Part 3: Distributed Manufacturing “Do we have a saleable product?"
Past progress The design for a functional UTA is complete. However, the semi conductive material only comes in black. This eliminates the decorative aspect of the UTA. We will proceed with the Distributed Manufacturing part of the project.
Update We contacted Sarah Boisvert, Executive Director of the FabLab in Sana Fe, to alert her that we are ready to down load the STL files for her to use in producing the UTAs. In my conversation with Sarah, describing the problem of having only one material to use in producing the UTAs, Sarah made a great suggestion to use a double headed 3D printer, and print an overcoat of the semi conductive material. This would work.
Upon thinking through Sarah’s suggestion, we came up with an idea of 3D printing a decorative outer layer which would snap on the semi conductive inner layer.
Next Step We have started to work on the new STL files for the two part UTA. Once the design is complete, we will produce a pilot quantity. Now that we have a functional and decorative product, we will begin the search for a good marketing resource to help us determine if we have a salable product, and if we do, determine at what price.
Engine will produce a pilot quantity of UTAs which will be used for field trials. The field trials will answer the questions, “Do we have a saleable product?”
Assuming the answer is YES, we will be faced with the following options to proceed.
• Form a company to produce, market and sell the product • Use a toll manufacturer to produce the product • Sell the idea to a larger company
Next: An update on the functionality and salability of the UTAs. Stay tuned.