YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Manufacturing is a major industry in Ohio, especially in the Mahoning Valley.
For North Canton native Collin Boring, 3D printing has been a skill and passion of his for years.
“I went around to every machine shop and just asked if I could make CAD (computer-aided design) drawings for all the napkin drawings they had. They would have people come in and say, ‘Hey Rick, can you make me 10 of these?' And the machine shop doesn’t have the capability to reverse engineer, create CAD models and drawings and modifications, so that was ... my initial in Ohio and manufacturing,” said Boring.
His brother Tyler, a 10-year Marine Corps cobra pilot, was running into a common problem.
"His helicopter kept breaking down in the field. It caused him to sleep underneath his helicopter with scorpions because maybe a door handle broke or maybe a button or a cover or something that was a simple part, but they just didn’t have it, and they just couldn’t make it in the field with the tools they had.”
So, the brothers came up with a solution: 3D printers that can be deployed outside of an office setting. Boring showed off the durability by using sledge hammers and water.
Boring says a good portion of the business is military as well as oil and gas, mining, disaster relief and other industries with remote industrial users.
"Solving the problem of making a 3D printer portable, that can survive traditional and nontraditional logistics methods, and being able to operate in harsh environment, whether that’s in a cold place in Russia or somewhere extremely hot in the Middle East.”
The brothers are bringing the business, Rugged 3D, to Youngstown, and say the Mahoning Valley was the perfect fit for the young company.
“San Francisco’s an amazing place to be. A lot of venture capital. A lot of digital technologies. We just didn’t have enough people in the 3D printing space," said Boring. “So, I started searching across the country. We saw Youngstown standout pretty significantly with an additive manufacturing portfolio at the Youngstown business incubator.”
Boring says Rugged 3D currently has three employees and expects to add more in the near future, saying he’s excited to come back to the Buckeye State and bring jobs and other contributions to the his home state.
“I have a whole family filled with small business owners and people who were entrepreneurs, and it’s really important to me to give back to the community.”