As you probably know by now, December 3 was chosen as National 3D printing Day. At first, we were a little confused about why this particular day was chosen until we realized, it’s the only day that you can make “3D” out of. Incredible, right?! This day gives us the opportunity to recognize the breakthrough technologies that 3D printing has provided for us. Since the conception of the first 3D printer, Additive Manufacturing has provided all kinds of inventions and improvements in manufacturing & beyond.
The list of positive outcomes from 3D printing is endless. It has become a hobby for some, a career for others and even been the root of some incredible innovative inventions. Essentially, over the years, 3D printing has completely changed the game. In some cases, it’s even been used to help save lives. No matter what impressions you have about 3D printing, I think we can all agree this breakthrough technology has provided us with some pretty cool stuff.
So, we want to take the time to honor 3D printing and show our appreciation for what additive manufacturing has done for us. We asked President & CEO, Darrell Stafford & Director of Business Development, Rick Shibko what 3D printing means to them and this is what they said.
“Everyone in your company has input, as long as you understand that everyone has value.”
–Darrell Stafford, President & CEO
3D printing is not only the basis for the foundation of Catalysis, it has become our passion and has provided us with a very valuable perception on what we do. It has allowed us to think “outside the box” for manufacturing. As an engineer, you want to be challenging and up-to-date. You want to create new technologies. With 3D printing, the amount of things you can print are virtually limitless and allows you to come up with unique designs.
Now, we are engineering with 3D printing in mind and using these technologies to design a unique tool. You can design it however you want, allowing you to come up with a unique and creative “clean sheet” design for tooling. This means that you don’t need to design it the way that you’ve always designed it. We can customize tools for our customers, providing us with the option of low cost customization. Essentially, 3D printing gives us the opportunity to do creative things at a lower cost and with higher complexity than traditional tooling. Traditional methods might work, but it doesn’t allow for the unique designs & creativity that 3D printing does.
The most important part of 3D printing is that anyone is able to it. It brings engineering down to everyone’s level of engineering so anyone can understand the part. No matter what your company does, everyone on the team can be a part of the manufacturing development process. Everyone in your company has input, as long as you understand that everyone has value. Not only the team, but customers as well. We are able to show our customers what we are doing and what they are going to get, allowing them to see and understand the tool for themselves.
Lastly, 3D printing has enabled us to understand the importance of making mistakes and wanting to make mistakes. Why do we want to make mistakes? You make mistakes so you can learn. We are constantly learning at Catalysis. We have a quote in our office that says “fail often, fail fast”. Failing and making mistakes means that we are learning.
3D printing is more than just a technology to us at Catalysis. It’s our passion. It’s helped us become better at what we do and we truly appreciate everything it is has provided us and the manufacturing industry.