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  • 25 September 2014
  • Tracy Spahr

3D Print Turns a DIY Surf Gadget Into a Marketable Product

In early 2014 avid surfers and budding entrepreneurs Jeff Russell and Nick Brooks were on a mission. They had identified a need in the surf community and come up with an idea to solve the problem. The pair had seen GoPros, the wearable cameras often used to capture unique footage of action sports, grow in popularity among surfers. But what they realized was the majority of surfers weren’t using them the “right” way. Rather than utilizing the standard GoPro head strap, surfers were creating makeshift contraptions to hold the camera in their mouths to capture footage from the ideal angle. Jeff and Nick were confident there had to be a better way to enable surfers to comfortably surf with the GoPro camera, and the idea for MyGo Mouth Mount was born.

The duo came up with a product concept which would allow a surfer to securely hold a GoPro camera in their mouth, keep the camera steady, and allow the surfer to breathe without letting water in. They quickly realized in order to bring their product to market, or attempt to patent the concept they’d need a high quality physical prototype.

The turn-around time was quick and the prototype looked great, we couldn’t wait to hold it in our hands and try it out on the waves.

Nick and Jeff decided to explore 3D print as an alternative to traditional manufacturing methods which can be expensive and lengthy. Neither had previous experience designing the CAD files needed for 3D print, but Jeff utilized TinkerCAD, an online design tool and taught himself how to build a digital file of the Mouth Mount concept. Once the file of the prototype was created, the next step was determining how to print it.

The pair did some research and spoke with a few 3D print service providers before arriving at The UPS Store. Nick had heard The UPS Store had rolled out a pilot program in select locations testing commercial grade 3D printer and decided to give it a try. The pair met with Larry Hagstrom, the 3D Print Manager at the San Diego area UPS Store. Larry showed them samples, pulled up their file on the computer, and explained the 3D printing process. He assured the two that he would be able to input their design into the system, and that the printer, a Stratasys uPrint SE Plus would have no trouble making the part.

“The turn-around time was quick and the prototype looked great,” said Jeff. “We couldn’t wait to hold it in our hands and try it out on the waves.”

Once surf tested by Nick and Jeff, the two brought the 3D printed prototype to potential manufacturers and injection molding companies and were able to secure a provisional patent. The two continued work to perfect the design, completing 4 revisions until they were satisfied with the final product.

Since launching in mid-August this year, MyGo Mouth Mount has received rave reviews from the surf community. The product is currently being sold online and in surf shops in Southern California, Florida, Hawaii and made it international with distribution in France, Italy and Australia with continued plans for expansion. For more information, visit www.mygomount.com. To hear more about Jeff and Nick’s story and to see surf footage captured with a MyGo Mouth Mount, watch their video here.

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