Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, Grypshon will expand its line of flexible rubberized Grypmat tool holders, company founder and Grypmat inventor Tom Burden said last week at Sun ’n’ Fun 2017. An F-16 maintainer in the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard, Burden created the product because he “was tired of tools sliding off the aircraft” while working on the jets.
With troughs like a kitchen utensil organizer, the bright orange silicon-polymer mat conforms to almost any surface it’s placed on and holds tools in place at angles of up to 70 degrees. It also “prevents any scratches or damages” to aircraft surfaces, “increases tool accountability, and decreases maintenance time,” the recent mechanical engineering grad said.
The tool holder was introduced at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh last year, and Grypshon has sold almost 10,000 of the 22- by 12-inch mats, priced at $59.95. NASA and individual fighter squadrons are among customers and the USAF is completing product evaluation. The new Grypmats, in medium and small—half and one-third current size, respectively—will be available in early June.
Burden prototyped the product in his basement over three years and got funding from the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee’s Ideadvance grant program. “I’d be bankrupt without them,” he said.