Chris and Joel started Origin in late 2015 to 3D print parts for customers using open source printers but soon faced a formative deadline. They needed to produce and ship thousands of shoe tags in one week or risk upsetting their largest customer – Marshawn Lynch’s Beast Mode. To ramp up and meet their deadline, they hired a technician and ran printers 24 x 7, developing and testing new software and open materials, trying everything to find the fastest path to a consumer-grade product.
The team shipped on time (barely) and impressed their customer but came up with something even more valuable: insight. Feeling the pain of unreliable hardware, limited software, and brittle materials, the two Founders saw an opportunity to create a whole new platform from the ground up and a dramatically new and open approach to additive manufacturing that combines open materials, extensible software, and modular hardware. This approach, called Open Additive Production, provides manufacturing customers with the flexibility they need. Now they can focus on design and customers instead of tools.