NAPKIN TO PROTOTYPE including Rapid Prototyping in Brisbane, Queensland
-We take new ideas and turn them into reality working with existing companies and individuals that are looking for a one off or limited production of specialized machinery or products that are not available off the shelf. We specialize in reverse engineering machines.
-We work with backyard inventors, helping them turn their dream into a tangeable outcome.
Bazza (owner) has spent his life inventing and building ideas. He knows the difficulties that home inventors face. Most have limited resources to turn an idea into an object. Many have some experience with some parts of their design but have no idea where to start with other parts of the design. Very few own the type of workshop equipment that is required to complete a new prototype. I have found that many people can fabricate their prototype but cannot design the electronics or program the processors that their prototype requires. I have found that most DIY inventors are not trying to build a space shuttle, just the opposite, they have seen the need for a very specific small gadget, usually in the field that they work in, that just isn’t available. The normal route of trying to have the local machine shop take on your small job, or the electronics company with 150 employees, be willing to even talk about your requirement on the phone, is daunting in the least.
With Napkin to Prototype, small projects can often be completed in a matter of days. What at first seemed like a giant obstacle in going forward with your design, because of your lack of expertise
or fabrication ability, turns out to be an easy step to accomplish.
Creating a prototype has always been an expensive proposition. Each individual shop has to weigh the pro's and con's of taking on the job. Large shops are typically not interested in taking on any sort of one off project, typically they have a recognized work program that is their bread and butter source of income. They fear taking on a one off type job as very often, its difficult to estimate the time and resources that may be needed to be directed at the prototype to see its completion. Usually they have a regular supply of work that keeps both their staff and equipment busy. If they were to take on an unknown project, and that project takes more time or resources than they have allowed, then it may impact their bread and butter income, the end result for them could cost them more than your job is worth.
A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE THAT TYPIFIES THE PROBLEMS THAT BACKYARD INVENTORS FACE
Many years ago I was building a battery compartment for a small remotely operated underwater vehicle. There were literally dozens of options on how to do this. I wandered around the hardware store for inspiration when I saw the display of propane tanks. About the right size, the right material, just needed to be able to open and close it to install the battery. I contacted a local machine shop and asked about them about taking a new 20 pound propane tank and cutting it in half, then weld a bolt together flange on each half with a small "o" ring groove to make a pressure resistant bolt together battery box. Didn’t need to be fancy, looks didn’t count and were not needed. There were many other cheaper ways to go, I could have built a better shaped, non rusting box out of composite materials in about a day.
However the propane tank direction promised to be a very straight forward direction that would save me the time of construction and with an end result that would have been perfect.
Go ahead I say! Over the next 2 months I contact them weekly to hear "haven’t quite finished it yet, probably in the next day or so". I am starting to regret this whole thing. I am getting jacked around and their delays have placed my project way behind schedule. Eventually they say its ready to pick up. Yep a great looking flange, it will do the job admirably.
I go up to the office to settle up the bill. Well they say, "we welded the flange to the tank first, no bolt holes or "o"ring groove, then tried to machine the faces, real hard to hold a 1/2 propane tank in the lathe you know, in hindsight we should have machined the flanges first, bolted them together then welded them to the tank. We ended up having to make a jig to hold the tank in the lathe, that took time and it took forever to then get things lined up, so here is your bill, just under $2000." WTF.
That is the typical way that the backyard inventor gets treated. Your job is not important to them as you're probably not going to be a repeat customer anyway, so it doesn’t matter if your job sits on the floor until there is no other more important work on the books, oh, and gouging you come bill time is to be expected.