New Innovators: Fydiz

Adrien Lachaize’s Fydiz tool links firms with 3D modelling and design experts

Mechanical engineer Adrien Lachaize spotted the opportunity for his new business, Fydiz, while working for aircraft manufacturer Airbus as a digital mock-up consultant. Lachaize worked for the Toulouse-based consortium for five years and during this time he noticed that small engineering companies struggled to get easy access to the 3D models they needed to improve their products or create new ones.

In December 2015, Lachaize set up Fydiz, a web-based matching and collaboration tool specialising in 3D modelling. In a nutshell, Fydiz acts as the connection between companies with research projects looking for assistance with 3D modelling and a panel of over 100 freelance designers with 3D expertise in different sectors.

“The 3D design phase of a product is one of the most expensive and critical processes during a product’s development,” Lachaize says. “The 3D design must be the mirror of the idea and must be capable of being manufactured. However, the majority of SMEs and start-ups don’t have this knowledge within their teams and it would be a very expensive exercise to hire it in. By using the Fydiz platform, they can have access to all the design expertise they could ever need – at an affordable price.”

Designer platform

The Fydiz platform can provide companies with links to designers across a wide range of fields from manufacturing components and architecture to toys and games. “The system is designed to help those who have an idea but are unable to conceive it themselves,” Lachaize says. “We make it very easy for them to engage with the platform and we guide them through the process step by step. We also help them to prepare a formal design brief for designers.”

A would-be customer sets up an online account with Fydiz and then outlines the requirements of their project. This information is visible to the designers signed up to the Fydiz platform and if it fits with their skillsets and interests, they can revert with a proposal. A company may receive more than one proposal and it is up to them to decide which designer suits their needs best.

“At one level Fydiz is a matchmaking service, but we are a lot more than that,” Lachaize says. “We are a collaborative platform that facilitates the interaction between the company and the designer via real-time chats and video conferencing for example.”

Global market

The Fydiz platform, aimed at the global market, will go live this month and the company will make its money by charging a “finder’s fee” to the company and to the designer. Lachaize has put all of his savings into the venture and, between hard cash and the amount of hours worked on the project over the last year, he says there is little change out of €100,000.

Lachaize is from France and he originally came to Ireland to improve his English. But he has always wanted to start his own company and has been helped to realise this dream in Ireland by DIT Hothouse where he has participated in the "New Frontiers" entrepreneurship programme.

“We soft-launched the platform to a number of companies in September and, based on their feedback, we have refined the product and are now ready for our public launch,” Lachaize says. “There is a lot of 3D software out there and also a lot of 3D freelance designers, but no one has put the two together before to serve the needs of both freelance designers and start-ups and SMEs. Fydiz facilitates both the connection and the collaboration.”

At the moment, Lachaize is targeting French companies with his platform, as this is the market he knows best. Once he has secured additional development funding, he plans to begin recruiting staff and to cast his net a lot wider.

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