InspiRAD CEO Utilizes SOLIDWORKS and Markforged to Win innovateUNG Competition

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Atlanta mechanical engineer and entrepreneur, Matthew Byron, utilizes Markforged industrial 3D printers and SOLIDWORKS CAD software to create innovative new product for mountain bikers and takes first place at the 2020 innovateUNG competition.

Matthew Byron has worked for one of Atlanta’s top and most innovative medical manufacturers in the Southeast for 7 years. In an effort to grow personally and professionally, Byron has been attending night classes at University of North Georgia while working full time.

InspiRAD Utilizes SOLIDWORKS and Markforged to win innovateUNG competition
“Through my studies at the university I have created a desire to start my own business, and 8 months ago I recognized that opportunity.”
Matthew Byron

Byron is a long-time mountain biker and has learned through experience that suspension setup is critical to getting the most comfortable and optimal ride – and thus, InspiRAD was born. Mountain bike manufacturers produce OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) suspension forks suited as one size fits all for riders anywhere between 100lbs and 350lbs. “When it comes to suspension – one size does not fit all,” Byron says. Furthermore, he felt that there had to be a better solution and began to brainstorm. Consulting with other avid mountain bikers and bike shop owners, he received an overwhelming amount of support. But for such a strikingly obvious problem, why haven’t the OEMs already addressed this?

Pistons within the fork have a positive and negative chamber. OEMs allow for adjusting the positive chamber which offers slight customization for riders of varied weights and preferences, but there is currently no way to adjust the negative chamber. With no ability to adjust the negative chamber users are unable to fully zero in on each unique rider’s weight and preferences.

inspiRAD pistons

Matthew’s innovative design allows mountain bikers to customize pistons based on their weight and preferences to provides a more comfortable ride. His specialized piston takes into account weight, fork travel based on piston size and rider preferences. Byron says, “these data points are critical to getting the ideal design for each rider.

inspiRAD custom pistons

These key data points are imported into Driveworks, a design automation tool for Solidworks, which automates each customized design and outputs a customer facing quote in real time. As a startup business it’s important that Byron is not tied up creating a new model every time a customer wants to place an order. The end user enters his or her information and the quote and 3D model are generated automatically.

Byron used design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) which means he specifically designed his part with 3D printing in mind. In fact, due to internal geometry, his part could not be conventionally manufactured using injection molding or CNC milling. While exploring different 3D printing technologies, he evaluated a range of parts from a variety of companies and it became clear that Markforged was the best option for him to create high quality end-use parts.

Byron states “this would only possible through working with MLC CAD Systems.” After attending a live DriveWorks demo for his current employer in the medical field, he decidedly stated “I would never use it at work” and just wrote it off for that application. But he quickly realized the potential solution MLC CAD Systems offered in key areas to enable his personal startup venture – InspiRAD. Because Byron trusts Markforged 3D printers at work, he knew he could also turn to MLC for Markforged printers to empower his own startup business.

If you are in the Atlanta area, look for Matthew on Georgia Inventure Prize, airing on PBS the first week of April (Update: Postponed due to COVID-19; New date TBD). The Georgia InVenture Prize is an interdisciplinary innovation competition that brings together Georgia College students of varied academic backgrounds to compete for patents and prizes before a panel of 3 judges. In short, these students are creating the next great invention that they hope will change the world. It’s the local PBS version of Shark Tank for college student innovators.

MLC CAD Systems wishes Matthew the best and knows he has a bright future!

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