CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Supply chain issues have brought traditional manufacturing to a slow crawl, but a budding technology is offering a solution to speed things up again, and it's opened a world of possibilities into other uses.
You're In Good Company with The 3D Printing Store.
Inside their creation lab, almost anything you can imagine comes to life.
"We get requests for parts from different states, different countries, different groups, different people, different organizations," said CEO Debra Wilcox. "I mean, we've really done a lot of different projects."
Wilcox stumbled onto the industry 10 years ago when she worked on electric airplanes and they were building parts for the first time.
"They know that this has shortened the development cycle for new products because we can make several iterations in perhaps a few weeks," Wilcox said. "The cycle time for product development has dramatically changed with this industry."
They've done work for aerospace and maritime companies, entrepreneurs and investors, and the technology is making inroads in the medical field.
"Now, we know we can do things that are bio-medically interesting," Wilcox said. "We can create parts that would be implantable parts. We are doing that right now."
All they need is an idea, a design that can be downloaded as a file and their machines get to work. They layer plastics, powders, and fibers for whatever you need.
"What are the things you need this part to do?" Wilcox will ask her clients. "Then, we can guide them on what materials would be suitable and what printing process will be suitable for the part they need."
3D printing has become a building block for the manufacturing future and could one day solve the cost and supply chain problem we currently find ourselves in.
"We know we have a 3D printer on the Space Station," Wilcox said. "We know we can have 3D printers in remote locations. And, so they could make things for places where it's otherwise difficult to get parts. So, it's all going to continue to evolve and grow."