At Smart Hustle, we believe that technology is a small business owner’s best friend and we strive to increase awareness about the current tech trends that can help you grow your company (like our article on 50 Powerful Tech Tools). Today we want to cover another emerging technology that could revolutionize your business – 3D printing. In this interview, you will learn about how it works plus a creative application that could spring ideas for how to use 3D printing in your own small business.[Tweet “Learn how @StringKing used #3dprinting to grow its #business.”]
Mark and Kit Smith are executives from StringKing, a lacrosse equipment company that was started in 2011. For those who do not know about lacrosse equipment, the sport is played with a stick that is made up of a staff with a plastic head attached to one end and a piece of mesh strung on the head. The mesh is important because it allows players to throw the ball to one another, but it has been historically overlooked because companies didn’t think there was much of a market for it. As players of the sport themselves, the founding members of StringKing sought to create a better mesh that would improve a player’s throw.
As it turns out, there is definitely a market for mesh, and with success in one area, StringKing expanded into the other parts of the lacrosse stick – the staff and the head. As a plastic injection molded part, the head must be designed with the right attributes then a mold must be purchased, which can cost $20-30K. As you will learn in the interview, StringKing has found a clever way to use MakerBot 3D printers so they can perfect the design of their heads before forking over the cash for the expensive mold.
3D printing technology has allowed StringKing to compete with the big companies, including Warrior, SPX, and Maverick, in a market that hasn’t had much competition for decades. The market has been growing too, spreading from traditional hotbeds like Maryland, New England, and Colorado to states like Texas, Alabama, Florida and California.
Click the interview below to hear more about how StringKing is using 3D printing to get ahead. It is sure to spawn ideas, especially for product-based small businesses that also use plastic injected molded parts.