Engineer-Entrepreneur Brings 3D Printing Innovation To Small Companies
Jamie Clare is the founder of Iconic Engineering Solutions, a pioneer of 3D printing
Jamie Clare, an engineer-come-entrepreneur, thinks that additive manufacturing – 3D printing – has a big role to play in small businesses.
He is a design engineer with more than 15 years of industry experience. About a year and a half ago he decided to start his own business, and he has never looked back.
In 2015, Jamie is planning an expansion of his company. But he has had some difficulties along the way, although it has not stopped him from pursuing his goals.
"I decided to start Iconic Engineering Solutions Ltd after working for many years in motorsport and industry sectors," he says.
"I have worked my way [up] from the shop floor to the senior design level, and [have] gathered a wide spread of skills and knowledge from the people I have worked for."
He adds: "I learned the most while setting up a machine shop, a manufacturing facility, for a previous employer, where I was in charge of the budget and the project management of the outfit.
"After completing this task I got 'the bug'. I really wanted to try to setup my own business."
However, having your own company is not as glamorous as you may think. You often have to work twice as hard, sourcing motivation from your dreams.
"I would say the biggest challenge as an entrepreneur is generating the business and projects that make the business viable," Jamie says.
Multitasking must become a part of your routine. Jamie says it is hard to juggle management tasks while still contributing to daily business activities.
His company integrates 3D printing within its projects. It uses one of the best printers currently on the market, the Ultimaker 2.
“We use this to run off prototypes and print off working parts to customers’ requirements,” he says, although the business has in the past used bureau printing services to make parts if certain materials could not be made in-house.
"I think for companies like Iconic Engineering Solutions, where we have the need to produce prototypes and working parts in small volumes, additive manufacturing becomes more important," he says.
"It means we don’t have to spend massive sums of money to produce prototypes or tooling. It allows us to offer more competitive prices… And also offer new and dynamic solutions to solving customer problems."
His advice to young engineer-entrepreneurs is: "You have to make yourself stand out from the person stood next to you in an interview. We are all salesmen and the product your selling is you[rself]. If your customer doesn’t believe in you, you’re not going to get anywhere.”
He says that engineers should concentrate on their strong points, rather than become jacks of all trades.
"I would rather employ an expert in specific fields that I can support in the areas they lack in than have a jack of all trades who constantly needs attention,” he adds.
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