One YouTube video can inspire people to do many things. For two U students, it led to their own 3-D printing business.
During their sophomore year, Adam Rosenburg, currently a junior in computer science, and Mark Andrews, a junior in business management, came across a YouTube video explaining 3-D printing. Rosenburg said they figured “this [looked] pretty easy” and launched their business, Elevated Designs, in January of 2014.
While 3-D printing is becoming more common, the two researched around the valley and realized there weren’t many companies that offered it. With hopes to help U researchers, small businesses and other student entrepreneurs, Rosenburg and Andrews opened shop.
Andrew said through “friends, family and fools,” Elevated Designs raised enough money to buy their first 3-D printer.
After several failed attempts, they succeeded in teaching themselves the prototyping process. They struggled financially at the start, until the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute offered the team free office space on campus.
Two printers and numerous projects later, these two U students are finally realizing their dream.
“I love creating products for people,” Andrews said. “We were both looking for something outside of college that could really give us that real world experience for résumés.”
Fas Lebbie, a junior in international studies, has used Elevated Designs to help with two of his ventures. Lebbie’s first business, a clothing company called Fasmovement, utilized Rosenburg and Andrews’ advice and consultation. With Lebbie’s current project, Luku Watches, Elevated Designs has been instrumental in creating prototypes before he launches his product.
“I get more than what I am paying for,” Lebbie said. “It’s like adding extra guys on your team.”
3-D printers are free to use at the Marriott Library, but students must bring their own spool of filament and have hours to spare. Andrews has met students who can take up to ten tries to get the printer to work. Each attempt takes four hours, and most students do not have that time, especially if they are working on tight deadlines to get a product on the market, Andrews said.
Elevated Designs works with businesses around the Salt Lake area to provide their 3-D printing and consulting services. Rosenburg said they will provide their services at the new Lassonde Studios opening in 2016.
Other companies have offered percentages of their companies or want Elevated Designs to work for them, but they want to keep their business in their own hands, at least for now.
“It’s not about the money for us,” Andrews said. “It’s about helping people create things.”
So far, the company has made about $10,000.