We caught up with Erik Paul, Co-Founder of Exiom, at the Synapse Summit.
Erik Paul is a devoted father who co-founded Exiom on the basis of providing better care for his children. When asked about his inspiration behind creating a company that 3D prints casts and splints, he commented:
“They say necessity is the father of invention. Right? So yeah, I guess the passion behind it really was my kids getting hurt and seeing there weren’t many good options. The technologies were available, and no one had spearheaded it or taken off with it, so I decided to do it myself.”
Exiom was founded four years ago after a few of Erik’s children had broken their arms on the family farm. Erik recalled pictures and renditions of prototypes for 3D printed casts over the years, but no one had fully commercialized the product. From there, Erik researched and negotiated a long-term licensing agreement to use the software from Excellent, a company in Spain. The software allows users to build 3D printable casts using a scan from an IOS app. The software then uses cloud-based machine learning and AI to translate the scanned data into a perfectly molded cast.
“It’s really exciting; it’s transformed technology that allows you to go from suffering through six or eight weeks in a plaster cast, itching and stinking, to something that’s waterproof and breathable.”
However, working with technology and advanced software can have frequent drawbacks. Erik shed insight into some of the problems he’s dealt with along the way:
“With any new tech, especially something that’s as bleeding edge as 3D printing and scanning, you have challenges to overcome with the technology itself. So, if the app is buggy- that has to be fixed. If the manufacturing process isn’t fast enough or consistent, you have to address the issue and find a better way to produce the product. So, over the years, some upgrades and updates have been made to the application, so now it’s streamlined and seamless.”
The ongoing modifications and hard work have paid off, as Erik revealed that now instead of typical six-to-seven hours for a cast to be made, they are able to do it in sixty to ninety minutes. This enables same-day (most of the time) appointments, scanning, production, and application for the patient.
Erik plans to continue to push Exiom forward and expand the company to be available in every state.
Aside from Exiom, Erik hopes to continue many adventures with his children- traveling, enjoying the outdoors, and exploring technology together.