Success for young inventor with 3D printed underwater jetpack

A final year product design and technology student from Loughborough University, and now a client of Serjeants, has received international coverage of his latest invention – an underwater jetpack.

Archie O’Brien designed and developed a functional prototype of his underwater jetpack in just 12 months as part of his final year project at Loughborough Design School.

Inspired by his love for adrenalin, exploration and nature, Archie took to investigating underwater propulsion devices and quickly discovered that current products on the market were either too slow or too expensive and very heavy.

Archie custom-designed a more compact propulsion system, powered by a 3D-printed impeller, that can propel a swimmer at speeds of up to eight miles per hour. The underwater jetpack, with its own patent pending propulsion system (thanks to Serjeants) is the fastest underwater jetpack in the world which can be easily ported between dive sites.

Archie said: “It was thanks to 3D printing by 3D Hubs that allowed me to create a functional and robust prototype of the underwater jetpack in such a short space of time. 45 components of the propulsion system are 3D-printed, which meant they could be quickly modified and reprinted as the engineering of the jetpack was continually refined.”

There are plans to put the underwater jetpack into production and the first models could go on sale as early as 2019.

How Serjeants helped

Archie contacted Serjeants at the end of May to discuss the intellectual property protection that might be available to him, having not received any significant advice about protecting his product previously.

Time was critical as the underwater jetpack was going to be part of the Loughborough University design show starting on 14 June, only two weeks later.

Serjeants expert patent attorney, Tim Cadman, quickly identified that the technology behind the jetpack was suitable for patent protection. With permission from the university, we prepared and filed a patent application on Archie’s behalf. The application was filed on 13 June, the day before the design show.

It was crucial to get the patent application on file before the design show started as publication of the product at the show would have meant any later patent applications might have lacked novelty over the disclosure made at that show.

Archie continued: “I am grateful to Serjeants for their intellectual property wisdom and for working so quickly to identify and apply for patent protection for the underwater jetpack. I am looking forward to putting my invention into production knowing that I have taken the best steps to protect it from copycats.”

underwater jetpack

International coverage for the underwater jetpack

Following the Loughborough University design show, Archie’s underwater jetpack has received coverage in The Mail Online and Gizmodo. Other big names to give it a mention are Digital Trends, Design Boom and Cheddar.

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