A few things - are you cutting this new scanner design
I'm very interested in your plans and would be grateful to have someone covering Europe (as you say, shipping from the US will be ridiculous, import duties would suck and the transit time would be awful). Please feel free to email me and let me know in more detail what you're up to, I may be able to offer contacts/help, or direct people to you for kits, and when you get it running, I would love to link to your shop on the homepage and otherwise promote your stuff. We can also discuss it publicly if that's more comfortable. I like to discuss things here on the forum.;
My personal plan (which does not have to be your plan) is to re-invest most of the profit from kit sales to buy kits for hackerspaces (and there are quite a few in Europe
), but maybe not with the right equipment.
In fact, I'm thinking that one option I will make will be a "buy one, give one" option where the cost of an additional kit is included in the price of a scanner, so that people can buy one and donate one to the hackerspace or library of their choice.
I'm sorry it took me a while to get back to you on this. It's been a busy week.
Yes, i am planning to use the hackerspace-design, as it is fairly easy to set up and quite compact when disassembled. As for aesthetics, it may have a few ruff edges, but i think it's beautiful. As for being a commercial design, i can't think of anyone who would protest for the amount of money saved on a "professional" scanner, while with a little more effort, they can have similar results. So when version 1.0 comes out, i plan to cut a few and add the parts for interested European users.
Thank you for the offer to help. I never thought of it as a "shop" before you offered the idea. Not that i protest in any way. I'd love to help you and the community out on the European side. To get it started, i'd like to get a few orders first, so i can make a batch at once and see how i can streamline the fabrication process. The funds these provide, will aid in the first bulk of materials needed for that batch and the next, but also a webstore with some Adwords-promotion. The last part may be a little sleazy, but i want people who search online for bookscanners to know there are more affordable options available. It is very kind to offer a link and promotion on the frontpage. When you get the shop for your continent set up, i will (of course) do the same. If you know people who are interested, but too far away, feel free to redirect them. I will make a decent post when everything is set up to start.
I like the idea of helping others (like hackerspaces) with a piece of the profit. But when you offer a "buy one, give one", few people will choose this option. I was thinking in the line of for every five or six kits sold, one kit goes to a non-profit organization that can make good use of it. Organizations who are interested, can send in an application and we (as a community) can take a look, pick a few out and then have a vote on the forum or raffle it off amongst the chosen organizations. That way some part of every sale will go to a charitable organization, instead of counting on goodwill and few reactions. Just an idea...
At the moment, i'm thinking of which options i want to offer (just the parts/parts+cameras/parts+camera+electronic triggers/etc.). So i'm waiting for your choice of suited cameras.
The list of hackerspaces is quite handy. Alas, in Belgium, every major city has one, but most lack the equipment. But i can manage. It would of course be a great idea to give them a chance (and others in Europe) to own one in the form of a donation.
@dbmoura: Thank you for the offer! Since i plan to work in batches, your design could have great potential in streamlining the process. I would love to take a look at your plans