Jan.21, 2013

Square, owned by Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey, is a handful mobile wallet app that offers sales data to small businesses. Square is famous for its white plastic card reader, a device that lets small businesses use phones and tablets to accept credit cards.

Chris Milnes found Square card reader is extremely useful for his business, but he noticed this small card reader tends to spin and twist while swiping credit cards.

"I love using the Square Card Reader but there's nothing to prevent the card reader from spinning freely in the headphone jack. The result is fumbling (in front of customers) and worse, bad card swipes." noted Chris.

Chris created a simple solution. He designed a spin stopper called "The Square Helper". Rock solid, secure card swiping, no more spin! With 3D modeling software Sketchup and his MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, Chris not only designed and printed out the prototype, but also set up the whole production line at home.

Chris started off with just one Makerbot 3D printer. This machine can print out 100 Square Helper a day, and in a week he can have 700 pieces. When he gets more orders coming Chris would simply add another 3D printer, or more to make it a bot farm.

Square Helper is now available on Chris' online shop for USD$7.99 each, with three color option, white, glow in dark and black.

A small idea can become big business, but going from an idea to a prototype to a product to a company in such a short time was really difficult in the past. 3D printing is now empowering normal people and the new generation of inventors to transform a great idea into a tangible and useful object in a very short time, and further help them to develop it to be a real business.

"It sounded funny when I did the computations — I'm going to be running this 24 hours! But I actually do run this 24 hours. I even have a little D-Link video camera on the platform, so whenever I am, on my iPhone, or on a web browser, I can see if its done." says Chris in the video. It was even impossible for most in the past, but it is reality now.

 

Source: Makerbot


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Posted in 3D Printing Applications

 

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