July 2017: A Q&A, Something New and Something Rough & Ready

This month has been another month with all sorts going on. As well as the extremely important purchase of an office fan to help manage the heat, we’ve been hard at work over the last few weeks. Here are our top picks:

A Shiny New 3D Printer

In the interest of keeping our equipment up to date (and the fact that our old 3D printer stopped working) we decided to upgrade to the latest model offered by Formlabs, a 3D printer company born out of Kickstarter, the Form 2.

 

Our new Form 2 in pride of place at the office

It has a few interesting new improvements. For example:

  • It can print larger parts
  • It is more reliable
  • It automatically pours in the liquid resin it uses (fancy!)
  • It is connected to the cloud (and it’s wireless)

and more…

The best bit though is its capability to print using Formlabs’ new functional resins, particularly their “Durable Resin”. This stuff, when printed, takes on the form of a tough but flexible plastic, like the stuff that caps on bottles of shampoo are made of.

 

Formlabs Durable Resin in action

 

This functionality means lots of exciting (well to us anyway) features are possible, like living hinges and snap fits. Why is this useful? Well simply put, being able to design using more advanced features like this means you can design a wider variety of solutions to problems without having to pay for expensive prototypes from other companies, or even having to pay for custom tooling just to test an idea! Ultimately, it means you can do a lot more development work in-house before you have to bring in the manufacturer.

 

Developing prototypes of new product ideas

Leading on from this exciting addition to our set of equipment, the Form 2 has allowed us to dive straight into the “rough and ready” early prototyping stage for another product we’re working on.

I can’t let on about what exactly this idea is right now, except to say it’s completely different from things we’ve done in the past.

If you want to be the first to know when we do announce this new invention, sign-up to get the 22 Review here.

Q&A

As a previous winner of the Santander University Entrepreneurship Awards back in 2014 with Geco Hub and Nimble, I was invited to take part in a Q&A panel for this year’s awards.

What I initially thought was going to be a quick 5 minute intro by me and other panelists followed by a few questions, turned into an hour or so of discussion between me, the rest of the panel, and the audience. It might’ve been unexpected but it was great fun! There were a lot of brilliant finalists in the room and I wish them all the best of luck for the next stages in their businesses and in the competition.