MindFlow Over Matter – 3D Printing for Product Development

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MindFlow Design was featured in the article Close Encounters Of The 3D Kind in Pacific San Diego Magazine May 2014 issue.

Local company transforms clients’ concepts into products

Carlsbad-based MindFlow Design helps its clients put their products into the hands of the masses. This full-service product design and development firm, led by industrial designer Chris Ross and mechanical engineer Andy Moulds, works with Fortune 100 companies and serious start-ups to develop attractive, functional products that meet users’ needs. 3D printers are a big part of their business.

“Our mantra is to prototype everything,” says Ross. “The biggest advances in product development are achieved by repeatedly making something and trying it. It’s an iterative process, and these machines enable us to be more efficient because we can fail quickly and move forward. The more times and the faster we can do that, the sooner we arrive at better solutions.”

Though medical-device design constitutes two-thirds of MindFlow’s business, this cutting-edge company has developed products for local companies, including custom iPad stands for MOGL and waterproof phone cases for H2O Audio.

According to Ross, developing a physical concept involves three components: the people, the user experience and the physical product.

MindFlow designed and 3D-printed this PacificSD magazine stand.“We’re really good at understanding people and the experiences that they should be having with a product,” he says. “People or companies come to us with a product idea and we take them from initial concept to a final product being shipped by a manufacturer.”

Given how many people want to see their ideas prototyped, the MindFlow team has to be selective about the projects they take on.

“We get a lot of inventors contacting us, and we pick and choose the ones that we work with very carefully,” says Ross. “Most of them don’t have capital, and since we need money to do our job, we look for inventors with funding and an executive team behind them.”

To demonstrate their expertise, Ross and his team developed a 3D version of the PacificSD logo. “We didn’t want to make a logo that just sat on the floor,” Ross says. “We wanted to give it some purpose and make it functional.”

The end result was an incredibly cool, Slinky-inspired magazine holder that took 16 hours to print. Ross says this sort of prototype would cost about $1,000, which includes design, materials and production.

To read the entire article, click here.

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