Mercury Mobile Printers was founded after a conversation that Co-Founder and CEO Benjamin Youngstrom had with a friend. They were talking about a mission trip the friend had been on.
The mission group had gone to Africa to visit a series of villages to assess local need and help guide resources into those areas. In one village they visited they found a pump that had been installed only a year prior. An internal component had broken making the once vital pump completely worthless, meaning that the people of the village were once again required to walk miles each day to get drinking water. After some research they found that the repair would be relatively simple and that the part was not excessively expensive. The problem lied in their ability to have the part brought to the village, bureaucracy, bad road conditions, and logistical inconsistency meant they had no gauge on when the part would arrive.
In discussing this Benjamin realized that if teams were able to leverage additive manufacturing technology in the field teams could avoid the many roadblocks that come with the standard manufacture and ship system. The overwhelming advantages of instant manufacturing and 3D printing are moot if teams and users still have to wait for those parts to be shipped to them. Benjamin reached out to his now partner and Co-Founder Matthew DeMond with the idea of leveraging a platform Matthew had been developing since he was middle school, a fold-able, portable, commercial grade 3D printer. They worked together to further optimize the platform for its mission and near the end of 2020 they began rolling out the platform to beta test, never deviating from the goal of building the best possible 3D printer for the field.
The part that the mission team needed ended up taking nearly 4 weeks to arrive in the village and took only 20 minutes to install. Had they been able to leverage 3D printing in the field they could have designed, printed, and installed that part in just over 6 hours.