This week we’re speaking with Leon Oudehand from the Netherlands, who did a great job developing a simple yet useful life hack!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
Hi, I’m Leon and I’m a product and packaging developer from the Netherlands. I work as packaging designer for a big FMCG company, but alongside that I love to design and create products that make life just a little easier, both for myself and for others.
What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
I guess this is one of those typical “I had a need and couldn’t find the right product so decided to do it myself” stories where a product originates from a pure personal need. When the explosion of wallet projects on Kickstarter started a couple of years ago, I too got a little addicted to the minimal wallet trend.
Typically, minimal wallets are great for cards and bills. However, few offer a “good” solution for carrying coins (or other small items). I tried going “cashless” or at least “coinless” for a while, but found that there’s still quite a few places that don’t accept cards, or don’t accept cards for small amounts. Time after time I ended up with loose coins in my pocket. After finding over 10 euros worth of coins in the washing machine, and another stash spread around the car, I decided I had to find a solution.
That’s when I came up with Cavity Card. A simple and light frame that can be mounted onto any card and creates just a little space for a few coins, a key or an SD card while keeping my wallet slim. At first, I just printed one for myself. But after a number of questions from friends and colleagues, I decided to open up a shop.
What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
I learned about 3D printing as a tool for rapid prototyping in my job as a packaging designer. It’s been a great tool for very quickly getting something physical in your hands, which is great for very early stage tests and design evaluation.
Having studied in Eindhoven, Shapeways was the logical choice for me. A while ago I did a bit of a benchmark comparing it with a couple of other 3D printing services but found Shapeways still has the best balance between cost, range of materials and service.
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I’m schooled as an industrial designer. So I learned 3D modeling at university. I’ve experimented with a couple of CAD solutions, but find SolidWorks to be the best fit for me.
How do you promote your work?
For a very niche product like Cavity Card, which is only relevant to people owning a minimal wallet, it’s difficult to reach the right people. I currently mainly use Instagram and Facebook to try to build a following. I’ve also been experimenting a bit with Facebook ads (although not too successfully yet).
If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
I’ve got plenty of ideas in my head that I’d like to work out and start making some day. I’ve got a couple of wallet concepts for which the limitations in size and accuracy currently limit me from producing it through 3D printing. I’d love to start printing more complex multipart products that offer more functionality. Multi-material parts (printed in one go) would also open up so many opportunities.
Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
In terms of design, I’m a fan of classic modernist designers like Mies van der Rohe or Eames. My favorite Shapeways designer is probably Remi van Oers, because of his very simple and minimal but super useful designs.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Just that it’s absolutely fantastic how simple and easy it is to go from a one-off print for personal use to selling them commercially. And a big thanks to you guys for providing the services!