A Lincoln-based online upholstery business is hoping to become the first in the UK to offer a 3D modelling and prototyping service to furniture manufacturers and restorers worldwide.
Heritage Upholstery was awarded an innovation voucher by the University of Lincoln worth £3,780 as part of the European Regional Development Fund to help develop the company.
Based at Cedar Parc near Lincoln, Heritage Upholstery supplies furniture components to retail and trade customers in Europe, the US and Australia.
Bespoke products are also sold to high-end furniture manufacturers and interior designers.
Previously, the process of designing and manufacturing a furniture part from scratch would have taken several months. However, using 3D design and print technology, Heritage Upholstery can complete the process in a few days.
“The grant will enable us to become the only company in the UK providing 3D models and prototypes of both bespoke and preconfigured furniture parts to restorers, designers and manufacturers,” said Managing Director Martin Fahy.
“We hope that by offering a unique low-cost service and much faster turnaround times Heritage Upholstery will become a market leader.
“We already have an extensive customer base in the UK, Denmark, Sweden and US and this could open up a truly global marketplace for our business,” he added.
The success of Heritage Upholstery is expecting to be boost for Lincolnshire as rather than looking to Asia or other European countries for the prototypes the company can create their own but still at a low cost.
Jessica Boot-Marshall from the University of Lincoln said: “The Innovation Programme is designed to enable SMEs throughout the county progress and develop by innovating their products and services.”
“Heritage Upholstery is a great example of a forward thinking regional business working in a traditional industry but with a pioneering edge. The University has a wealth of expertise in product design and development which, thanks to this funding, Heritage Upholstery has been able to benefit from.
“This is a really interesting project to be involved with, particularly given the clear benefits to the local economy through business growth and job creation.”