Typical consumer 3D printers cost anywhere from $400 to over $10,000, but the time and energy they take to assemble and learn how to use can cost even more.
Solid Dynamics, led by Joseph Sinclair, the 2018 tecBRIDGE Business Plan Competition Non-Collegiate Winner, recognized this problem. Their original business plan involved creating a solution to help 3D printers become smarter and more reliable. However, they discovered that it was difficult to accomplish this without creating a 3D printer design of their own.
Thus, the bright green Mantis 3D Printer was born.
The Mantis, a consumer product spin-off of their original tecBRIDGE business plan, is an easier to use and more reliable consumer grade 3D printer. In order to pursue the commercial sale of the Mantis, Verde Mantis, LLC has been created.
Verde Mantis’ mission is to enable students and professionals to embrace their creativity through manufacturing.
Unlike many of its competitors, the Mantis 3D printer comes fully assembled and tested. This allows buyers to save setup time and allows them to start 3D printing within minutes.
“Within five minutes of opening the box, you can begin 3D printing,” explained Sinclair. “It’s as easy as loading a file and just pressing ‘print.’”
Typically, when you buy a 3D printer, you have to spend hours and hours of trial and error trying to learn how to use it. The Mantis eliminates these hurdles by reducing the 3D printing learning curve through its unique design and firmware.
The Mantis simplifies the 3D printing process by minimizing user input and increasing hardware reliability. These features help save users time by automating the hard to teach steps of the 3D printing process, so much so that children are able to 3D print with only a few minutes of instruction. Sinclair explained that they’ve brought the Mantis to schools to have children test the ease of use and effectiveness of their product.
“After a quick tutorial, the young kids were printing things on their own,” stated Sinclair. “It’s easier than using a copy machine.”
Sinclair is hoping that learning to use the printer quickly and easily can be beneficial in a classroom setting. He explained that some schools buy 3D printers and want teachers to try to figure out how to use them. However, teachers don’t have time to spend hours trying to figure out the printing process on top of their other lesson plans and duties.
A product such as the Mantis would simplify the 3D printing process and help bring manufacturing into the classroom, just as woodshop and art classes have done.
When it comes to marketing the Mantis, Verde Mantis, LLC is taking a different approach than others in the 3D printing world. Sinclair explained, “Our target market isn’t the normal technical guys who are looking for the next best 3D printer, our target market is the folks who just want to press a button, walk away, and come back to a 3D printed part.”
The Mantis 3D printer is currently in the beta testing stage but Verde Mantis, LLC hopes to run a Kickstarter campaign in the coming months.
To learn more about Verde Mantis, LLC or the Mantis 3D Printer, contact Verde Mantis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Jordan Fritz
Communication Coordinator, tecBRIDGEpa.org