September 19, 2016

The WYNG: From Photography Problem to 3D Printed Retail-Ready Solution

The WYNGMathew Sutor wrestles with fast-paced movement and harsh lighting when capturing the perfect moments during his clients' weddings and events. This frustration led to inspiration when Sutor invested in a LulzBot 3D printer to make prototypes for a new flexible and lightweight flash modifier named The WYNG. This photographer-turned-inventor uses The WYNG for his business, Sutography Photography and Videography, and it has almost become a business of its own.

“We wanted something really easy to use in the field,” Sutor said. “We're wedding photographers, and everything's very fast, so we wanted something very light that could slip on and produce the kind of light we wanted in our photography.”

After considering having a mold made for his product, Sutor settled on using a LulzBot Mini 3D printer and Flexystruder Tool Head to produce The WYNG in NinjaFlex, an elastic plastic filament material.

“I wanted worry-free [3D printing],” Sutor said. “I didn't want to tinker any more or anything like that. To be able to just hit go and it prints it perfectly, that is what changed everything.”

Sutor knew he was on to something when major retailers like B&H and Amazon.com were interested in carrying his new product. The surface finish on his prints is retail-ready, meaning he used the same desktop machine to go from idea, to prototype, to a finished good for other photographers to use.

The total cost of production is also lowered thanks to the reliability of the LulzBot Mini 3D printer, which offers maximum uptime and little waste.

“I think the biggest benefit to having the LulzBot [3D printer] is the fact that my prints never fail and I'm able to produce more WYNGs out of just the one roll of NinjaFlex, reducing the cost,” Sutor said. “I think that's the most significant part.”

In addition to the printer's performance, Sutor appreciates the customer service offered by Aleph Objects, Inc.

“The tech support at LulzBot is very accessible,” Sutor said. “You email and you get an email back.”

Looking ahead, Sutor hopes to expand beyond The WYNG and create different flexible flash modifiers for people with the LulzBot 3D printer, a tool he feels is necessary for other inventors.

“I would recommend people get a LulzBot [3D printer] because of the ease of use at this point,” Sutor said. “That would be the biggest benefit to an inventor is just being able to not have to know everything about 3D printing and still be able to produce something that you design without tinkering.”

To learn more about The WYNG, visit its website.

Photos licensed CC BY-SA 4.0 International © The WYNG. Videos licensed CC BY © The WYNG.