From Factory To Your Tabletop

Spark finalists from 2015, Mayku are on a good mission to revolutionise the knowledge of designing and building from your home. Their desktop vacuum ex - has already been a crowdfunding success storyline, with an ever-growing online community of FormBox Followers. Ben Redford, one half of the Mayku workforce, spoke to us about turning out to be an inventor and harnessing the energy of the internet to help consider their tabletop factory to market.

Desktop pioneer or mold-making phenomena?

A little bit of both? Vacuum forming itself is little or nothing new. It’s a normally used in factories to create large everyday items such as road signals, kiosks, ATM’s etc. An enormous plastic material sheet melts to a mold and presto, it’s filled, dried and prepared for use. What we’ve ‘pioneered’ as such is normally to emulate the process of the large scale machine, but to make it compact and attainable plenty of for designers to work with in the home or in the studio. Its tiny size (measuring 18:10:12 - roughly that of a record package) means it fits properly on a desk or desk, and all you need to power this is a vacuum cleaner.

Designers know you will find a huge gain to to be able to make from residence. It means you may take control of the creation process- rather than needing to send your patterns half way across the world. It as well eliminates the problems of having to put the very least order with a sizable factory.

Lightbulb moment or very long time coming?

Absolutely the latter. FormBox was essentially my final year level task while I was students at Goldsmiths. I built a prototype for the amount show but then once I still left university and got employment it lay dormant for some time. Fast forward 3 years to Shenzhen, China, where I was creating a product for work, and while touring factories there I took place to visit a massive vacuum ex - in use. I considered my idea and felt as part of your that there is still untapped probable in a desktop variation. Consequently when I returned home I quit my job and went back to developing the FormBox regular. Alex (Smilansky, a previous colleague) came up to speed and alongside one another we created Mayku.

Invention novice or veteran?

A little in between. Alex spent some time working up principles for smartphones and linked objects during his period at Mint Digital. He’s as well created multiple digital products for clients including the Cabinet Office, Tesco and multiple experimental assignments, including Upvoter, a communal voting program launched as an interior job at Mint Digital.

I have shipped multiple goods before - Projecteo the mini Instagram projector, Internetopia - the major crowdsourced drawing on earth, and Olly and Polly - an experimental couple of Twitter connected robots.

Mentoring or Funding?

We entered Spark because we’d an operating prototype of the FormBox but needed funding and support to have it to another level. We employed the funds to develop to a Kickstarter advertising campaign for the FormBox, which was a core portion of our business technique. However, much to our surprise, while the financing was hugely useful, it was actually the business advice that we got from the sessions at the Design Council that proved the most readily useful. I’ve received a design background, not really a business one, therefore the stuff we learnt from sector veterans in those periods were just invaluable.

Twitter or Facebook?

Why choose? It’s all there that you can benefit from. We targeted all types of social mass media and I the stand by position that. However, I have to say we were completely swept apart by the victory we entirely on Facebook. Not prolonged after we introduced on Kickstarter our merchandise was taken up by a reasonably niche French webpage. They posted it on Facebook and it just took off. From that one content we received 12 million views! From there we sold 40-50 equipment. It only blew us away. Other than that we’ve been virtually all shocked by the uptake on Instagram. People actually react to images of the device and the creations that one could make from it.

Traditional funding or crowdfunding?

We chosen crowd funding approach to Kickstarter. It’s an extremely great place to check the validity of a product before investing also heavily in production tooling and costs. It is also an incredible community of makers. By launching a Kickstarter marketing campaign, we were able to create a community of early on adopters, examine whether there is certainly demand for our item and raise more than enough capital to invest in the tooling to allow us to help make the FormBox at level. We as well chose this program because I had experience with Kickstarter from various other assignments and I felt confident that I could have the lessons I experienced learnt previously, and actually make it happen for us this time around. We’re now 200k over making us nine instances funded. So today the pressure is very on!

  1. 1. Desktop pioneer or mold-making phenomena?
  2. 2. Lightbulb moment or very long time coming?
  3. 3. Invention novice or veteran?
  4. 4. Mentoring or Funding?
  5. 5. Twitter or Facebook?
  6. 6. Traditional funding or crowdfunding?