Blade Taylor's 3DXtremes, an end-to-end product development firm that offers in-house services such as Product Design, 3D Rendering, Physical Prototyping, and Launch + Manufacturing Strategy, started in the Student Shared Working Space at the ODU Strome Entrepreneurial Center. It then moved to the ODU Innovation Center in downtown Norfolk for more space — its first big step in getting out of the safe zone of having a rent-free space on the campus. He subsequently moved to Percolator for more space and is now located in a building behind IP Configure/The Colony in the Norfolk Innovation Corridor (NIC) with interns and four employees.
Blade graduated from ODU in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. A primary focus during his time at ODU was to grow his service business, 3DXtremes. He leveraged MANY on-campus resources, including the ODU Strome Entrepreneurial Center, to help in his endeavor of building and growing his business, so that he would be able to transition into working for himself full-time after college. "Individuals like Nancy Grden, Executive Director of the SEC, played such a crucial role in helping me grow my company and entrepreneur-oriented skills so that I would be ready for that transition from full-time college student to full-time entrepreneur." Taylor said.
"Blade is a leader who exemplifies entrepreneurship," said Nancy Grden, Executive Director, Strome Entrepreneurial Center. "He has a vision for his company, plans his time and resources, and gives back to others along the way. 3DXtremes has been embraced by the Hampton Roads community directly through programs like ICAP and 757X, as well as through partners, mentors, and customers."
Now, 3DXtremes is participating in events like 757DemoDay! This Demo Day gave the community an opportunity to learn about the different kinds of innovative technology that is being developed in the 757 area and the global solutions each can provide.
"757DemoDay was a fun way to update the 757 entrepreneurial community on our growth at 3DXtremes, as well as to introduce a software tool called CADSCADE that I've been working on for the past year. I was thrilled to be able to demo at SVT Robotics and am very excited about their company growth and how their mission will continue to impact and serve the Hampton Roads entrepreneurial ecosystem and beyond." Taylor said.
CADSCADE is a 3D model collaboration software tool built for teams that design and develop new physical products (such as 3DXtremes). In running and growing 3DXtremes, Blade has seen first-hand how impactful decisions in the early days of designing a new physical product can be in regard to the production price of that product. It's easy to focus on designing the product to function and to look "cool", but these two parameters aren't the only important aspects. However, the cost to manufacture a product plays a crucial role in the overall success of that new product idea and it can be very difficult to calculate those costs when you're working on the first version of a product design. This is one of the main problems that CADSCADE helps solve for those teams designing new physical products. 3DXtremes hopes to open the CADSCADE platform to the public in late January 2022.
Blade believes the best thing one can do is focus on their strengths and to bring on the right people to fill important roles that you see as your own weaknesses. Blade's primary goals at this time can be summarized to two things: 1) Continue to scale 3DXtremes as a service company, working with clients across the US; 2) Launch and grow CADSCADE. He's learned that with any startup and even small business, things can change very quickly, for better or for worse. 3DXtremes is always working on new and innovative products. One recent product that their team helped design, prototype and prepare for manufacturing is SpiderBracket, which was just successfully funded on Kickstarter, is moving into mass-production and will be showcased at CES in Las Vegas in January 2022.
"I have no idea where I'll be in 5 or 10 years, so instead I focus on annual growth with 3-year targets for life in general. One thing I am truly striving for is to be considered one of many individuals in the 757 area that are helping to attract and retain tech-talent for private industry, as I think this will be a major determining factor of the overall success of the 757 in the years to come." Taylor said.