Pep Corp. - Established 2016

By 2016, our founder Parker Drouillard already had a couple years of experience with 3D printing under his belt. Fascinated by the technology after being introduced to it in a grade 10 drafting and CAD class, but on too much of a student budget to afford a fancy and expensive machine (around $5k CAD at the time), he started his journey in his bedroom with a $300 printer kit.

With an initial vision on customized phone cases and his eyes set on a booth in the mall, he set to perfect the technology and specifically, the reliability. Given the limitations at the time, the company shifted to fill a local need for prototype 3D printing, at which time the company moved into his mother's garage.

2016:

Following some initial seed investment came renovations, notably an upgrade in power and the removal of some mice in the garage, production was steady. With four of these printer 3D printer kits, the focus shifted towards improving the quality, reliability, and automation by the design of our own machines.

Come the winter months, work in the garage was a frigid one, this particular winter being one of the worst for a while with temps in the garage consistently at -15*C. Undeterred, he kept the machines running while doing his homework with his hands under the space heater.

2017:

A necessary upgrade, and a welcomed one, the company (now incorporated) moved into an incubator space at the University of Windsor known as Epicentre. This new co-working space located in the Ed Lumley CEI building (Or Center for Engineering Innovation) played a pivotal roll in the development of the company. Many of the people now involved, both as investors, research partners, and employees, came out of the connections made during the time the company shared a space with them.

The company continued to expand, still focused on prototyping at this time, adding more machines to the fleet, and upgrading from the old kit 3D printers to far better and more reliable open-source machines. Our company image and branding was shaped a lot during this time.

2019:

By 2019, Pep Corp. had assessed it's situation and determined it was in our best interest to develop our own platforms to facilitate direct relationships with our clients, as well as a key core-focus change away from prototype 3D printing, and into production 3D printing of volume goods. With this came our second round of seed funding, which went towards the development, and building of 25 of our first-generation production machines, the MKP1. These machines have been our workhorses ever since, albeit a few revisions later for minor improvements to reliability and ease of assembly.

Our R&D efforts by this point were focused specifically on developing the systems and platforms necessary for a seamless transition and scale up to thousands of production machines, which will allow us to produce far more plastic parts on demand and without tooling for our various automotive and industrial goods manufacturing clients.

2020:

With the launch of our MKP1 production machines came great success. We were immediately operating near capacity machining the thousands of parts we had on order. This was quickly compounded however by the drastic supply-chain shortages of Covid-19. Faced with an already near capacity fleet of machines, Pep Corp. set up our first machinery assembly line to produce as many as five additional production machines daily to keep up with demand.

Producing critical components with tight tolerances was our focus, as this was an area that not many individuals with 3D printers were capable of filling in any reasonable volume. We found ourselves producing parts for ventilators, sanitation equipment, and eventually producing face shields and face-mask strain reliefs. At our peak, Pep Corp. was booked solid for over 8 months, and was forced to turn away what could have been an additional 8 months of production.

2021:

Over 30 machines and 6 people, our less than 250 sqft of incubator space was long overdue for an upgrade. Piled to the ceilings and then some, a large amount of focus went into identifying the requirements we had for a new space, as well as searching the Windsor-Essex community for a suitable location, until eventually coming upon one in the Walkerville area.

While nostalgia has taken hold of our memories grinding away in this small office, we are definitely much happier in our new location. The 3700 sqft. shop allowing many more projects to be taken on, greatly expanding our R&D efforts as well as our overall machining capacity.

2022:

Our Walkerville factory is a 3700 sqft. mix of office and shop space. Settling in, our new facility contains a 650 sqft. clean room which will be used to house 300 production 3D printers, allowing us to produce quality plastic components in production volumes of hundreds of thousands for our many clients. Eventually this Walkerville facility will function solely as the production factory for new 3D printers, allowing us to quickly stock our additional vertically integrated factories rapidly.

Our story doesn't stop here!

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