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A few day’s after making history becoming the first triple amputee to compete and finish the Hawaii Ironman World Championships I found myself relaxing on the beach in Kona under a coconut tree thinking about what is next?
What do I want to contribute to this world? I asked myself if I had all the money time and resources in the world what would I pursue? The answers started to become more clear while I sipped on my virgin Pina Colada.
I alway’s had a obsession with removing limitations for myself. For the majority of my life I depended on people to help me remove my limitations. Prosthesis, fabricators, doctors, lawyers, financial planners. They all did a great job providing solutions to meet my needs but I had a deeper calling take more control of my life.
I want to own the company instead of work for the company.
I wanted to feel empowered and in control of my own state. I removed every excuse in the book by asking myself one simple question
“What if my life and my family depended on me for food on the table and the only way was to launch this business could I find a way to make it happen? YES, of course we can!
While training for the Hawaii Ironman I put in thousands of hours running, biking and swimming to perfect 3 sports. You think about a lot on a 5 hour bike ride just to pass the time! When I encountered problems with my equipment I solved them by making my own prosthetic’s.
Every triathlon I competed in I found myself always switching legs between cycling and running. When I was done, I had to switch again back to my walking legs.
That’s 3 pairs of legs = 6 legs!!!
(Below – I roll into a triathlon transition with a big bag full of legs!)
(Below – Switching out legs. )
Most people can’t even afford one. I thought there has to be a better way. Why couldn’t I interchange my prosthetic feet like a person changes a shoe?
I made the decision that day on the beach in Kailua Kona under the coconut tree. I wasn’t going to settle and wait for the solution to be solved for me. I was going to take control and figure it out.
I started to research and ask questions I realized most products on the market are developed towards the sale towards the majority of people’s needs.
I found that specialize niche products aren’t often shelved until the markets are ripe. I didn’t want to wait. I was determined to innovate and create the market!
Below is my first version of HYPERCON. It was a great design, but not for what I had hoped to achieved with weight and built height requirements. The short reason: it’s heavy and the profile is to big. Though fully functional, it was hard to mass produce because of the complex design shapes.
After a lot of testing We switched over to 3d printing and went through many different revisions to solve the challenge to make it light, and low profile, along with durable. We found utilizing the same spring mechanism it proved to be a great design, but it still required different components to connect to the prosthetic leg and prosthetic foot. Though still a great design, it wasn’t light enough and wasn’t low profile. I didn’t want to use it, and I knew no one else would.
I felt like I hit a major road block. We couldn’t solve the problem. It was 2 years of trying everything possible with no prevail. I didn’t give up, I knew there was a way, I just had to keep trying. One evening I was working on a new concept when my neighbor saw me. He wanted to know what I was doing.
Long story short he was a mechanical engineer designer. I explained to him what I was trying to achieve. I handed him all the legacy components so he could design on a clean pallet. (Sometimes you have to wipe the slate clean and start fresh.)
Reaching the Major Milestone!
Below was his initial concept. When he showed me this, my jaw hit the floor! It was exactly what I wanted to achieve. Low profile, simple and durable for the long haul. I knew it would be light enough and could integrate perfectly with prosthetic feet. With some tweaking of the design, 9 versions later I felt confident in this product. I use it on a daily bases to solve my challenges and I know it will benefit many people.
(Below – Rev. 1)
We worked with NeoMetrix Technologies, Inc. utilizing 3d scanning technology and 3d printing. Their services and expertise are radically helping us bring to life fresh concepts and ideas that will remove more limitations than ever before. Be sure to check out Dan and Chris from NeoMetrix, they are some of the smartest, passionate people out there helping me solve the biggest challenges of life.
After we had a solid design we recruited a specialized manufacture to produce working prototypes out of aluminum.
(Below – Working Prototype)
After testing we had to make additional revisions. This was quickly achieved utilizing NeoMetrix’s 3d Scanning service.
(Below – Finish Product)