From his 100-square-foot home office, product designer Bill Phelps brought more than a dozen products to market in a year for an $80 million consumer-product-goods company.
Then Phelps joined Ringblingz, a startup that makes rings that allow teenagers to put their phones away yet know when they have an important message. During a three-month residency at the R/GA Connected Devices Accelerator powered by Techstars, Phelps was able to work through hundreds of designs using a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. Ringblingz launched at SXSW last month, and Wearables Week named them Best Newcomer.
Phelps says there’s no difference between the difference between the set of Ringblingz prototypes made on a MakerBot and “what I used to spend thousands of dollars on” for each prototype. For a product designer today, he says, “you literally don’t need more than a MakerBot and a computer.”