Since our beginning in 1998, we produced and sold more than 10 000 puzzles we distributed in dozens shops in France and Europe.
We are very happy with that nice result. But since chance and life gave us some time to think about our future entrepreneur’s life, we took few counterintuitive decisions that we enjoy as well.
As a matter of fact, it appears that growth and economic performance optimization, while seemingly needed to consolidate our business was pushing us out of our initial goal: play, design, produce. Moreover, it was leading us to adopt consumerist logic for products whose aim is to last long.
Thus, in order to survive, we had to adopt combative attitude with other actors of the domain. We also had to use aggressive and polluting communication means: flyers, mailing, loudspeaker…
All of that was clearly not matching with our convictions. Thus, because internet now make it possible to reach a lot of peoples without moving and that because 3D printing make It possible to produce very small amount of products for a correct price, in our domain, we choose to :
Do only direct sale. It will thus take a very long time before our market saturate. No matter how small it is. So we don’t need to enter consumerist logic or think about renew our product range. We can target our customers more accurately and focus on those truly attracted with our product, who will use them for long, instead of try to make the sell with anyone and let most of our production finish in trash or in cellars. That way we improve our products life cycle.
With that scheme we don’t need mass production to lower costs and support large distribution margins as it is in traditional business model. Instead we get budget to reduce our production footprint.
Practically we passes along the time from industrial production, involving big machines weighing tons and consuming thousands watts each, to a small 3d printers farm that can individually fit on a desk corner weight globally less than 100 kg and consume less than 1000 watts when running all together.
Concerning raw materials we passes from metal/wood/paper/PVC and heavy machines that go with to metal/paper/biosourced plastics(compostable in industrial conditions). Moreover we design easy to dismantle assemblies in order to reduce the end life energy consumption.
Finally since we do only direct sell and we have all the production means we are easy to propose spare parts and updates kits which also improve products lifecycles.
Now we took all the initiatives we can think about to reduce our carbon balance we start to make a rigorous evaluation of our balance such as what companies with more than 500 workers have to do in France. We plane to have accurate results within end 2021 and then reduce our balance to 0 by planting trees.
Moreover we choses to work with la poste for all our shipments because they have a neutral carbon balance for all their offer range.
Frequently asked questions
Why so little wood / so many plastic?
There is many reasons:
- Our comfort as producers. Woodworking involves averagely heavy machines, noisy and dangerous. It makes harmful dust and requires physical strength and endurance that we don’t really have.
- Better creation opportunities. 3D printing is definitely more versatile than woodworking
- Manufactured wood is not that easy to recycle. Wood sector is saturated with class B wastes that are difficult to find their way. For sure untreated unpainted wood would be perfect for recycle. But we need colors. PLA we are using can be melted again and again when wood can only become particle panel then maybe combustible if not too much treatment.
- We are optimist with 3D printing sector evolution. There is more and more recycled filament offers. Small waste melting machines become more and more efficient and more and more affordable. We believe it will be possible for us to propose free return for recycle at end of life of our products as soon as 2025.
Is it true that the PLA you use is biodegradable and can go to compost?
No, they will not degrade in nature. If left on their own they will stand for hundreds years and it’s not really a weakness for a product aimed to be kept or even transmitted.
On the other hand, it’s truly possible to compost them but need hight temperature industrial compost.
However, it cost much energy to transform corn into PLA. So as for plastics coming from oil industry it’s much more valuable to keep the plastic form and reuse it as such. For that reason we manage for not mix colors as far as we can to keep the best value for future wastes.
Isn’t online sale more polluting?
If you can walk to your shop or make an opportunity with another trip you would have done anyway the online purchase is equivalent since our transporter manage to have 0 carbon balance and our post office is between our home and our workshop. Don’t forget to agree with recycled packaging when you place an order on our web ;).