Welcome to the Engineering Entrepreneur Podcast, run by CADdesignhelp.com
If you are enjoying the podcasts, it would help me tremendously if you left me a review on Itunes. You can do that through this link. (You need to have the Itunes app on your computer to leave a review)
My name is Scott Tarcy. I am both the VP of the INOTC and the President of CADdesignhelp.com
My strategy with this podcast is to interview engineers, designers and inventors who have created businesses around their inventions and products
Have you invented or created something that is making you money? Then I would love to talk to you. Please email me at email@example.com and I will consider you for a podcast slot.
You can download the podcast on all major apps, including Itunes
Talking Product Design with a Stanley Black and Decker Engineering Manager – Terry Gonzales – Ep 28
Terry Gonzales is currently an Engineering Manager with Stanley Black and Decker in Southington Connecticut with hand tool and auto mechanic group. Terry was my first boss at my first job out of college. That was at United Pet Group in Blacksburg, VA (we called it Tetra because that was the main brand).
It was great catching up with Terry. We hadn’t really talked for a while in years. Both of our careers have gone different directions since our Tetra days. While I have gone the entrepreneur route, he has done a few different things and we discuss it. He started out in product design, then worked as sales engineer, then as a manufacturing engineer and now he has come full circle back to his passion, product design.
This is a great episode for anyone thinking about engineering as a career. You get a great feel for what you can do in the working world.
And of course, we talk about some 3D printing!
- Don’t be afraid to try new things. Terry went from Tetra to Trimech because of his skills in Solidworks. The work was different but you never know what you will like doing until you try it.
- Terry was spot on about the need to practice your 3D modeling. I would say it took me a full year at 40 hours a week before I felt like I had mastered Solidworks.
To Contact Terry
Stepping up your CAD Design Business – Scott Hoffman – Ep 27
Scott Hoffman is the founder of PepperNickelDesigns, a CAD design and 3D printing service. Scott’s background is in electrical and computer engineering. He works full time as an insurance adjuster but he started PepperNickelDesigns as a side hustle that he wants to bring to a full-time job in 2017.
We connected on the Facebook page for the Side Hustle Show (http://www.sidehustlenation.com/). He posted on the Facebook page that he had issues with either too much design/print work coming in at once or not enough. This is an issue I am very familiar with, as I have been running my business full time for 2 years now. I replied to his post and offered him to come on the podcast so that I could help him with the strategies of how to solve some of these issues.
(Side note: I was a guest on the Side Hustle Show in June 2016. If you want to hear that interview, click here: http://www.sidehustlenation.com/listener-success-story-took-side-hustle-full-time/)
- The secret to starting a side hustle is to take a skill you have and find a way to monetize it
- My advice to Scott was to use contractors to handle overloads of work
- And when work is slow, there are a few strategies
- Make cold calls for new business. Even better is to follow up with past clients to see if they have any new projects
- Look for other revenue streams. One of my favorite ways when incoming work is slow is to work on new inventions. I have so many ideas but only so much time to work on them, so I use my downtime to create new products of my own. Sometimes the products sell and sometimes they don’t. Even when they don’t, I usually learn some valuable design skills in the process
To Contact Scott
The Big Bear Shelving Invention – Jeff Funderburk – Ep 26
Jeff Funderburk is the inventor of the Big Bear Shelf (bigbearshelving.com). Jeff was cleaning his garage one day and realized he didn’t have enough storage space. He went to Lowe’s to find a solution but all the products out there were very costly.
Jeff’s solution was to create a “holder” piece that holds 3 two by four pieces of lumber. We discuss how he made some initial prototypes, came up with funding, found a CAD designer to help him create a plastic version for mass production and how the product is selling to date.
- The key to any successful invention is to find a problem that the market doesn’t already have. While there were shelving solutions, many were too costly for the average homeowner.
- In addition, often the best inventions are the ones that solve a problem you have yourself.
- It was smart of Jeff to test the product. He wanted to make claims it could hold a certain amount of weight for a set period of time.
To Contact Jeff
CADdesignhelp.com Business Update – Scott Tarcy (solo episode) – Ep 25
I thought it was time to do a solo episode and talk and random stuff I have going on in my business. Some of the highlights include:
Brush butler – https://brushbutler.com/
- Engineering challenges
- 3D printing – 4 or 5 different materials used for the prototype
- Nearing completion!
- 2 piece product
- Threads and clearances, had to print a few times to get it to fit right. Check out images on my website: http://caddesignhelp.com/podcast/
Selfie-glove – http://caddesignhelp.com/products-and-inventions/
- Thumbtack overload in January. Bid on 10 jobs, got all of them
- Time management
- Looking for more help
- Local employee going away for 5 weeks
- Challenge of managing 4-5 people
- Lots more maintenance but better for big ABS parts
- Faster as well
- Works great, but challenges with big ABS parts
- Led Zeppelin object print
3D Printing Q&A – Trey Sullivan – Ep 24
Trey Sullivan is from Louisiana and grew up on a farm. He learned a lot of hands on practical knowledge from fixing farm equipment. He started college after high school, but ultimately dropped out and worked most of his career as an insurance adjuster. He has now decided to go back to college (at 39) and this time is pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree (which is what my degree is in).
Trey reached out to me as he has a lot of questions and wanted some advice about engineering and 3D printing. He asks a lot of great questions and I think that if you ever wanted know the basics of how 3D printing works, this is the podcast for you.
- First, hats off to Trey for going back at 39 years old to get his college degree. It’s never too late
- We talk SLA versus FDM. FDM printing is generally what you will see in colleges, makerspaces, etc. SLA is different and uses a liquid resin that is cured by light.
- 3D printing versus 2D printing. My opinion is that 3D printing will never take off like paper printing (in the sense that everyone will have one at home). We discuss why I think that.
To Contact Trey
- Facebook – Trey Sullivan
- Email Hershelsullivan@gmail.com
From Chief Rail Engineer to Engineering Leader– Pat Sweet – Ep 23
Pat Sweet has worked most of his career as an engineer in the rail industry. After reading the 4 hour workweek and some other entrepreneurship books, he got the inspiration to start some side hustles.
He taught himself how to build websites and still creates websites as a side business.
Another action he took was to create his own website: Engineeringandleadership.com. At first he created it because he enjoyed writing about engineering and leadership, but the site rank has grown and he has been able to monetize it.
We talk about his journey, how to validate a product, and where he sees his future: as a product consultant. You might just want to hire Pat as a consultant on your product! He knows his stuff.
- Portfolio career- you don’t need to work your whole career for one employer
- How to validate a product – doesn’t always have to be the final product to test an idea
To Contact Pat
- Twitter @engileader
3D Print the Future TV show
We are still looking for more guests but spots are filling up. Please contact me soon if you have interest in being featured on the show. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see details here: 3D Print the Future TV Show
The KING of 3D Printing (in Michigan) – Jonah Dorman – Ep 22
I can’t give him the title of “King of 3D Printing in the World”, but I will give him the title for Michigan. And for good reason….read more below
Jonah Dorman is the owner of SOC3D, which is a 3D printing company based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. His company has the most reviews on 3D Hubs (think of AirBnB for 3D printers) in the entire state of Michigan. They have 35 3D printers in use, which is truly amazing.
I learn a lot myself on this call about 3D printer filament formulation, how they actually make printer filament, how to run parts fast, and we discuss all my headaches with my 3D printer I’ve had lately!
- ASA is going to be the replacement material for ABS. ABS was never created for 3D printing, it was made for injection molding.
- Jonah is probably the first person I have seen that has so many different printers (and types of printers) that he can fully optimize for any type of part. For example, tall but skinny objects are perfect for a delta printer.
To Contact Jonah
Since we talked about 3D hubs, I figured I might as well share my link in the show notes (honestly don’t know why I never thought of that before)
Talking 3D printing with Walt3D – Brian Walt – Ep 21
Brian Walt is only 22 years old but already is a business owner and entrepreneur. He started Walt3D, a 3D printing and manufacturing services company based out of King of Prussia, PA. We connected over Instagram, as we both often use the #3D printing (you can follow me on Instagram @caddesignhelp).
We talk about his story on how he got into 3D printing. We talk about the Pro Putt, a golf training product he helped design and prototype. Then we discuss the 3D printers he uses and the ones I use. We talk a lot about 3D printing, so be sure to check this one out if 3D printing interests you.
- I was impressed Brian started this company before even finishing college. If you find a passion, no matter your age, you can turn that into a business
- Brian gave a great piece of advice about 3D printing, which is that there are so many ways you can use it. If you want to get started yourself, pick a market you like. Then if you want to get a machine to make parts, make sure the machine can make the parts you need. Some of the less expensive machines may not necessarily get the job done. You can always reach out to me at email@example.com and I can help you out.
To Contact Brian
The Perky Collar Invention- David Frankel – Ep 20
David Frankel is inventor whose background is in sales and marketing. He found a need himself to keep a dress shirt collar upright when he is not wearing a tie. After finding a makeshift solution (his daughter’s headband) for the sales meeting he was about to have, he knew he was onto something. He took the idea from that initial handmade prototype to a final product that he is selling online and in many retail stores.
We go into depth about all the stages of getting the product from his initial idea to the final product with packaging.
- David knew he had to go “all in” if he wanted his product to be a success. While he did some market research, in the end he had to go with his gut feeling that the product would succeed and invest quite a bit of money to get it fully developed
- Don’t underestimate the value of a well-designed package. In my opinion, I do not think David could command a $20 price point for his product if he did not have a well-presented package to portray the value of the product.
To Contact David
Phone: 704-839 – 1169
Designing on Stage Machinery for Lady Gaga Performances and CES 2017 Discussion– Emanuel Moshouris – Ep 19
Emanuel Moshouris is a Mechanical Engineer working for Black and Decker. His background includes working as an engineer in both the automotive and entertainment sectors. If you ever wondered how the big-name artists create their elaborate on stage performances, you will want to listen to this episode. Really interesting stuff!
Emanuel and myself met at CES 2017 a few weeks ago, so the 2nd half of our discussion is about what we both liked the most at the show and where we see the future in technology. We talk a good amount about 3D printing and Virtual Reality (VR).
- Emanuel has a goal in mind of where he wants his career to go. By looking at how others have achieved it, he has a game plan to follow
- I like his tip about “list of stupid decisions”. It is ok to fail, but it should always be your goal to not fail the same way twice
To Contact Emanuel
The Eggmazing Invention – Scott Houdashell – Ep 18
Scott Houdashell is an insurance salesman by day but an inventor at his core. One day he was decorating a hardboiled egg with his family and thought there must be an easier way. After some testing and trials, the Eggmazing was born.
I first connected with Scott when he needed his Sketchup drawings converted into Solidworks drawings. He has since already gone to tooling with his product and he had a successful Kickstarter campaign. He is on the verge of a big breakthrough and our conversation will show you how he went from an idea to a final product.
- It was evident in my call with Scott that he has a support team of family and friends behind him. This can be key because of the substantial capital required to launch a product
- Scott had a successful Kickstarter campaign by getting the word out about the product in advance
- Scott wasn’t afraid to do quite a bit of the design and testing himself before finally reaching out to me. That makes my job easier. So do as much design upfront as you can before reaching out to a pro
To contact Scott
Inventor Episode – Breast Pump Nipple Cushion – Tu-Hien Li – Ep 17
Tu-Hien is a mom who lives in Florida. She had her first child a few years ago, and found that using a breast pump was very uncomfortable.
She went online and couldn’t find a product to solve her problem, so she set out to solve it herself. She created a Facebook group of moms to use as her focus group / testing group. She went through 41 iterations to come up with the perfect final product. Then she launched and completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the injection molding tool.
We discuss all the steps she went through to bring her product to market.
- Solving your own problems is often the best way to invent something. The odds are that someone else has your problem
- Try and try again. It takes many iterations to get it right. It took Tu-Hien 41 iterations to perfect her project.
- Kickstarter is a great way to raise money for your project. But in order to be successful, you need to prepare in advance by building an audience for the campaign.
To contact Tu-Hien
Facebook/twitter/Instagram : @BeauGenMom
Get Recognized for Your Expertise- Carl Friesen – Ep 16
This week we have Carl Friesen. He is from Toronoto, CA and his background is in Journalism. He currently helps people get recognized for their expertise and helps authors get published.
Carl talks to me about how I can get more recognition in my field of CAD and Product Design. We talk about doing speaking engagements and writing articles on my field. While I already do both things, I can always do more and Carl gives me some great advice.
Whether you are a mechanical engineer, civil engineer, industrial designer or even an inventor, this conversation will really help you in your career to establish you as a though leader. That can make a real impact on your success!
- It is important to focus on the trade publications in your niche. While not a lot of people might read that magazine or blog, those that do read it are very interested in it.
- If you want to show that you can get results for your clients, generate articles and do presentations on your abilities to solve their problems
To contact Carl
My website: CADdesignhelp.com
Everything you ever wanted to know about CAD – Will Gibbons – The Engineering Entrepreneur Podcast 15
Will Gibbons is a Training Specialist at Luxion, the makers of KeyShot rendering software. He’s got a degree in Product Design and experience in marketing, product design and development and visualization.
Will has experience in more CAD programs than anyone else I know. We discuss many of the different programs out there and give the pros and cons of each. I mainly use Solidworks so this conversation really opened up my eyes to the different options when it comes to CAD. If you currently use CAD software or are interested in it, you will find a lot of value in this conversation.
Make sure you stick around to the special section at the very end, Will and I go into some extra discussions on Z-brush (a program used to create these masks).
- There are so many CAD programs out there, that you need to pick the one or ones that best suit what you need
- For beginners looking to get into CAD, start with Fusion 360 because of the cost and flexibility
To contact Will
3D Scanning – Andrew Bougie- The Engineering Entrepreneur Podcast 14
Andrew Bougie has a background in general IT and has (until recently) worked for a ScanSource, a company that sells 3D scanners. During his time there, he learned a lot about 3D scanning by getting hands on with the scanners and answering customer calls about scanner issues.
Andrew told me that he always wanted to own his own business and he had some side hustle jobs in the meantime. But he recently decided it was time to go full time with his knowledge of 3D scanning and start a business. With the help of a business partner, he started Digitizedesigns.com, which a service that provides 3D scanning services.
During our talk, we start with his journey so far. Then we move into the nitty gritty of 3D scanning. If you ever had any interest in learning about 3D scanning, then you need to hear this conversation.
- We went into a lot of the details of 3D scanning, but the main takeaway is that it is great for reverse engineering complex shapes, and is not hard as you might think. You just need the right tools and we discussed many of them today
- Regarding starting a business, find a skilled business partner – you want some overlap so you understand each other but mainly you want to have a complimentary set of skills
To contact Andrew
Company website: Digitizedesigns.com
Rick Daley is an expert industrial designer and part of my team at CADdesignhelp.com
Rick also runs his own design company at rdaleydesign.com
Rick has a background in designing juvenile products. Some of his past jobs included both working at Hasboro and Fisher Price. He later broke off on his own and has licensed 4 different toys that he designed. His most successful invention netted over $300,000!
We discuss how he achieved these license deals and he explains that you don’t need to be an engineer to be like him and create something very profitable.
Justin Shook is the founder of shookideas.com. His company manufactures products for others as well as products his company has designed. He is a firm believer in the power of 3D printing and all of his products are 3D printed. He currently has a lineup of Ultimakers and a Form Labs SLA printer.
We talk about how Justin started in 3D printing, how he has come up with unique products made with 3D printing, how not all products have worked out and his advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get into designing and selling products.
My key takeaways:
3D printing is changing the world with manufacturing. Look at his Nintendo game case as an example. If you want to purchase a case, go here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShookIdeas?ref=search_shop_redirect
Not all products will be a big hit nor will they all go the way you planned. Justin explained that one of his products flopped, despite testing on his end.
Be in business to be the best you can be at providing that product or service. Don’t simply be the least expensive.
You can contact Justin via email at Justin@shookideas.com and see his work at shookideas.com
Iain Power is a mechanical engineer with 20 years of experience in design engineering and entrepreneurship. He has worked in aerospace and automotive industries with experience designing plastic and metal parts.
We talk about how Iain got started in design, how he has expanded into freelancing and his best design to date which you affects your everyday but you probably have never even noticed it! Oh and it also helps the environment.
My key takeaways:
Be hands on and get to know the people who manufacture, and know the processes
Be willing to go the extra mile to get things done
Collaborate with people, don’t compete
Use social media – people won’t buy from you if they don’t know you
To get in touch with Iain
@Iainspower on twitter, periscope
Iain Power design facebook page
This week on the show we have Josh Nicholson.
Josh is a cyber security engineer with 20 years of experience in information technology and cyber security. He is currently is working as VP of Phishme, which is a cyber security company
We discuss his best security design, how he got started in his career, his various entrepreneurial jobs, and his advice on how to advance your technical career with entrepreneurship.
- Starting with a technical background can really help you get to a high level in a company
- Think about the business problem you are trying to solve, not the technology problem
To get in touch with Josh:
Phishme.com contact form
Find Josh Nicholson on linked
Chris Padgett is a mechanical engineer from NC state. He has 6 years of experience in 3D printing and has worked for defense contractors and in the enterprise mobility space. He currently works as the CEO and founder of Fusion3D printers.
We talk about how Chris went from his corporate engineering job to starting Fuison3D. He gives a history of his journey and some great lessons learned.
My key takeaways:
For some people, jumping straight into a project might be the best way. Especially if you are the type of person who likes to focus only on one thing at a time
Chris talks about luck, but I think you create your own luck. Work hard and be willing to pivot. Chris talks about having a strategy but be willing to adapt
Don’t always need angel investors, self-funding still works
To get in touch with Chris
John is a Mechanical Engineer from NC State with a passion for inventing. He has invented products such as wooden Chinese throwing stars, reflective address signs, special pressure washer nozzles, and a device for hanking rope (if you don’t know what that is, then listen in!).
Create add on features that improve your business efficiency – like John’s pressure washing business. Plus, you can sell the invention to other businesses
Give a range in pricing like John did with his window cleaning company
Little giveaways and freebies can help – like the free window cleaning bottle
To get in touch with John
Joe Moya is an industrial designer by degree and is now a business owner. He runs Studio Moya, which is a full service product design firm based out of Columbus Ohio.
He also has created the Hilljack brand, which is a performance magazine loader.
We discuss Joe’s journey to where he is today as well has how he invented the Hilljack line of products.
Anyone who is interested to learn how to successfully launch a brand (which is more than just a product) needs to hear this podcast! I learned quite a bit in my discussion with Joe.
1. Before selling a product, it is a good idea to create a brand first. This is something I could do better. You need to create a logo and package to go with the product to create the brand.
2. I like Joe’s tip to always stay hungry. Just looking at his story, you can see never gave up despite being laid off 3 different times
3. Lastly, keep your eye open for opportunities. Joe has created a very successful “passive” income source by solving the problem of reloading firearm magazines. Solving your own problem can often lead to a successful business.
To get in touch with Joe
Derek Timm graduated college with a degree in business. After college, he took a job as a paper pusher (his words) and was able to transition into a product designer/CAD position. He found his passion in design and his experience and expertise has grown since. He even started his own side business.
We discuss Derek’s path so far, some projects we have done together, and where he is headed with his new company.
1. Don’t get caught up in your degree or what you are currently doing now. If there is another field or area of work you want to try, you need to go for it. You might just find it is exactly what you want to do
2. Consider taking an equity stake in your project if you think it is a good idea. This makes it easier than hustling for jobs constantly
This week we have Lyman Bishop on the podcast. Lyman is a mechanical engineering and entrepreneur. His background is mainly in weapons and defense (body armor). He runs both his own company for product design (www.star-labs.com) and he is in development of his own line of body armor after working for years in that space.
We discuss a story of how he got started as an engineer at 8 years old, how body armor is built (I learned a lot here), and the pros and cons of manufacturing in China. There is a ton of value in this episode so you don’t want to miss it!
Here are my key takeaways
1. Count the costs – to see it all through. Both money and time costs to get your project completed
2. Guide your clients through the process
To get in touch with Lyman,
This week is a little different. This week I talk about my recent invention, The Selfie-Glove. I started this project in August and I have just made my first 2 sales.
In this podcast, I talk about the lean startup philosophy and how I have applied it to this product. I discuss how I used validated learning to improve the product and find the right market.
I discuss how I came up with the idea, how I filed a provisional patent, how I made my prototypes, how I got feedback on the product and how I made my first few sales.
If you are at all interested in learning about how to invent something, you need to hear this podcast!
Here are the links discussed and how to get in touch with me to learn more.
my email Info@caddesignhelp.com
blog to leave comments: Selfie-Glove blog
Lean startup: theleanstartup
We discuss Louis’ background (he has 7 patents!), how he started his companies, and some tips. As with any entrepreneur, we discuss some successes and failures. There is a lot to learn in this podcast!
- Do a market feasibility of your product. You want to make sure you have the funds covered to get to the finish line. Lyman Bishop in episode 10 offered similar advice
- Inventing doesn’t have to be done on your own – Edison Nation offers an option to submit ideas for partnership.
To contact Louis,
This week on the podcast we have Anthony Fasano. Anthony is civil engineer by background. He has shifted his career from practicing civil engineering to becoming an entrepreneur in a few different areas. He is the Executive Director for The New York State Society of Professional Engineers, he runs the Engineering Career Coach podcast, and he runs The Italian American Podcast.
Anthony reached a high level of management at his engineering company at the age of 27 but he wasn’t satisfied with what he was doing anymore. We discuss how Anthony made his career change and how he found his true passion, which is helping engineers develop their career.
- The engineers that are successful have powerful core skills. Skills like effective communication and the ability to speak in front of people.
- If you are going to be an Engineering Entrepreneur, technical skills are not enough. You must be able to network and market yourself
- LinkedIn is a great tool to make connections. This is how Anthony got started with his coaching career
To contact Anthony
If you are an engineer looking for career help, go to Engineering career coach website
If you are an entrepreneur looking to grow a business, go to Engineered Content