Well, we finally have our product in the boardroom of a major Australian manufacturer and are gearing up to see the first production early next year! This breathable but water and dustproof, lockable utility box is going to be branded with the Expedition 134 name as a tribute to the adventurer in all of us that is inextricably linked to the heart of the Australian continent.
The ‘X’ represents all of our ‘expeditions’ as well as ‘the spot’ on the map, and the ‘134’ part of the name is a reference to the Longitudinal coordinates of the geographical centre of Australia as plotted by Dr. Bruce Lambert in 1994. So far only Nic and Kari have managed to visit this scientifically calculated centre of gravity of the continent, but I’ve got plans and won’t be far behind.
Getting to this figurative point for us has been a huge challenge and certainly a steep learning curve. We literally have had to learn everything from scratch to get our idea to materialize, and we know there is still a long road to be travelled.
3D printers have been a huge resource for us. These amazing pieces of technology have helped to prove concepts that at first glance on the CAD screen look spot on, but when printed and handled, allow faults to be identified and changes to be made.
We’ve also met some great people in the industry. People who love the outdoors lifestyle with just as much passion as we do. People who are willing to provide advice and opinions and share their own small business stories just to help us out.
First production will see us out torture testing a final selection of materials to settle on the most effective for the job. This should be a lot of fun as not only is it an excuse for us to hit the bush and beaches again, but it should prove the concept in our minds is right. Testing will involve boats, quad bikes, 4wdrive utes and wagons, and lots of dust and water – basically all of our favourite things.
Quite a few samples will also be sent out to some volunteer testers for further use and reviews. These testers are either, travelling Australia, boating the coastlines, working in the Emergency Services, quad-biking the Cape or experts in the industry. We even have a volunteer working the remote humid jungles in PNG.
Design Application No. 201716941