Sculptify is not the first manufacture to use pellets, German manufacturing company ARBURG has an industrial 3D printer, the Freeformer, however Sculptify is the first hobbyist-level pellet based 3D printer. Here is Sculptify's Kickstarter video.
|A diagram of the process. Source: Wikipedia.|
There have been other companies toying with the idea of using pellets for 3D printing, including a couple of products that promise to turn your pellets INTO filament. Products like the Filabot (2012), Filastruder (2013), and Strooder (2014). Other companies, like Colorfabb, are beginning to offer plastic in its less expensive pellet form.