MF Case Study #035:

Rabid Prototypes

Rabid Prototypes is an electronics product design company, launched with the help from Kickstarter and MacroFab.
Shawn Swift founded Rabid Prototypes in 2009 as a concept from one of his maker projects.

Get to know the work:

With over 27 years of combined software and electrical engineering experience, Rabid Prototypes can quickly design a proof of concept using off the shelf parts, or design a custom circuit board, write the code to drive it, engineer the enclosure, and assemble a few prototypes or do a full production run for their clients.

 

Assessment

Swift began to receive requests to recreate the original Ghostbusters cosplay costume he had made. He needed to find an affordable solution to test his prototypes and eventually move into production.

Challenge

Initially, Swift used traditional hardware manufacturers in the U.S. and China for his orders. He found these companies to be expensive and unreliable. His orders came back defective, and often required additional weeks of extra work, on top of the original production time.

Process

Switching to MacroFab enabled Swift to test his initial prototypes at affordable costs and scale-out production manufacturing.

If it wasn’t for MacroFab's ability to order new PCBs as I needed to, I would have had many angry customers. Your user-interface allows me to login as needed and bump-up my quantities depending on how many backers I get, which has really alleviated the hassle of any financial and resource planning on my end and allowed me to focus solely on creating a great product. I don’t know what I would do without you guys. — Shawn Swift, Founder of Rabid Prototypes

Our Solution

MacroFab’s prototyping capabilities allowed Swift to test each of his Kickstarter campaigns before he launched them to ensure their success. This led to creating three very successful campaigns, a strong presence on Kickstarter, and allowed him to start his own business. Thanks to our scalable manufacturing, Shawn didn’t incur any sunk manufacturing or inventory costs. The ability to only order exactly how many boards he required was the key to his success, and the main reason he continues to use our service.

MacroFab played a key role in helping Swift’s Kickstarter campaigns succeed and move onto larger batch productions, which enabled him to eventually launch his company.

Without MacroFab I never would have been able to have such successful campaigns and turn my Kickstarter campaigns into a full-on business, they out-beat the competition astronomically. — Shawn Swift, Founder of Rabid Prototypes

Summary

While searching for an affordable and fast contract manufacturer, Swift randomly stumbled upon a Reddit that talked about MacroFab and our cloud manufacturing solution for printed circuit board prototypes. When he submitted his project and got an instant quote, he was shocked at how easy and affordable it would be to manufacture with MacroFab.

Swift was initially surprised to learn that a service like MacroFab existed. Local manufacturers he found quoted him at a few hundred dollars per prototype. Foreign manufacturers would only do a batch of 1,000 boards without prototyping or testing, while still running the risk of receiving faulty boards. These worries were soon solved when Swift learned about our cloud manufacturing solution and how we can manufacture prototypes affordably and at low-volumes.

Moving forward, Swift plans to increase sales on his latest product, the Neutrino, while expanding his product line with two new Kickstarters. Swift is excited to continue to bring new products to life using the innovative, low-risk, and powerful platforms of Kickstarter and MacroFab.

Ready for better manufacturing?