Today we are sharing Steve and Ann Percy’s story about Penguin 3D Printing and Electronics, a 3D printing and electronic repairs business from Geraldton, WA.
For over 10 years Steve had his own computer repair business servicing schools in Perth. His business evolved over the years to include design, welding development and FIFO support.
When Steve had an accident, he had to leave his successful mining career behind to go on to Newstart Allowance.
Regardless of the adversity and challenges after his accident, Steve looked at starting a new business where he could harness his skills, and this is what led him to the exciting world of 3D printing in Geraldton and the Midwest.
Steve was introduced to Many Rivers through the Small Business Development Centre in Geraldton and met Michael (Many Rivers MEDM) and together they are working to grow the business.
“The business wouldn’t have survived without MR’s help and finance. Mike has been a really good mentor.”
Read on as Steve shares his story.
The business idea
The business was always going in the background while I did FIFO. I tried to find employment but decided to make a go of my own business instead.
We started Penguin 3D printing in 2015, based in Geraldton, WA. It changed from purely being 3D printing and design and development as that didn’t take off, so after six months we added in doing electronic repairs. We are a family-owned business as my wife Ann helps with the accounts and ordering parts, my son does a bit of adhoc work and I work on the electronic repairs.
Definitely financial challenges and that’s where the business needed the most help. The business got to a point where it would have to order parts and ran out of money to do the repairs. So, the cashflow side of things was definitely challenging and we put in our own cash into the business to get it going.
Word’s getting around now that we make items you can’t buy any more, so it’s getting bigger. There’s over 60 different parts we’ve made for people. We received a large order from CBH (grain exporter) to make over 800 items. The business has made items for the regional hospital and the prison.
On the electronic repair side of the business, we’ve gained a reputation for doing all of the things no one else wants to do. We fix computer units in bulldozers, tractors, cars which other people don’t want to touch. And we are known locally for fixing amusement and pin ball machines. Often electrical companies will give us work that they don’t want to do themselves, even though they would be able to.
I want to look at ways to improve the efficiencies of what we make – the order for CBH was a very slow process. With different equipment like a small injection moulding set up, it would have been a lot quicker and cheaper to make.
The business might branch out into retail a bit more, not commercial TVs or radios, more the geeky, nerdy and hobby end of the market – things people can’t find anywhere else.
Support from Many Rivers
Financial help with the loan. The business wouldn’t have survived without MR’s help and finance. Mike has been a really good mentor.
Thanks for sharing your story Steve, we know there are many other people out there looking to take the next step of setting and we know your story will inspire.
Penguin 3D Print creates ANYTHING including discontinued parts and pieces, build models, prototypes, even 3D objects based on your own ideas for you. Find out more in store or visit Penguin 3D Print and electronics’ website.
We want to encourage more and more people to take that first step towards building on their business ideas. We’re here to support you the whole way. Please take the Small Business Self Assessment and see if we are right for you.