ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Founded in late-2012, Pirate3DP Pte Ltd is a start-up that was seed-funded by Red Dot Ventures and incubated by the Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES). Its flagship product, the Buccaneer 3D printer, which uses fused filament fabrication (FFF) technique, is already winning wide acclaim and not just in Singapore.
The idea for Pirate3DP was sown when Roger Chang, who now calls himself “Chief Executive Pirate”, met with Brendan Goh and Tsang You Jun in 2002 to put together a 3D printer they had bought online. This led to the trio deciding to make their own 3D printer. Enter technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist Neo Kok Beng – and an enterprising company was born.
Roger, a Business graduate from the National University of Singapore, has always been a maker of things at heart. He has built numerous mechanical devices and put together many personal projects.
Chief Operations Officer Brendan, who holds an honours degree in Materials Science and Technology, has been interested in running a business and came in first place at the largest start-up competition in Singapore, [email protected] in 2009.
Chief Designer You Jun grew up in a family of designers and has studied many fields of design theory. He is experienced in systems integration and he oversees the development and manufacture of the Buccaneer.
Pirate3DP Chairman and Advisor Kok Beng specialises in the product development and commercialisation of technology from universities and research institutes. He has created successful ventures in mobile computing, information security and medical technology.
If and when a problem emerges, the team believes in coming together to find solutions. “It takes two hands to clap. Very often an issue with the product is not due to one person, but arises from the interactions between two or more persons”, says You Jun.
The team therefore knows it is essential to “design a proper process and work-accounting flow between different individuals and departments”, You Jun explains, adding that it is also important to be humble and accept mistakes as the team’s rather than the individual’s error. Their strategy as a team is to “create an environment where errors are proactively resolved by all, and not passed around as blame; praise individuals when they help to solve problems, sit and listen to them when problems arise, and then galvanise the team to solve the issue”.
Commenting on the significance of the President’s Design Award, he says: “I believe it helps designers working in Singapore to feel recognised and appreciated. It also emphasises the importance of fusing functionality and aesthetics in a product. Not only must the product work well, it must also make you feel good and at ease”.
Advice to emerging designers:
“Try not to be overly concerned with perfection…improve yourself and your product incrementally. Don’t be overly-critical of the work of others. Learn good management and people skills.”