Howzat? Designer creates 3D printed cricket machine from Norfolk garage

Industrial designer Lewis Holden. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Industrial designer Lewis Holden. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

A Norfolk designer is hoping a bowling machine dreamt up and built in his garage can change the game of cricket - and find the next Virat Kohli or Ben Stokes.

Lewis Holden, from Attleborough, has spent four-and-a-half years perfecting the design of his Ovafly bowling machine from his garage in Connaught Road.

The machine has been created on a 3D printer and is designed to mimic the "perfect" delivery and help cricket and sport enthusiasts improve their technique in the sport of their choice.

Growing up playing cricket at Old Buckenham Cricket Club, Mr Holden's knowledge of the sport led him to design something he hoped not just grassroot clubs could use, but families in their back garden. 

Users load tennis balls onto a slaloming travel track that gives them 10 seconds to get into their batting position if they are using the machine on their own.

Industrial designer Lewis Holden with the 3D cricket bowling machine he designed. Picture: Victoria

Industrial designer Lewis Holden with the 3D cricket bowling machine he designed. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020


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The former Wymondham College student said “Ovafly offers an alternative to electric ball feeding systems which do not recreate merited practice - by replicating the visual cues and experience of real bowling; this solves many limitations of current ball throwing aids including cost, portability, use of machine balls and electricity.

"The thinking is to develop this and encourage young people to get into cricket, they go and join a club and you might find the next superstar.

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"What I would love to see out of this is that my product has an important impact on grassroot sport in this area."

Mr Holden, 29, has launched a £10,000 Kickstarter to try to help his business on the way to increase manufacturing, with the hopes to one day have his own warehouse.

He also hopes to license the design to manufacturers both in the UK and across the world. With no electrical parts, he said there is potential for it to be developed in under-developed countries with no mains electric.

Mr Holden said; "I am not going to  stop until I go and sit in a park in Mumbai and see someone I've never met, enjoying Ovafly.

"My vocation is design; at the end of my life, my career will be defined by only the effect my innovations had on society. Nothing else. Ovafly is for the game, to change the game."

Industrial designer Lewis Holden with the 3D cricket bowling machine he designed. Picture: Victoria

Industrial designer Lewis Holden with the 3D cricket bowling machine he designed. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

As part of Kickstarter he is offering the first 2,000 backers from the 3D printing community a series of guided video tutorials, instruction manuals to make the machine themselves.

Search Ovafly on Kickstarter to find out more.

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