Flex3Drive is a small company managed and operated by Jason Perkes BSc (hons). Jason first became involved in 3D printing some 15 years ago with SLS and SLA prototyping on automotive projects, but more recently since (2011/12) found a focus on FDM/FFF desktop 3D printing.
The Flex3Drive company was formed on the basis of pioneering work completed by Jason with flexible shaft driven extruders, also known as Remote Drive extruders. Jason pioneered and perfected the principle some 5 years ago ahead of anyone else. Since then the Flex3Drive has been iterated and improved to bring the most advanced reliable and powerful extruder of its type to the market bar none.
The company is a family run business, and growth is organic without outside investment. Every ounce of profit is poured back into the business in order to deliver better and innovative leading products.
Shortly after the original Flex3Drive was introduced, bed adhesion (another major weakness back in the infancy of desktop 3D printing) become our focus. This resulted in our print surface product know as PrintBite.
Jason’s background is steeped in innovation and engineering, having entered the workforce as an apprentice with Porsche, and quickly moving into track racing and automotive design engineering including a 1st class hons degree in computer aided engineering.
Whilst we as a company fully support open source, we are realistic about our existance in a real world rather than a utopia, and recognise that intellectual property has value in some circles, including patents. Haviong gone through the patent process in a previous endeavour backed by high net worth individuals, and achieving successfully granted wordwide patents, we will sometimes use the knowledge and experience gained from the patent process to file a defensive patent application thereby preventing unscrupulous organisations that have in the past been known to file patents on previously published open source technology, from patenting the products we work on.
Basic patent applications are a very simple low cost exercise once the understanding of patents are in place, but we essentially may do this only to prevent others from stopping us in our developments, which in turn protects an idea for open source. Applications are always dropped before or after publication depending on the degree of prior art in the public domain. Taking a patent through the process where it reaches publication does involve cost, so often the patent applications will be dropped prior to publication. We exist on the foundation of open source developments, and so we reciprocate this by supporting reprap and open source.
As per our company moto, we exist simply to develop the tools that “help you make better things”.