Flux Marine and Autodesk Celebrate Accomplishments from Collaboration
As a company in its infancy with three founding employees, Flux Marine participated in the 2018 Mass Challenge, a showcase event in which they premiered their prototype of an electric outboard motor. Built in a garage as an extension of a school project and a hopeful invention, the concept proved effective and caught the eyes of Autodesk’s shop staff. After initial conversations about electrification and the alignment of passions, Autodesk invited Flux Marine to join its Outsight Network.
Working in the Autodesk Boston Technology Center proved useful right away as it transitioned from Flux’s everyday office space to so much more: CNC machines, design programs, and 3D printers were crucial in the early tests. As the Flux technology improved, so did Autodesk’s ability to assist them, as Flux leaned on the shop team for best-practice expertise and trainings for various machines and programs covering areas ranging from manufacturing and assembly design to woodwork, powder coating, waterjet cutting, and laser cutting; all were incredibly beneficial to Flux Marine and would not have been accessible to the small company on its own.
Jon Lord, one of the three Flux founders and an engineering lead, put it succinctly: “We were able to prototype freely and test our proof-of-concepts without the costly burdens of private manufacturing space,” Lord said of their time at Autodesk.
Autodesk offered more than just office space and a machine shop. Relationships were built and nurtured throughout Flux’s innovation and several other companies located at the Technology Center proved invaluable as colleagues and mentors. While these relationships were handy to Flux’s development, they worked both ways. Flux provided Autodesk with feedback on their workflows and software architecture and became an exciting and promising presence within the fast-paced and collaborative startup culture. Flux continued to grow and succeed through prototype iterations and employee hirings and funding rounds, eventually outgrowing their space at Autodesk and moving to Rhode Island. They did, however, keep a space at Autodesk to continue to utilize the talented network, engineering resources, and prominent presence in Boston.
“Having a front row seat to the evolution of Flux Marine has been a privilege. From a small contingent of driven individuals diligently developing their prototypes at Autodesk’s Technology Center, to the successful enterprise that it is today, Jon Lord and his colleagues have succeeded where many others have fallen short,” said Taylor Tobin, Shop Manager at the Boston Technology Center. “They have developed novel technologies and successfully implemented them to realize a market sector with great potential. We greatly value working with companies that bring fresh, unique approaches to improve upon traditional solutions while embracing environmentally friendly technology and innovative design and manufacturing methodology. I’m thrilled to have been a part of Flux Marine’s journey and I look forward to what I am sure will be a bright future as they continue to expand.”
Recently, some Autodesk team members visited the new Flux Marine 40,000 square foot headquarters and manufacturing facility in Bristol, RI, and its showcase at the Ocean Race providing a fleet of working electric boats to Sail Newport and the 11th Hour Racing Team for sustainable race marshalling and commuting. The Flux team took the Autodesk team out on two of these boats, illustrating the progress of their motors to give speedy, thrilling rides with safe and reliable machinery.
“We are very grateful for our time at Autodesk,” says Lord, “and its role in helping us reach where we are today.” Lord hopes to remain involved with Autodesk as Flux Marine continues to thrive and grow.
Zach Shapiro is Brand Lead at Flux Marine.
Get in touch
Have we piqued your interest? Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about Autodesk Research, our projects, people, and potential collaboration opportunitiesContact us