Now in its sixth year and open for entries, The Techies is a Business Exchange award scheme that celebrates Swindon and Wiltshire’s most exciting tech innovators.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be catching up with some of last year’s winners.
Today we hear from David Speight, Co-Founder of Scaled, a Swindon-based engineering company that produced 3D-printed mile markers from recycled materials for the 2022 London Marathon (which we were very pleased to see being used again this year!)
How did it feel to win the ‘Flying The Flag for Swindon and Wiltshire Tech’ Award at the Techies 2022?
Wiltshire is home to a lot of tech companies, so to win an award in that environment is something we were very proud of. Particularly the ‘Flying the Flag’ category which felt like the pinnacle of the awards.
Tell us more about what you do.
At the core, we are a 3D printing company. When we started out, we spotted a gap in the market where people weren’t doing large format (a metre size and up) projects. They were using lots of smaller, desktop printers. So we set out to occupy that space.
Historically our work has been mainly research and development-based, such as aerospace and motoring companies who are trying out whether 3D printing is going to be useful for them. It’s very varied because 3D printing is sometimes seen as a ‘panacea,’ so we get a lot of different inquiries.
What have you been working on since winning?
The price of smaller-scale (off-the-shelf) machines has come down a lot, so we’ve been buying them and using our large-scale knowledge and skills to work on a smaller scale.
The most high-profile client we’ve worked with recently is probably the UK Atomic Energy Authority, specifically a team that deals with decommissioning nuclear reactors.
What are your plans in the coming months?
Large-format projects have always been our thing and so we never really pushed on the small-scale side of things. But we’ve now seen that there is interest and that we can offer something. We’re not abandoning the large-scale stuff, but we want to push our services at the smaller end and see where that leads us.
What would be your advice to anyone looking to enter the Techies?
All innovators should consider it. There are lots of different categories you can enter and it’s great to meet other finalists as well. From a wider perspective, the more people that enter the awards, the more people will see Swindon and Wiltshire as a tech area.
Have you made any new connections as a result of winning the award?
Our new CEO attended the ceremony and found it really helpful because he was sitting at a table with various people who were working on similar things. We’re very interested in recycled materials and there were a few companies there like Green Machine who deal with recycled computers. So we were able to make some really useful connections.
Are you using your award win in your marketing?
We advertised winning on all our social media, and now it sits proudly in our main meeting room – so all our visitors get to see it!
If the Business Exchange could help you share one message, what would it be?
3D printing is not just for prototyping – it can also do low-volume production, say up to 1000 parts. So, if you’re out there thinking that conventional manufacturing processes are expensive, then give us a call and find out whether we can help.