Over the past year we have been supporting SME’s at our Makerspace in Barnsley through our business support programme. The support includes one on one time with our experts in the makerlab and free workshops. This is a fully funded programme with the aim of supporting micro and small organisations with product prototyping, small projects, business planning, and skills development in areas from podcasting, 3D printing, to merchandising! Read on to see how we’ve supported some businesses so far. 

Patrick Murphy- Artist

Patrick Murphy is a British artist, designer, and curator.

His work is exhibited internationally and held in public and private collections. He works across a wide range of media and projects from commissions for large scale art installations and interventions to print and sculptural work. 

Patrick has used his time in the Maker Lab to discover how technology can assist in his work.  He has developed several new techniques and designs using the Maker Lab.  He has used the Laser Cutter to prototype his designs, producing them at a reduced scale and with inexpensive materials has enabled him to refine his designs before going into production on a larger scale or increased production. 

Patrick has experience using 3D printers but wanted to try a new medium to look at improving the quality of the final product. He has been experimenting with the Formlabs Resin Printer and has produced some sculptures using this process.  It has transformed the finish quality and significantly reduced the time required to gain a quality finish required for mold production. 



Ellen Williams – The Apothecary Barn

The Apothecary Barn uses botanicals, oils & herbs to create natural skincare products. All products are handmade by me with plenty of Yorkshire love & care. Everything I make is 100% natural with no nasties mixed in at all. I am environmentally conscious, and all my packaging is either reusable, recyclable or compostable. 

Ellen wanted to print her company logo onto small fabric bags to enhance the look of her products.  She came to the Maker Lab to use our fabric printer.  Time was spent adjusting the logo size and composition until the results were achieved. Ellen is now considering purchasing a printer for the business as it will allow her to produce them onsite, reducing production and delivery costs; this is important to Ellen as it fits with her company sustainability ethos. 

Ben White and Mike Watson – Tribology

Ben and Mike first approached the DMC to get assistance with their friction testing equipment.  Their initial help was provided by IoT, but once they refined the electronics, they moved onto the DiFG program to prototype housings for their electronics. Ben and Mike were trained on the 3D printer and software by the Brightbox staff; this enabled them to print several versions and compositions until they refined the design. They are now ready to move to production. 

If you're an SME, micro business, freelancer, or sole trader you might be eligible for our business support programme. Get in touch with us at hello@brightbox.org.uk for more information.