ALHAMBRA, CA – 3D Printing has changed the way designers make products, but the creations are typically made in small scale. However, one couple in Alhambra is working on a larger-than-life project making industrial-sized printers.
- Couple expanding 3D printing to large scale
- Making industrial sized printers
- Affordable option for small businesses
MakeIt, a 3D printing company, is getting a large order ready for a customer. They also manufacture products for designers, and other small businesses.
“This PLA is actually biodegradable material developed specifically for 3D printing,” said Shelley Sun, President of MakeIt. “So it’s very safe. A lot of classroom and schools use PLA for their 3D printing.”
Sun’s husband, Samolo Murtonen, designed the 3D printers that she markets, right down to the circuit board that controls it. Shortly after launching their desktop model, they decided to go bigger.
The couple saw a gap in the market. Smaller businesses also needed larger industrial sized printers, but couldn’t afford it. So they made one they could afford.
“I do see there’s a potential, a lot of big potential for small business, mom and pop shops,” said Sun.
Made to order, the printers are assembled by hand in their shop.
Nearly 75 percent of tool and die makers are over the age of 45. Additionally 40 percent of mold makers are almost eligible for retirement. Sun believes, the rise of 3D printing will attract a new younger workforce.
“We actually use our own 3D printed parts,” said Sun. “The assembly is pretty easy thanks to the design of this particular part.”
Once built, they can practically fill a garage, which is where they hope these printers are headed. Large enough to print molds to cast full sized wheels and bumpers, they have seen a huge interest in the custom auto body industry.