Have you ever had an idea you thought was a good idea, but you did not know how to go about making it? I did. I had left over A2 grips from some AR15’s and I had a 30 ounce Yeti style stainless cup. I wanted a gun grip on my cup. Now understand I cannot draw, I have never used CAD or design software and I had never done any kind of 3D printing. I had no idea how to do it, but only knew I wanted it done. Early in 2017 I cobbled together a handle from a cheap fake handle and an AR15 A2 grip. It felt good in the hand so I started carrying it. People noticed it. Then they started asking how to get one. I figured I was onto something. I did a lot of research as I already own a patent did not want to try to make something that already existed. I discovered that no one had thought to make a ring part that a handle could be mounted on. So a few emails to a local patent and trademark attorney and I knew I had a unique idea. Now to make one that did not require a band saw and drywall screw. I had no idea how 3D printers worked, or how much they cost, or how to get one. Off to the You Tube to watch hours upon hours upon hours of videos of people half my age and younger talking a foreign language about printing. From there I picked a few printers that all of the most reviewed channels liked and finally settled on a printer. I stepped off into the deep end and ordered one. I had to put some of it together, which was not to bad and I enjoyed it, but once it was assembled and ready to go, I printed the provided sample file and honestly I stood and watched a silly thing print for over an hour. Fast forward a few months, and 100’s of printed items, many many failures, and I settled on a design. It worked. The A2 grip fit perfectly, and the angle was just right. What to do. I printed a bunch and gave them to people that shoot, who have carried the rifle in service and those who had not. The feed back was positive and I made a few changes. I was excited. I called a local injection molder as I could not keep printing these handles at 8 hours of print time each. I needed inventory in large numbers. I was rejected by the 6 local companies. I was dismayed. I am a small business guy, veteran, etc, but they had no desire to work with me. Finally one of them told me why, I was asking for 1000 pieces, they wanted to sell me 100,000 pieces. Back to the internet, and more research and I found a manufacturer overseas that would work with me and they were good with 1000 piece initial order. We emailed, and talked on the phone and after 2 months I had prototypes, they were great and today I received 1000 pieces on my from porch.
I will be open for business in a week or so. I will be going to gun shows and reaching out to BassPro, Dicks, Academy Sports, etc. I will also be happy to sell to small retailers and individuals.
I look forward to hearing back from customers and retailers interested in carrying the AR15-Cup handle along side their Yeti displays or any other brand of 30 oz cup.