People of UKMFG – Sam Baynham : A model entrepreneur


Sam Baynham, Founder and Managing Director of ConeX Portal UK, tells Technical Editor Steed Webzell about his journey from building Airfix models to successful entrepreneur

Like many youngsters nurturing an interest in engineering, Sam Baynham fondly recalls the excitement and satisfaction associated with building Airfix models in his boyhood years. This fascination served to cultivate his ingenuity and, a few years later, Sam passed four A-Levels and gained a First Class Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds.

The first step on Sam’s career ladder was Delcam, a leading developer of CADCAM software with a listing on the London Stock Exchange.

“It was a great introduction to engineering in the commercial world,” he says. “My role was very hands-on and I developed a broad range of skills.”

Autodesk acquired Delcam in 2014 and, after four years with the company, Sam felt the time was right to seek a new venture. He launched Dynamic Edge Innovation to help take customer design concepts from initial idea to fully functioning prototype. The business was performing well, but then the Covid-19 pandemic struck. During lockdown, Sam had time to think about his future direction. Something resonated strongly while heading-up Dynamic Edge Innovation: the difficulty in identifying the optimal manufacturing partner for new products designed by innovative start-ups.

“It usually meant trawling through a Google search, emailing lots of generic email addresses and, if you were lucky, getting one response in 50. There had to be a better way.”

Sam founded ConeX Portal UK on the basis of connecting design engineers with local manufacturers and establishing a genuine industry community with real-world lines of communication. Already boasting around 160 members, ConeX anticipates a capacity of 300-400, a number that will keep the platform close-knit and familiar.

“I have several other avenues I want ConeX to explore moving forward,” says Sam. “ConeX is not just about creating a network or community, it’s about developing something that positively impacts the manufacturing sector. There are many exciting ideas in the melting pot, so watch this space.”

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