Case Study

Chickadee Tech

Summary

Scott Shawcroft founded Chickadee Tech to further pursue his passion for quadcopter technology. While working as a software engineer at Google, Shawcroft spent his nights and weekends working on his new startup. Today, Shawcroft works full-time on his company and has teamed up with MacroFab to launch Chickadee’s first product, the Polystack flight controller.

MacroFab was a natural fit for Chickadee Tech. Shawcroft reached a point in his business where hand-assembly and programming were no longer the best ways to spend his time. MacroFab provided an end-to-end manufacturing, programming, and fulfillment solution, thereby allowing Shawcroft to focus on growing his business without the troubles of managing operations or employees.

Project Overview & Challenge

The Polystack flight controller is a stackable flight system that allows quadcopter enthusiasts to fully customize the setup and performance of their drones. The Polystack is available in 13 different design arrangements, thereby presenting a unique and complex manufacturing problem to solve. Rather than hand assembling 13 different variations of his product, Scott Shawcroft searched for a manufacturing platform where he could first prototype his designs, and later scale-up for full production runs.

“The ability to prototype on 13 different board designs with single-unit order capabilities was very important for me. Pricing on individual boards also beat the competition, so MacroFab was the clear choice for my startup.” – Scott Shawcroft, Founder of Chickadee Tech

The costs of iterating on his prototypes was another important factor for Shawcroft as he vetted different manufacturing options. Because his product has many different design configurations and changes to one board could result in changes to all the rest, it was crucial for Chickadee Tech to partner with a manufacturer who could roll with these changes without any additional costs or penalties fees.

The MacroFab Solution

MacroFab is working with Chickadee Tech to provide a full product life cycle solution. MacroFab manufactured individual prototype PCB boards as Shawcroft perfected his design. MacroFab’s low-cost single unit manufacturing capabilities gave Shawcroft the proper runway to focus on designing the best product, without having to worry so much on the costs of prototyping.

“Moving from small-batch, prototype orders to full production run capabilities was incredibly easy with MacroFab. MacroFab was already successful in delivering properly performing prototypes, and scaling up production was just a few clicks away. Not having to deal with product packaging or order fulfillment has been another key advantage. MacroFab is taking a lot of the work off my back, which is very important to me as a startup founder.” – Scott Shawcroft, Founder of Chickadee Tech

After proving his designs, MacroFab worked with Shawcroft on his first production run of 800 units. MacroFab’s full-stack manufacturing and operations platform provided assembly, programming, QA, and product packaging for Chickadee Tech. As the company prepares for its first product launch, MacroFab is ready to deliver and fulfill orders to Scott Shawcroft’s initial customers, via MacroFab’s automated manufacturing and fulfillment API.

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