The Future of Print

This company is known for its innovative, 3D printed creations.




September 1, 2017


photo supplied


Lucas Sloan didn’t want his tech business to become just another cell phone repair shop.

Armed with a 3D printer and laser cutter, Lucas and his brother, David, started MadeBySloan in 2011 to laser-engrave customized colours and designs on phones (Their most elaborate design? A 24-karat gold plated iPhone). They received frequent requests for phone- screen repairs, which Lucas would accommodate, but hated doing. “I preferred the custom, creative side of things,” he says. One Halloween, he printed a wearable, 3D Halo helmet, and some cosplayers visiting the shop saw it and wanted their own custom props. “We started making cosplay pieces for people, and once we realized there was enough demand for 3D printing and custom work outside of the phone market, we started pivoting away from phones. Just fixing broken screens isn’t what we wanted to do.”

Since then, MadeBySloan has worked with businesses to design, 3D print and laser-cut custom products — everything from signage to elaborate prototypes. The Sloans were invited to compete with their creations on the “professional, robot fighting sport” show, BattleBots. “We built two combat robots and went down to Los Angeles and competed for two weeks in 2016,” Lucas says. “That was by far the biggest, craziest job we’ve done.”

When a certain George Takei shared a video of one of their partnerships on Facebook in December 2016 — a harmonica placed inside a Nintendo cartridge, called “blotendo” — “sales [of blotendo] quadrupled in a matter of hours, it was insane,” Lucas recalls. At the same time, MadeBySloan had just launched a product called Allcade, a plug-in game console in a retro-style cartridge that has the capacity to store thousands of games. A Kickstarter campaign for the console proved popular when it finished with 238 per cent ($23,848) of its target funding, and a review of the game on the popular tech website, Gizmodo, caused sales to double within a few days. MadeBySloan can manufacture four to six units per day.

Lucas is passionate about educating customers about 3D printing too. Drop in on “Maker Space Mondays” for free 30-minute consultations and discounts on 3D and laser printing. Need a bit more time? Lucas and the crew offer scheduled tutorials, too. “We see everyone from 12-year-old kids to older entrepreneurs who have an idea for a product and want to understand how 3D printing works so they can design files themselves instead of going to an expensive design firm,” he says.


This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Avenue Edmonton. Subscribe here.


 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Global Woman of Vision: Dr. Kathryn Dong

This emergency room physician is helping change the culture of the acute care system to better address the needs of the community.

Property of the Week: Bungalow in Village on the Lake

This Sherwood Park space has been extensively renovated and has thoughtful design details throughout.

Property of the Week: Parkview Bungalow

This space, just steps from the river valley, has been renovated into a clean, modern dream.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Listings

Edmonton Restaurants >

Search for restaurants by cuisine or area of the city.

Find Avenue Edmonton >

Our 500 store listings cover fashion, home decor, sports, food and drink, and more.

Find an Event >

Wondering what to do tonight, tomorrow or next week? This calendar of events will help.