About the team
Industry: Consumer Products
Product: Punch tracking wearable sensors for boxing
Location: Irvine, CA
Customer challenges: Couldn’t find a local CNC shop to machine very small, plastic features
Favorite features: Easy file-uploading system, fast/reliable CNC service
Result: Accelerated production 39 days ahead of schedule
Hykso is on a mission to take fighting from an art to a science. This Y Combinator-backed startup has developed a set of wearable wrist sensors for boxing and mixed martial arts that count, measure the speed, and recognize the type of punches being thrown for smarter training.
To meet demand for thousands of pre-sale units, Hykso co-founder Patrick Chandler used the Fictiv platform to develop the sensor enclosures with Fictiv’s quick-turn 3D printing and CNC machining services.
“It was the easiest thing I’ve ever done CNC-wise”
An Easy Transition from 3D Printing to CNC Machining
Chandler first discovered Fictiv when looking for a 3D printing service for high resolution parts.
“When we started to get into really high detail for the smallest parts, that’s where Fictiv came in,” said Chandler.
After 3D printing prototypes of the enclosure using Fictiv’s Vero material, Chandler discovered Fictiv’s CNC service as a great option to test for any flaws in material choice and structural strength and tune the bluetooth antenna before moving to production.
“To be able to just upload a file online with Fictiv and then get fast, high-quality CNC turnaround in one shot is amazing.”
“It was the easiest thing I’ve ever done CNC-wise,” said Chandler. “I’ve worked with CNC shops before and know they’re always busy. Normally with a CNC shop you have to somehow get them the drawing then explain everything in-person or over the phone. So to be able to just upload a file online with Fictiv and then get fast, high-quality CNC turnaround in one shot is amazing.”
Looking for Advanced CNC Capabilities
Chandler came to Fictiv with some really small and detailed models for plastic CNC machining, with mating features that need a 0.003” endmill.
“We were looking to get the material as close to production specs as possible (injection molded ABS),” he said. “In researching local CNC shops, they mostly specialized in metal and hadn’t worked with such small plastic features.”
Accelerating Time to Market with Rapid-Turn CNC Machining
Because Fictiv had the capability to CNC machine such small parts, Hykso was able to iterate on the design much more quickly before moving to injection molding.
“I thought I wouldn’t be able to CNC the part, and we would be set back by weeks,” said Chandler.
Chandler was able to get the components CNC machined in just three days, shaving 39 days off their original production schedule.
“We’re on a very tight schedule, so to be able to fly back 39 days on our gantt chart is incredibly significant.”
Speed as a Competitive Advantage
There were two major qualities Chandler was looking for in a manufacturing partner: Quick and reliable.
“They’re both important and also dependent—if a company is fast but not reliable, then that’s a problem, and vice versa,” he said. “Fictiv was fast and delivered parts to spec.”
Like the best hardware companies, Hykso knows that accelerated development is a major competitive advantage.
“Things have to move fast,” said Chandler. “Having gone through a fast paced program like Y Combinator, we learned that speed is a huge advantage. So to be able to easily delegate 3D printing and CNC work with someone you know will have it to you in one to three days is super helpful. That’s a huge time saving. We’re on a very tight schedule, so to be able to fly back 39 days on our Gantt chart is incredibly significant.”