The workshop in Philippe de Francesco’s house looks like a small contemporary museum.
A room with white walls populated with all kinds of creations, from the elephant-shaped jewelry display to the designer phone holder.
But what attracts the eye and the ear above all is this 3D printer in full development.. Worth 5,000 euros, it was financed by a crowdfunding campaign on the Ulule internet platform.
Philippe de Francesco worked for 25 years in a federation of food industries in the region before daring to take the step of professional retraining. From this first experience, he emerges with a good knowledge and a strong interest in short circuits.
His passion for the circular economy and robotic technology led him, in September 2020, to resign to create his company, 3DEFRANCE. An approach supported by Pôle Emploi over two years to allow it to settle.
The craftsman’s first idea : reconstruct parts that no longer exist on the market in order to give a second life to defective objects. In other words, fight against planned obsolescence. And that of course, by using biodegradable materials, in particular made from corn starch.
In the space of five months, Alexandra has already become a regular customer of the craftsman. The first time she asks for it, it’s to recreate a missing part on her brush cutter. A repair that costs him ten euros. Since then, she bought him three other creations. “I support this company 100%. First of all in an ecological approach, and always in the spirit of making local artisans work without going looking for a part on the other side of the world”.
But the health crisis passes by there and reduces its activity. It was then that Philippe de Francesco imagined a range of accessories designed to better protect yourself from Covid-19.
The craftsman models, for example, a nose clip to “say goodbye to the mist” or a mask holder in the shape of a cactus. “I try to do things which, of course, are not exceptional, but useful on a daily basis”. Accessories sold for one euro each.
More and more clients
“I have to be honest: today these creations do not allow me to live. On the other hand, the company is profitable in the sense that it allows me to do something that I love and in what I believe”, explains the craftsman.
But Philippe is not defeatist. On the contrary, it places great hopes in the development of 3DEFRANCE, who is gaining customers day by day.
I have non-stop orders. Recently, I finalized a 3D reproduction of the Generali insurance logo in Clermont-Ferrand. A lion of 80 centimeters by 60! I am very happy with it and above all, it allows me to show that 3D printing is not only used to produce small parts!
Democratize the 3D tool
To accelerate the profitability of his company, Philippe de Francesco launches another challenge: democratizing the use of 3D printing among VSEs and SMEs in Auvergne via the works council. He will soon sign a partnership with Volumic, the leading designer of 3D printers in France.
“Artificial intelligence is not just for companies based in Paris or San Francisco! And abandoned machines, there are in all companies, but we do not always have time to repair them. what interests me is to make small structures understand that they can design prototypes, models and spare parts independently. And that, with reasonable sums, always favoring the short circuit! “
The circle is complete.