The 3D printing industry is certainly one of both revolution and evolution, progressing from a niche technology created to make prototyping easier for engineers to one now responsible for countless innovations simply unforeseen not all that long ago, whether in bioprinting or creating rocket engines or even constructing modernistic office buildings. The impacts are certainly positive, with so many processes we thought would be the same forever now being completely transformed—and that includes how many small businesses and startups today are able to bring new products and ideas into physical form, and out into the marketplace with greater ease.
Many may be surprised to know that The UPS Store has been offering 3D printing since 2013. That’s pretty progressive, considering how few people even realized what the technology was just a few years ago, but the national retailer saw the potential for their customers to be able to use such a tool, and 3D printing is now available at over 60 locations.
We’ve been following The UPS Store with great interest from their plan to begin offering 3D printing services in stores to finding out more about their services for small businesses as they now offer the option to make high-quality prototypes for professional means, as well as artistic renderings, promotional materials, and of course far more.
Having a local service like this means you don’t have to buy or maintain a 3D printer until you are ready, and with 90% of The UPS Store’s customers interested in 3D printing seeking to make prototypes, they can look forward to speed and affordability with no muss as the franchise acts as a service provider. Their focus in 3D printing for customers at The UPS Store is on:
- Marketing items
- Home/one-off builds
Lately there has been some exciting action at one of The UPS Stores in terms of innovation, and it’s leading to even bigger adventure—and a way to show it off too—for those who enjoy riding atop the waves, thanks to a couple of California surfers who wanted an easier way to get great shots of themselves and friends while out in the water.
Taking their inspiration from the GoPro concept but making their own product that allows for both function and comfort, Nick Brooks and Jeff Russell started MyGo, centered around their new mount idea. There are many home-made devices out there today that surfers have created on their own to hold the cameras in their mouths, but obviously that could be a rather hazardous venture. Brooks and Russell wanted to make a safe but highly functioning device. Once they had their unique design ready to go, they were able to make a prototype at The UPS Store on a Stratasys uPrint SE Plus, a 3D printer that offers small business owners like these enthusiastic surfers a way to print in high detail—as opposed to what they would have been offered on most home or desktop 3D printers.
“MyGo was born from our struggle with the lack of available equipment for filming while surfing, because – let’s face it – the head strap looks silly and isn’t sturdy, the board mount is a terrible angle, and everything else requires at least one hand to use,” says the team at MyGo. “After getting incredible footage with a homemade mouth mount prototype, we moved on to designing something that would be sturdy, comfortable, and effective at getting great POV shots. The MyGo Mouth Mount is the result.”
If you’ve ever seen incredible photography that surfers have taken previously and wondered how in the world they did that, it all probably makes a bit more sense now—and obviously it wasn’t easy at all! Here’s another example of evolution in products and how they are made, with a design that allows surfers to hold the device in their mouths, safely and securely, breathing without taking in saltwater too.
Once the guys had their concept and initial design in place, they needed a 3D printer to start prototyping so that they could begin the process of getting a patent and marketing. They were surprised to find that they could actually have their prototype created for them right at The UPS Store in their area, and then swiftly go on to begin testing it in the water. Fast forward to a very short time later, and we see that Brooks and Russell are now selling the MyGo Mouth Mount online and will receive their official patent on July 5th, with folks like Kelly Slater using the product.
You can buy the device for a mere $29.99 at MyGo, along with affordable bundle kits and a floaty pole as well. All of the elements certainly came together in allowing this team of avid surfers turned entrepreneurs to take an idea straight to functionality—adding to the fun out there in the sun and waves, and allowing landlubbers everywhere to hang ten through them vicariously as the images come rolling in. Is this a device you’d be interested in trying out? Discuss over in the 3D Printed MyGo Mouth Mount forum at 3DPB.com.