By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Right after I graduated college with a load of loans and idealism, I went to work at a school for kids with severe physical challenges. We frequently jerry-rigged adaptive technologies out of cardboard and duct tape so that these kids could do something that most of us don’t even think about, say, look at a book. So, when I saw what I was asked to check out from the Dimension folks at Stratasys for you today, I was transported back in time and, like any chronologically challenged guy seeing himself 30+ years younger, imagined what could have been.
The story line here is about a small outfit called BlueSky Designs. BlueSky designs, builds, and sells adaptive technology products for people who have a tough time interacting with everyday stuff because of their physical challenges. BlueSky was spending a fortune outsourcing design prototypes to metal shops, and that expense limited their ability to expand their product lines right as business was taking off. So, they decided to take a shot at doing the prototyping themselves and made the investment in a Dimension 3D printer.
The results they report are astounding. For example, they were able to prototype one part under development eight times for a cost that was $20,000 dollars less than what just three prototypes of the same part would have cost them at the metal shop. And they lopped off three weeks of development time while they were at it.
I should say right here that we have two items for you today: a read and a video. Both are short. The read focuses mostly on a device called Mount’n Mover. It helps people using wheelchairs position things like laptop computers. Here’s where functional ABS prototypes from the Dimension proved cost-effective as well as a boon to innovation. It’ll take you two minutes to read this.
But go for the video if your time is short. Or come back to it. If you ever needed an argument to push the honchos into investing in a 3D printer, this is it in a couple of minutes.
The star of the video is Dianne Goodwin, the president of BlueSky Designs. She’s real. You’ll like her. Her enthusiasm comes through loud and clear. Ms. Goodwin shows you some prototype parts and explains some of their functionality. And she tells you how much some parts would have cost if they were prototyped the old way and how much less they cost the company now thanks to Tonka, which is what they named their Dimension 3D printer. This is simply great stuff.
So, that’s your Check It Out today. Hit the link over there and imagine what you could do if you had a 3D printing system.
Thanks, pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering