Tom Parker with his eSteady GoPro camera rig
Tom Parker graduated from the University in 2014 with a degree in Product Design and Manufacture. While studying for his degree, Tom took part in the Institute’s annual Student Venture Challenge (SVC). Tom took first prize with his proposal for an eSteady GoPro camera rig
. The product enables anyone to create high production value footage across a variety of applications by stabilising motion. It can be used to improve handheld filming or mounted to a moving platform. It can even be attached to a mountain bike to create high quality action footage.
In October 2014, Tom invested some of his own money plus his winnings from the SVC into a buying a commercial 3D printer. Reducing his prototyping costs, this has allowed him to continue development of the eSteady rig. Tom has also set up a 3D printing business
, hiring out the machine for projects to generate cash flow which is then put back into the business.
During his time at the University, the Ingenuity Lab put Tom in touch with technology consultant and product development specialist, Steve Watts, who has over 25 years’ experience. Based in Tom’s home town of Cambridge, Steve has become a mentor to Tom.
Steve is encouraging Tom to develop his minimum viable product ready for market. Tom is currently making test units for the eSteady to go out to users for feedback and Steve is working with him on producing new circuit boards for the product. The plan is to refine the product line and get some made up in aluminium after prototyping parts in plastic using the 3D printer. Tom is also considering launching a crowdfunding campaign.
Tom has been making the use of his local Hackspace in Cambridge. The Makespace group there provides access to their facilities, machines and software and also the opportunity to make valuable connections to other people in the product design industry. This community has been the source of Tom’s clients for his 3D printing business and he has also been getting their feedback on the eSteady cam.
Tom is about to apply for a small business grant to allow him to purchase some CAD software to further progress the eSteady business. As he is living with his parents at the moment, he does not need to draw a salary from the business yet meaning all profits can be put back into the business.
Posted on Friday 29th May 2015