It kind of goes against the idea of crowdfunding to single out a specific pledge, especially when the family that placed the pledge has chosen not to publicise it, but I left home last night to help with the Cornish Institute of Engineers lecture series and came home to find the Fishy Filaments crowdfund campaign a whole 10% further along in just one step. We’re now over 35% there.

I’m not going to say exactly who that family are but it is a big vote of industry confidence that owners and operators, as well as shoreside support teams, can see merit in the idea of recycling used nets into 3D printer filament.

Remember that what we are trying to do is not simply find a cost-effective home for end-of-life gear that is safe and secure, but build a new business reforming and exporting those materials as high value raw materials upon which other businesses can then build further.

The nylon gill nets are just the starting point. We’ve been actively researching the use of carbon fibre off-cuts from local boat and board-builders so that we can produce a super-strength version, we’re looking at a completely separate material stream with the larger mesh nets made of PE, and we’ve even started looking at dissolvable materials made from fisheries waste or seaweed products so that we can serve even more of the expanding market for 3D printed products.

Fishy Filaments doesn’t just want Cornwall to be safe, clean and tidy. We want it to lead the way in a new global industry. We already have companies and organisations from around the world asking for the recycled product or seeking the skills to make their own version, but we need to make sure that we’re going to exceed their expectations, be leaders of the pack and stay there for the long term.

That is why it is so important to complete this business case, exploring all the nooks and crannies, exposing the weaknesses and resolving them, as well as shouting out about the strengths. So in the last week, as well as running the crowdfunder campaign, I’ve been assessing production machinery hands-on, and exploring the design and pricing of packaging currently available for the end product. Slightly tedious but absolutely necessary if the product is to compete in the open market.

More about that progress in another post, just to conclude that your pledges matter but so does the fact that you’ve chosen to be interested and engaged. Thank you !