Industrial Craft, a new manufacturer of design-driven consumer goods based in Newburgh, N.Y., is drawing on the power and know-how of the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center (HVAMC) at SUNY New Paltz to prepare meticulously crafted items for production and sale.
Aaron Lown is the founder and creative director of Industrial Craft. His previous company, the consumer products brand BUILT best known for its neoprene bags and totes, was based in Manhattan. Lown says he brought Industrial Craft to the Hudson Valley to take advantage of the “really interesting manufacturing” taking place here, as factories dating as far back as the nineteenth century are being updated for contemporary use.
“The concept behind Industrial Craft is to approach product development by using local resources,” said Lown, founder and creative director of Industrial Craft. “I seek out local factories and use what I learn about their materials and processes to inspire and inform what products to make, how to design and ultimately manufacture them.”
One of the major regional resources Lown has made use of in preparing the Industrial Craft Product line is the 3D design and printing capacity offered by the HVAMC. Lown worked with Katherine Wilson ‘14g (Metal), HVAMC assistant director and SUNY New Paltz alumna, to prototype the glass RAY Candle vessel.
“Working with Industrial Craft was great,” Wilson said. “They provided us with clean and clear vector based drawings that we were able to translate into 3D forms, which could then be printed out and tested for form and fit before continuing on to the final product.”
The use of the HVAMC’s prototyping capabilities took much of the guesswork out of the process for Industrial Craft, which was able to move quickly to molding equipment and producing the object.
“Early in the process I generated a number of designs, and Kat Wilson helped me with the 3D modeling and visualization of them,” Lown said. “We printed prototypes, which was very beneficial once we started working with the manufactory. It really sped up the process – having a 3D object allowed us to have in-depth conversations and figure out potential problem areas before they came up.”
Lown says he expects to continue working with the HVAMC on future products, both for its help in expediting the design process and for the advantages it offers to local entrepreneurs.
“Part of the concept of local manufacturing is feel-good, but there’s also a practical aspect – if you eliminate many of the expenses associated with overseas manufacturing, you can put those savings into the product and create more heirloom products,” Lown said.