What was once considered a novelty, has now become an important aspect of manufacturing, dentistry, and even First National Technology Solutions (FNTS). It’s 3D printing.
While only recently becoming commonplace, the idea for 3D printing itself was formed in 1983 by Chuck Hall. At the time he worked for a small business which made coatings for tables by way of ultraviolet lamps. After experimenting for months, he succeeded in what was very likely the world’s first 3D printing. A few years later he patented the idea. He now resides over 3D Systems as the executive vice president, and chief technology officer.
Hall’s work has led to many 3D printing enthusiasts. One of which is Tim Stephenson, a senior sales engineer at FNTS. Owning a 3D printer himself, he has already found good use for the new technology.
Saving the day at home, he was able to replace a missing piece of the family vacuum cleaner. Beyond that, Stephenson has also found a way to utilize the printing for his work life as well.
The door lock covers for cabinets in the data center needed replacement, and once again Stephenson stepped up to the plate. The team decided for a different, more visibly appealing solution than the standard black metal boxes which would usually cover the area. The result? A clean looking plate bearing the First National Emblem, and web address.
The process wasn’t quick however, as designing the models took near eight hours. After design, each unit took roughly an hour to print, resulting in about 16 produced per day. Considering 180 covers needed to be produced, it took a lot of dedication from Stephenson.
As for the future of 3D printing? Stephenson sees a whole world of opportunity. Particularly, in allowing 3D models from companies to be available online. This would be especially helpful in regards to replacement parts for printing at home.