Several customers have asked for some type of device that will show how charged the batteries are in their COUNTcams. We opted to go with a plug in device instead of building a gauge into each counter, which is consistent with our plan to keep devices cost effective.
Quinn in the office has been experimenting with a lot of different gauges and found one that works well. He built it into a chunk of pipe from Home Depot and soldered it onto our standard 9-pin connector – photo on the right.
It works great, but doesn't look like something we'd be proud to sell.
Enter 3D printing. Quinn's cousin drafted a schematic for the plastic tube portion and we had a prototype printed at the Sirocco Group. They're quoting us $6 for printing more of these plastic parts and we can buy them one at a time. The white DIY prototype is next to the gray 3D printed protoype (waiting for more gauges to arrive).
Quinn's cousin, who works at Stratys, also mentioned Stratys is testing out having their 3D printers in UPS Stores to use on demand.
We have a half a dozen parts that we can switch to the 3D printing model and I assume we'll come up with more. Now I have to decide if we're going to buy our own printer or contract out the manufacturing of the pieces. Either way, this is pretty awesome stuff.