Usually, when you come across something that looks too good to be true, it is. But not when it comes to Omachron.
Injection molding this geometry is incredibly hard. Its dimensions are 0.175" x 14" x 16", we decided to take this project on.
The part is molded in a single cavity mold using single injection gate.
Here is a story about how this product became a commercial reality told by the inventor of Terfy.
I discovered Omachron as I was working on a new product with universities and innovation hubs who helped me with a prototype and CAD drawings. The process was slow, limited by the capabilities of available equipment, and incomplete as it lacked real world end-to-end product development expertise.
The first manufactured prototype used a water-jet cutting process: this was done with the understanding that the process is not cost effective for the particular product, but would provide us a tangible model for early testing and feedback. The belief was that a die-cutting process could meet our manufacturing and investment requirements. When we tested die-cutting however, it proved not viable which caused us to scramble for alternatives and plastic injection molding emerged as the only viable option. The issues we quickly ran into were associated with the expectation for manufacturing at scale - there was no design flexibility for an early stage product where design could still undergo changes, upfront mold costs were extremely high and the mold-making process was slow, small production runs were prohibitively expensive. The research around all of this took a long time and it was becoming very daunting for a small company with an unproven product for an unproven market to push forward.
At that point we came across Omachron - they claimed to have a new, efficient plastic injection technology that would drastically reduce upfront time and investment. I was skeptical but we decided to contact them with our challenge. Within hours we had a preliminary production plan with cost estimate breakdown and a scheduled call the next day with the head of the team. During that initial call we covered a wide range of manufacturing processes and possible alternative materials; we discussed design, shipping and packaging considerations, and possible go-to-market strategies. In that one call we covered more ground, more practically and in-depth than with any other party over the previous 10 months.
The knowledge and thought invested into reaching the best possible solution for someone trying to launch a new product was invaluable. This alone will be an invaluable service offering in and of itself, saving startup businesses time and money and instilling confidence that you are on the right path.
Six weeks after the first call and at a fraction of the price, we have a finished prototype to show to prospective clients and a viable, flexible manufacturing process that can scale with expected demand. In these 6 weeks the milling of the mold was done, followup changes were made - some at the thoughtful suggestion of the Omachron team, product testing and a small production run were completed. This seemed impossible just a month and a half ago. I cannot say enough about the experience and I cannot help but think what it could be like if a fraction of the government's innovation budget were deployed to a couple of dozen of Omachron-like teams across the country.