"Making Products" has released its first episodes. Hosted by our Founder Gabe Bentz "Making Products" covers the ins and outs of designing, manufacturing, and selling a new product. Episodes are posted weekly on Wednesdays.
In this first episode "Working with Manufacturers," Gabe discusses how to find, and interact with manufacturers. Covering everything from NDA's to payment methods.
If there is one key takeaway from the episode it is 'Respect the Manufacturer." They have been doing their work for a long time and will do their best to help you with your product. If you are successful they are successful. But all too often inventors are difficult to work with, needing extra interaction and not knowing what they actually want.
Inventors need to understand their product and their goals before reaching out to manufacturers. Once that is clear it is easier to communicate it and contract out the production of your product.
Check Spotify and all other podcasting platforms for new episdoes of "Making Products" each week.
Slant 3D was a company that was started to make manufacturing more accessible. By using fleets of 3D Printers rather than monolithic injection molding machines we have been able to eliminate the startup cost for new products, and the traditional minimum volumes needed to reduce production cost.
A disposable item no longer needs to sell millions in order to be sold as a disposable item. 3D Printing is able to mass produce disposable products economically. A great example of a product taking advantage of this new paradigm is the Blue Boa suction tube.
The Blue Boa is a product created by Dental Rat, which is a local company in Slant 3D's home town of Boise, Idaho.
Slant 3D was originally approached by Becky Logue of Dental Rat in 2019 for creation of prototypes and design work on the Blue Boa. Our engineers created the ergonomic design by working with Logue and sourcing her experience in the dental field.
When it came time for production, the cost of injection molding such a complex ergonomic design was prohibitive for the brand new product. But when quoted the cost for producing several thousand of the units with 3D Printing, the business case became apparent.
While the unit cost was slightly higher than molding, the overall capital outlay was far less, since there was no mold. That allowed the parts to pay for themselves almost immediately just from cash-flow. And the resulting parts were still very cost effective.
Addtionally, Slant 3D was able to manufacture the suction tubes with compostable cornstarch-based plastic so the disposable plastic pieces would not contribute to the global plastic waste problem.
One final advantage of 3D Printing was the fact that once the products started to sell and feedback from actual customers came in Logue was able to send design modifications to Slant 3D. Those changes would then be implemented in all subsequent production of parts with no additional cost beyond the design work. We are basically able to push an update for the hardware parts the way an app updates on a smartphone.
The Blue Boa is a great example of a product that was able to go from concept to full scale production very quickly and affordably. If large scale 3D printing was not available it is possible that the product would have been put on hold for some time. The flexibility of 3D Printing allows the design to continue to evolve. And supply can perfectly match demand. There is no excess inventory and it is all made in the USA so that the supply chain is reliable, even with a pandemic on.
We Started Making Millions of Parts
For the last 3 years Slant 3D has been on a mission. A Mission to make manufacturing more accessible and flexible. Starting out we focused on Large Scale production of 3D Printed Parts. Manufacturing literally millions of Plastic Pieces in our 3D Printing Farm. With the construction of Print Farm Beta that goal has been reached.
But the problem is that volume is still required to really get the cost down. We eliminated the cost of molds but not the cost of setup and benefits of scale.
We have to make is possible for a Single Part Print to be made at the same unit cost as a piece from a batch of 1 Million. A Brand new print for a dollar.
Then We Made Angled.io
Angled is the next step in this process.
Angled will allow designers, creators, and entrepreneurs to just upload a 3D model and the physical product will immediately be available to anyone in the world. When a customer orders the product, Slant 3D will print it, pack it, and ship it to the customer. All with the part costing the same as any normal off-the-shelf product. We are replacing warehouses with 3D Printers. Right Now
This means that it is completely free to create a physical product. It is as easy to make and distribute a physical product as to make an app or write a blog post. You create the digital version, and then the Slant 3D manufacturing server farm, delivers it to those that "download" it.
Angled is starting by partnering with youtubers and 3D designers from around the world. As well as releasing internal products that we have developed, such as the BagClamp. All of this is to populate a marketplace with real-world products that normal people can use and enjoy.
We are not making 3D Printed stuff. We are just making stuff. And behind the curtain we use 3D Printers because we have to.
We hope that this new marketplace and this new piece of infrastructure will make it possible for millions of new products to be created that could never have been created before. Historically he cost has been two high and the knowledge spread too thin. We have eliminated those barriers.
Submit your product to Angled.io.