Hykso is developing a set of wearable wrist sensors for boxing and mixed martial arts that count, measure the speed, and recognize the type of punches being thrown for smarter training. Backed by Y Combinator and having pre-sold over $350,000 worth of units, Hykso is on a mission to provide professional athletes and consumers the best training experience.
As they gear up to deliver over 2,000 pre-sold units of their first product, they knew it was important to prototype designs as rapidly as possible. They chose Fictiv as their manufacturing partner to get fast CNC machined prototypes, and were able to accelerate their product development ahead by an impressive 39 days.
An Easy Transition from 3D Printing to CNC Machining
Hykso first discovered Fictiv when they were looking for high resolution 3D printed parts. “When we started to get into really high detail for the smallest parts, that’s where Fictiv came in,” shares Patrick Chandler, Co-Founder at Hykso.
“To be able to just upload a file online, for Fictiv to do it in one shot, and offer fast CNC turnaround is amazing.”
After printing prototypes of the enclosure in VeroWhite material, Patrick discovered Fictiv’s CNC service as a great option to test for any flaws in material choice and structural strength and tune the bluetooth antenna before moving to production.
“It was probably the easiest thing I’ve ever done CNC-wise. I’ve worked with CNC shops before and know that they’re always busy. Normally what you do at a CNC shop is go in, hand them the drawing, explain everything, and then they’re going to mess up the first few units. So to be able to just upload a file online and for Fictiv to do it in one shot, and offer fast turnaround is amazing.”
Hykso came to Fictiv with some really small and detailed parts for CNC machining in ABS and Polycarbonate, with mating features that need a 0.003” endmill.
“We were looking to get the material as close to production specs as possible (injection molded ABS) and in researching local CNC shops, they mostly specialized in metal and hadn’t work with such small plastic features”
Accelerating Development with Rapid CNC Machining
Because Fictiv had the capability to CNC machine small parts, Hykso was able to prototype the component much more rapidly than with injection molding.
“I thought I wouldn’t be able to CNC the part, and we would be set back by weeks. If we wanted to get the part injection molded, that would be 29 days to build the tool, and then another week or so to check it and iterate on the design. It would be over a month before we’d know what it was actually going to look like.”
Instead, Hykso was able to get the components CNC machined and quickly turned around, shaving 39 days off their production schedule.
“We’re on a very tight schedule, so to be able to fly back 39 days on our Gantt chart is incredibly significant.”
“Fictiv made it possible for us to run multiple processes in parallel—as we’re building the injection molding tool now, we’re also tuning the Bluetooth antenna to make sure it works perfectly in the final product.”
With the CNC prototypes, Patrick was also able to spot small interferences, test ease of assembly and assist in conversations with their overseas manufacturer.
Speed as a Competitive Advantage
There were two major qualities Patrick was looking for in a manufacturing partner: Quick and reliable. “They’re both important and also dependent, if a company is fast but not reliable, then that’s a problem, and vice versa. Fictiv was fast and delivered parts to spec.”
One thing the best hardware startups know is that accelerated development is a major competitive advantage.
“I’m a big fan of things moving fast. Having gone through Y Combinator and it being such a fast paced program, we learned that speed is a huge advantage. So to be able to easily delegate 3D printing and CNC work with someone you know will have it to you in 1-3 days is super helpful. That’s a huge time saving. We’re on a very tight schedule, so to be able to fly back 39 days on our gantt chart is incredibly significant.”
Fictiv is a hardware development platform for engineers & designers. Offering both 3D printing and CNC services, Fictiv benefits in 24 hour production, and offers same day shipping. Parts can be printed in many different materials based on the customers needs.
For more information on Fictiv’s 3D printing and CNC services, visit www.fictiv.com