnson said. Building its own printers would push that timeline back to the fourth quarter of 2015.

One thing that’s sure is Spectrom is heading to Las Vegas early next year. Not to gamble, although the team might be able to hit a jackpot of sorts if they’re lucky. They’ll be making their debut at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, one of the tech industry’s biggest showcases. Many major companies use it to release and promote new products, while many startups use it to make their debuts.

Spectrom will be going to CES with one of the three 3D printing companies that have been working with it, although the companies have not yet made plans to work together in a “formal partnership,” Kovacs-Johnson said. Still, attending CES will be a big deal for Spectrom.

“It’s a chance for us to for the first time publicly show the world what we can do and to get a good feel for where we can take it from here,” he said.

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