About the team
Industry: Consumer Electronics
Product: Electric toothbrush
Year Founded: 2014
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Reason to try: Needed a reliable manufacturing partner for rapid prototype iterations
Favorite features: Rapid 3D printing and production injection molding services
Result: Injection molding tool up and running in just 4 weeks
quip: Reinventing the Electric Toothbrush
quip is a Brooklyn-based oral care company bringing design innovation to the electric toothbrush market. quip’s slim electric toothbrush features a vibrating timer and affordable brush head delivery service. Equally important are the features they didn’t include: harsh cleaning modes, bulky chargers, and expensive brush heads.
“Our approach was to strip the toothbrush back down to its base and then add back in just the right features and just the right design touches, so that it would still be something that would elevate the experience,” said Bill May, quip Co-founder and COO.
The Challenge: Speed and Quality in Prototyping and Production
quip first started working with Fictiv to rapidly iterate on their designs using 3D printing.
“We’re growing very quickly, so we need a supplier that can grow with us”
“Getting high fidelity 3D prints from Fictiv turned around the next day through their online portal was really critical to validating our design decisions,” said May.
As quip progressed into production, they worked with Fictiv to get injection molding tools online quickly in order to fulfill rapidly increasing customer demand.
“We’re growing very quickly, so we need a supplier that can grow with us,” said Archie Durfee, quip supply chain manager. “Fictiv is an agile company, just like quip is, so it’s great to work with another company that works and thinks like us.”
“It really wouldn’t have been possible with traditional manufacturing channels that we’ve worked through”
Fictiv also helped quip with an injection mold for their retail packaging to launch in Target.
“Fictiv was a crucial partner in that,” said May. “They were able to get that mold up and running within three to four weeks, whereas our other partners were taking six, eight weeks just to get first-off tool parts.”
“It was a pace that I’ve never really experienced that really enabled rapid change”
Fictiv manufactured the plastic caps for quip’s Target retail packaging, which needed to be done in a rapid timeline of just one month. Fictiv was able to place the tool at a vetted manufacturing partner experienced with meeting tight timelines. The initial batch of caps was delivered in just four weeks.
“Working with Fictiv has really sped up our process, especially on our packaging for Target,” said John Fratti, quip industrial designer. “It really wouldn’t have been possible with traditional manufacturing channels that we’ve worked through. It was a pace that I’ve never really experienced that really enabled some rapid change in the design process.”
Continuity from Design through Production
One of the most promising aspects of quip’s relationship with Fictiv is that the collaboration allows for continuity from design to prototyping to production.
“We’re really excited for the future,” said May. “Working with Fictiv on prototyping during the R&D phase, as well as working with them on mass production means we have much greater confidence that the original design intent is going to flow through to the finished product and still retain all those essential design cues that make our products unique.”