But this project left me with the feeling that we had been really capable and that we could achieve much more than we thought. I had just celebrated the 6th anniversary of my company Emergo Designs and I was wondering what my real ambitions were. And then came that idea: a Titanium oyster knife that was partially made on a CNC machine and finished by hand. It would require buying a very expensive CNC milling machine and taking many risks to develop such a product. For instance, I wasn’t a machinist(person who operates and programs the machine). But with the medical facemask experience under my belt, I decided to go for it.
This was when I came into contact with Impuls Zeeland, our local government innovation incentive fund. They had an amazing program to stimulate circular product development. My new oyster knife concept fit in quite well and after my pitch Emergo Designs was granted a government grant. It still took all my life savings to buy and ship the machine. I ended up buying a Syil X7 machine and it arrived at the end of 2020.
2021 was a strange year and for me and it was all about testing the titanium oyster shucker concept. I started out with aluminum and then moved over to titanium. But in February I ”crashed” the machine. A small error caused the machine to accelerate to maximum speed and plunge into the workpiece. The machine was miraculously fine afterwards, but my confidence was gone. Therefore the transition to titanium was really slow and deadline after deadline passed. Eventually I hardened a blade and send it to Andre Linting of Oesterkrakers. He is a professional shucker and he would test if the knife would hold.