Would you have ever guessed that one of the most successful 3D printing companies at hand is actually based in Tralee, Kerry?! Wazp has certainly nailed it when it comes to commercialised 3D printing. Here’s their success story…
What is Wazp all about?
We offer Live Supply Chain Solution powered by Digital Manufacturing (3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing). Our mission is to help our clients design, produce and distribute product.
Our Wazp Team is the driving force of everything we have achieved so far. We cultivate an open, creative and boundary-breaking culture. We approach every problem as a new learning curve and want to help our clients reach the full potential of Digital Manufacturing across multiple industries.
We believe that products should be easy to create. We want to help teams and companies to take more products to market, faster and cheaper than before. We achieve this through shortening and improving the design and product development process, using scalable, responsive manufacturing and convenient supply and always keeping an eye on customer fulfilment.
How many years has it been going?
Wazp was established in January of 2015. Since then, the company has rapidly developed and proven supply chain solutions that allow for the Volume Production of 3D Printed products at industry competitive prices, while increasing design capabilities and massively impacting supply chain convenience and costs.
Today, we are providing our solution across multiple industries including the Homeware Sector, Performance Sportswear & Apparel Industry, Healthcare and Automotive Industries, with clients such as IKEA, Puma, BorgWarner and Stryker.
What was the inspiration behind the start-up?
Coming from manufacturing, design and engineering backgrounds, we (Shane Hassett, Founder & CEO and Mariana Kobal, Founder & COO) knew first-hand the challenges companies face with the current way of production and supply.
Prior to starting the company, years of experience and research was put into developing our unique Live Supply Chain process that is powered by Digital Manufacturing (3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing) and the best practices of lean thinking.
Digital Manufacturing Technology remained stagnant for over thirty years; we knew the vast potential it possessed and solutions it could offer, which was not utilised by the growing industry.
We were always inspired by innovation and design, creative problem solving and new ways of thinking.
We have organically carried it into our company culture and the Wazp Team work very hard to help our customers achieve their inspiring product ideas and serve their customers more effectively
What exciting 3D printers do you get to play with?
We continuously learn from our wide network of Makers all over Europe and our expertise extends to a variety of technologies including SLS (Selective Laser Sintering), FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) and SLA (Stereolithography). Today, we have found SLS to be the best suited for Volume Production but we are working tirelessly to ensure other technologies are accessible to the many for Volume Production, in terms of cost, efficiency and quality.
We have also recently moved in to a new office in Liber House, Monavalley Industrial Estate, Tralee and opened doors to our own research, product development, testing and local manufacturing facility, The Lab.
We think The Lab is a great educational facility for the local area – for companies, professionals and students alike, so we invite you all to visit!
I heard you guys had a Kickstarter campaign, how did it go?
It was great! We surpassed our target and had tremendous success in terms of Market Research and Market Validation. The global reach allowed us to prove parts of our Business Model very quickly. The best thing about it was to see the whole Wazp Team having a lot of fun with the entire campaign.
From our last chat, you seem to have an awesome business model! You’re even disrupting the supply chain, what’s your value proposition?
Collaborative Partnerships with our clients are key. We create a ‘New World’ by combining the best of Traditional Methods, 3D Printing and adding a sprinkle of Wazp. We work closely with teams to achieve what could not be achieved before, keeping the digital thread from design to production.
Tell me more about the founders, how did you get to work together?
We (Mariana Kobal, Founder & COO and Shane Hassett, Founder & CEO) worked together in Poland specialising in Product Development and Engineering, Product Life Cycle Management, Manufacturing Processes and Supply Chain in the Consumer Products Sector.
The obstacles we faced during that time inspired us to find solutions, the solution is Wazp.
You are based in Tralee, Kerry. How is that working for you?
The entire Wazp Team is culturally diverse and has worked all over the world before coming together in Kerry, as we all developed ties to Kerry.
Ireland is a wonderful place to grow an idea into a business, from a cost and support perspective. We received continuous support from Enterprise Ireland, starting at an incubator in New Frontiers and High Potential Start-Up (HPSU), Local Enterprise Office (LEO) through to Kerry Young Entrepreneur Programme.
The company developed and grew with the help, encouragement and talent we brought in: creative, passionate and forward thinking members of our team has been the key to our success.
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