NOTE: This is the next installment of Dell Precision’s “Purpose Built” series. Past posts and videos include OXO, Kenguru and YETI Coolers. ”Purpose Built” will share the stories of ground-breaking design that touch the lives of many people.
Garrett Finney, the CEO and Founder of Taxa Inc., has spent most of his life as a camper – backpacking, hiking, kayaking, and spending time outdoors. But he found that the current trailers and trucks available on the market couldn’t satisfy the camping needs for him and his family. Garrett wanted something that was lightweight, that he could tow with his current vehicle versus requiring a big truck, and sleep his family of four. Being a designer and an architect, he decided to design something himself that would work.
As former Senior Architect at the Habitability Design Center for NASA, Garrett was once tasked with working on habitation modules for the International Space Station. Today, he and Brian Black, the Lead Industrial Designer at Taxa Inc., have created a solution for small families who have previously had a hard time going camping due to cost or space limitations. Their invention of the Cricket Trailer, a simple, lightweight, flexible outdoor living space for family camping, has reconceived what camping should be.
A natural extension of Garrett’s experience building small, efficient living quarters for space, the Cricket is inspired by his history at NASA and is in many ways modeled after aerospace design. The Cricket fills the gap between the RV and the tent, but what really differentiates it is its level of flexibility and customization that are built into the trailer.
Engineered using Dell Precision workstations and Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS, the Cricket’s lightweight aluminum design is efficient in terms of space and cost, allowing for much more versatility than your average RV provides.
“The best way technology and software helps us is using different materials that maybe haven’t been used before in our industry,” said Brian Black, Lead Industrial Designer at Taxa Inc. “Our product is very lightweight. It’s very small. But we do pack a lot into that. SOLIDWORKS allows us to really look at a lot of different systems all at once, see how they interact, revise them, and iterate a lot quicker than if we were to just be prototyping in real life.”
“We have reconceived what camping should be and technology lets us get our ideas into production faster, from a napkin sketch to prototype to test article to production, it’s just so much faster than it used to be. And technology helps every step of the way.” said Garrett Finney, CEO and Founder of Taxa Inc.
As a longtime Dell customer, Garrett has owned many Dell products over the years. He and Brian used Dell technology to design both the Cricket and their most recent product, the FIREFLY, which is the company’s second development idea and is much more rugged than the Cricket. FIREFLY is more of a toolbox you can sleep in for government recreational uses such as disaster relief or hunting. Both designs have become extremely popular, and with such high demand for their products, Finney and Black have found that technology also plays a critical role in accommodating increased production rate.
“My company’s focus is on comfortable camping, not a house on wheels, so it’s not about bringing everything but rather about having a really different experience – having an adventure,” said Garrett.
Watch the video to find out more about the technology and story behind Taxa Inc. and the Cricket Trailer.