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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

People angry over delays from Toronto mask designer

People who backed two campaign fundraising campaigns for a 3D printed, personalized face mask from a Toronto company are still empty-handed months after forking over hundreds of dollars.

LuxMea Studio which has offices in Toronto and Boston, launched two different campaigns to create the Nuo 3D Mask, on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The promise was a mask “tailored fit by AI” and printed with replaceable N95 filters.

The Indiegogo campaign started in May and has raised more than $200,000 from 963 backers as of late August. The Kickstarter campaign ran from April 14 to May 14 and raised $118,000 from 700 supporters.

Measurements were taken online to personalize the masks and then the orders were to be 3D printed by their partner Shapeways, the largest 3D printing manufacturer in the world, and delivered to the customer's home.

Although the masks were initially promised in June, as of late August backers had yet to receive anything.

“Where is the update? where are our masks? Your behavior in any aspect is inappropriate and super unprofessional! Refund my money asap!!!” one backer posted on Indiegogo.

Angry posts also fill the Kickstarter page.

“This project is a total disaster,” one person commented.

A backer and Toronto resident, who didn’t want to be named in this article (for fear of not getting his mask), told blogTO he put up around $200 because he works in the hospitality industry and wears glasses. LuxMea Studios said the design wouldn’t cause glasses to fog up like other masks.

“I put out that money during a pandemic when I have lost 75 per cent of my income,” he told blogTO.

As he lives in downtown Toronto and is in contact with people through his job, he worried about contracting COVID19 and possibly passing the infection to others. The Nuo 3D Mask seemed like a good option. 

He doesn’t believe the company is a bad actor hoping to get rich.

“I don’t see it as a scam, I just see it as a very poorly run campaign,” he said.

He thinks he will get a mask eventually — hopefully before the pandemic is over.

According to LuxMea co-founder Steven Avis the masks should arrive soon.

There are a few hundred masks printed and sitting in Shapeways distribution centre in New York, Avis told blogTO in an email.

“We just received some photos from Shapeways production facility and will post an update,” Avis said.

Avis blamed the “unforeseen delay” on the pandemic.

LuxMea has posted several times on delays in producing the masks.

The last post on Aug. 5 said the masks were in production.

“After the long wait, the 3D printing mass production has proceeded. Over 400 masks are currently in production, the reminder of masks will be processed next week,” the post read.

by Karen Longwell via blogTO

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