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Graduate’s 3D printing business helps students and businesses bring ideas to life

Ken & Yousef

A Product Design & Technology graduate of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) is helping students and businesses bring ideas to life.

Ken Pearce, who graduated from UWTSD in 2020 with a first-class degree, set up Lunia 3D after discovering the versatility of 3D printing while he was a student.

In April 2020 he and his girlfriend Georgia Hatton started 3D printing face shields to protect local care-workers from Covid-19.

“Doing this made me realise that I was passionate about 3D printing how beneficial it could be,” he says. “I decided to start my own business, Lunia 3D. Here we offer all kinds of services within the 3D printing industry including 3D modelling, product prototyping, batch production prints and much more.”

After a successful six months of trading, Ken partnered with an old school friend, Yousef Ahmed, an engineering graduate. They now run Lunia 3D together.

“The pair of us both have a great interest in 3D printing, and thought it made sense to collaborate and work together,” says Ken.

Since partnering, they have expanded the business and now have over 10 3D printers working nearly 24/7.

“We help businesses and individuals create one off bespoke or batch products that usually would have to be made overseas, therefore eliminating the incredibly expensive tooling costs and long turnaround times,” says Ken.

He and Yousef have also made it a priority to offer affordable 3D printing to students.

More broadly, Lunia 3D has worked for a wide range of industries producing 3D printed parts including classic cars, woodworkers, architectural models, hobby trains/scenery, cosplaying props, replacement parts, home ornaments, fashion accessories and more.

Tag Rugby Model

One of their favourite projects so far was 3D printing a casing for an electronic version of tag rugby at UWTSD.

“The brief was to produce a more visual and haptic version of tag rugby suitable for people with disabilities,” says Ken. “We designed and created a casing to fit a battery, circuit board, LED lights and a vibrating motor. When the tag is pulled, the unit vibrates and flashes a light to show the user it’s time to pass on the ball.”

Ken is delighted with how quickly Lunia 3D has grown and looks forward to helping more students and businesses bring their projects to life. He adds that his university studies helped to equip him for running his own company.

“As a student at UWTSD and with several years of industry experience, I have developed into a versatile, adaptable designer, who cherishes product functionality, as well as form,” he says. “I have experience in multiple design processes, dealing with clients directly, understanding their needs and providing them with high quality and professional service. I mostly focused my studies on the subject of 3D printing and tried to incorporate it in every possible project. The university gave me the tools and confidence to start my own company.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at UWTSD and would do it all over again. I’d like to thank Dr Peter Spring and Matthew Archer for being so knowledgeable and supportive. Being a qualified Product Designer has greatly helped me in the way I approach clients within this new business. I feel confident that I can provide multiple solutions and advise accordingly.

“The most enjoyable experience about running Lunia 3D has to be the freedom to work with almost every industry,” he adds. “It’s hard to think of a single application that 3D printing cannot be incorporated with. I am excited to see what interesting projects we help with in the future.”

Matthew Archer, Ken’s former programme manager at UWTSD, adds that he is delighted to see Ken’s success:

“Ken was a student with enormous drive, who always endeavoured to furthering his understanding of design especially within technological challenges; he had the characteristic of never wanting to be beaten, which saw him develop and build a working prototype of a portable 3D Printer for his Major Project,” he says. “This work ethic is now being reflected in his company Lunia 3D, which has identified a market opportunity and is showing growth in a competitive industry.”

Kathryn Penaluna, Associate Professor in Enterprise Education at UWTSD said: “Our design students and graduates are always quick to spot opportunities and it is especially valuable when their entrepreneurial spirit supports others within the industry too.”