Everyone seems to be 3D printing, ‘making,’ prototyping, and creating hip new companies. It all sounds so easy, sifting through the multitude of news articles highlighting new startups. But how do you find a manufacturer ready to take on your product?
Boris Kogan became both the founder of SwarmBuild and a maker for the same reasons: need.
In 2007, Kogan was deployed to Iraq. With no way to get parts for ‘mission-essential systems’ he became interested in learning how to make parts himself, and became a digital designer, machine operator, and programmer. “I love the maker movement and the hardware renaissance, and am proud to play a part in them,” said Kogan.
Kogan later had a plan for a greenhouse and was extremely challenged in finding a manufacturer for his design. He discussed his frustrations with his peers, and discovered they were all in the same boat. Later, working as a machinist, he found that machine shops were in the constant predicament of being unable to find customers efficiently.
To answer the question of how to bring all these entities together, Kogan formed SwarmBuild. Their mission is to connect designers and startups with engineers and machine owners, providing accessibility and coordination to match up all involved, so that exciting new projects can be brought to everyone in the future, with a focus on those working in CNC, 3D printing, and laser cutting.
SwarmBuild’s process works like this: you can upload your design, choose your material, technology, and deadline, and they set you up with a manufacturer. They have just launched a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise $50,000 by November 14, 2014. The project is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the folks at SwarmBuild are in phase one of the Iowa project with a website, several engineering partners, and 20 machine shop partners.
With the help of their website, you can:
- Create your design.
- Have your design made and shipped to you.
- Register as an engineer and provide engineering services to SwarmBuild customers.
- Open a factory, and sell your products.
SwarmBuild needs the Kickstarter funding to:
- Expand the number of machine shops and engineers in their network, as well as working to grow their network globally.
- Continue developing their platform.
- Develop instant pricing quote algorithms.
With manufacturers already standing by and ready to fill orders, SwarmBuild is very close to putting their process into action. Kickstarter pledges range from $1 to $1,000, with exciting rewards like decals, tee shirts, plaques, business cards — and even a full tour of the SwarmBuild Israel headquarters that also includes a full-day tour of the coolest digital fabrication shops, engineers, and designers in Israel (airfare and lodging are not included).
SwarmBuild is a website that allows everyone to find each other. The SwarmBuild premise is simple, but there is definitely a need for it in the industry. Their website is user-friendly and a great way to form beneficial industry relationships that can take a product from A to Z.
Is this a program you would consider funding? Have you experienced some of the frustration Kogan describes as the inspiration for SwarmBuild? Tell us about it in the SwarmBuild forum at 3DPB.com. Check out their Kickstarter video for details on the SwarmBuild idea: